The joy that radiates from the images of New York–based photographer Lanna Apisukh comes from her passion for capturing the essence of her city through the people around her. “New York City is truly a source of inspiration for me,” she says. “There are so many fascinating people and places to explore here—the stories are endless!” After exploring fine art in her undergraduate degree and working at an ad agency—first as a social media content producer and then as a campaign photographer—Apisukh decided to formally train in photography at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Brooklyn-based photography school BKC. “In school, I was interested in portraiture and documenting the world around me,” she recalls. “I loved working with people and capturing a sense of place, which ultimately led me to the work that I do today.” Drawing inspiration from early color photography of the ’60s and ’70s and the work of photojournalist Mary Ellen Mark, Apisukh captures her subjects with empathy and a keen eye for what makes them tick. “Common threads that flow through all my work are highlighting the characteristics of a person, place or thing, and bringing a mood or emotion forward with color, composition and bold lighting,” she says. “Developing my visual language came with time and practice, but I also feel that my life experiences have helped inform a lot of my style and the work that I do today.” What’s important to her, besides giving back to her community by mentoring photography students at New York City–based education initiatives, is to expand people’s perceptions of the Asian American experience. “As a female and a first-generation Asian American, representation and visibility are very important to me,” she notes. “Using my photography work to highlight people of color, immigrants and marginalized groups will continue to be a big part of the stories I tell.”
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