From the End of the Earth

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I believe this life is not about what we can get, but what we can give. And during the last 30 days I had an amazing opportunity to literally go to the end of the earth and make people smile and laugh, and photograph them. I was traveling around Chukotka, Russia starting with Anadyr (capital of Chukotka) and into the very deep Tundra where nobody lives except small tribal groups of reindeer herders, staying and photographing them in their everyday life, and it was a life changing experience.

Inspired by Help Portrait I decided to take it to the place where nobody had done it before. I started in Anadyr, and I hosted 4 events, and the most memorable was in the hospital for the children with tuberculosis.  The day before we went to talk to the administration of the hospital and accidentally my friend found a letter in the trash can, which one of the girls from the hospital wrote. It really touched me and it did more than that. I was really happy the next day when I could make that girl forget for a second about her difficulties in her life and simply capture a photo of her give her a print for her and her mother. The Letter is below, written in Russian.

Here is an English translation:

“I live in a village called Meynap ilino. I’m 9 years old. My name is Lyuba. I have 2 sisters and 1 brother. My oldest sister’s name is Marina, she is 12. The Youngest – Sveta, she is 8. My brother’s name is Tolyk, he is 7 months old. I’m in the hospital right now. I want to go home really really bad. First I was in the children’s branch. There was a girl called Arina from my school in the same branch with me. My granny Tanya was in the surgery branch and in the therapy branch was my grand-grand mother Olya. Now my granny Tanya and grand-grand mother Olya and friend Arina are at the airport flying back home. And I’m all alone here. My sisters should come soon to the hospital for an examination. I wish that we could be at home for the New Year. I cry a lot. I want to celebrate the New Year with my Mom, Dad, Sveta, Marina and Tolyk, with Granny, and with all the family. I really really really want to go home! Im crying every day and when i go to sleep because of this. I’m even crying right now because I want to go home really bad. I want and ask God what he he can do so that I can Celebrate New Year with my family.
It’s 2:12 pm, December 16th, I ask God that I would celebrate New Year with my sisters, granny, mom and dad.”

Me with kids from the hospital:

From another Help Portrait event which took place in a small village Yanranay (the boy in my hands is handicap).

After Anadyr I went to Pevek, the most Northern city in Russia, Chaun and later to the Tundra where I could photograph reindeer herders. It took us 9,5 hours to get there on the snow mobile. I froze some of my toes, as the weather was around -40F and during all 9+ hours you can’t really move as you are traveling always without breaks. During the couple of days which we spent there I could photograph and print photos for them right there on the spot, and it was amazing to watch their reaction from a simple photograph. People who never had a picture taken before, received photos right there in Tundra.

It was cold:

My assistants:

Me with reindeer herders inside the yaranga:

Me and reindeer herders Kostya and Boris:

Comments: 30
  1. fer juaristi Jan 31st 16:08

    loving this adventure of you my friend.

  2. Brandon Wong Jan 31st 18:53

    This is inspiring Sasha. Great work and for a great cause. Ross did a killer job on the blog too :)

  3. Kip Beelman Jan 31st 19:04

    Amazing and inspiring Sasha. Thank you!

  4. dreamcatcher Jan 31st 19:06

    you are amazing sasha! congrats for the new site

  5. Julia Jan 31st 19:29

    Amazing post. Nicely captured!

  6. danielusenko@gmail.com Jan 31st 20:11

    sad story in the beginning. Sick adventure. Hoping to see more stuff soon

  7. vita Jan 31st 20:18

    woww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

  8. Michael Movsyesov Jan 31st 20:32

    Great work my friend. Big kudos to you for helping the world. Excited to see what you’re gonna be doing with this new site of yours.

  9. Crystal Jan 31st 21:02

    These are really incredible. It’s amazing to see the Help Portrait idea being spread out around the globe.

  10. Max Lopatin Jan 31st 21:53

    Sasha, looks like you had an awesome adventure. Thanks for the post.

  11. Holly B. Jan 31st 22:15

    These are amazing Sasha!!!

  12. felix Jan 31st 22:46

    pretty damn cool.

  13. davina + daniel Jan 31st 23:34

    love this adventure sasha! great photos, and blog!

  14. Serge Moskalets Feb 01st 00:52

    Great Job Sasha…. i love the photo’s, and i also like the new blog… very cool!!!

    Serge Moskalets

  15. Alexandru Feb 01st 09:48

    wow))) so amazing))) nice nice nice !!! envy you :DDD

  16. Dana Feb 01st 11:51

    What an amazing journey Sasha. I’m so impressed with your selflessness to sacrifice your time and comfort to encourage your missionary friends, and bless these ‘children of God.’ Your the best!

  17. Julia Feb 01st 16:11

    Great cause and awesome place to make it happen! How did you find this place??

  18. Iulia Iacovlev Feb 02nd 01:29

    This is so cool!I can’t stop looking at this pictures!You are such an inspiration!

  19. Aleksandr Shik Feb 02nd 03:39

    Beyond amazing!!! You were so brave to go there! Also really nice blog!!!

  20. Anna Kuperberg Feb 02nd 23:16

    I love this!!

  21. Irina Feb 15th 18:55

    This is very touching.. You did a great job.

  22. robert Feb 16th 03:29

    brilliant. the work of someone destined for greatness.

  23. Margarita Feb 16th 08:06

    Sashka, takie klassnie i trogatelinie fotki. vdohnavleaesh toje kuda to poehati )))

  24. Rosaura Sandoval Feb 17th 22:06

    Sasha! You have such a great heart. And you are such an amazing talent. Thank you for sharing this journey with us. xoxoxoxo!

  25. Help-Portrait. End of the Earth. « Sasha Leahovcenco Photography Mar 21st 18:20

    […] It’s been a little bit over two month since I came back from Chukotka, Russia where I spent one month traveling around and doing Help-Portrait events. I have never shared any of the Help-Portrait photographs before,  but these photos are exception. As I’m not sure if I ever have another opportunity to photograph such  unique and amazing people. I made a post about my trip to Chukotka, Russia amount a month ago, so if you didn’t have a chance to read the previous post about my trip, you can find it here. […]

  26. mary kuzkin Mar 22nd 07:38

    wow. this is amazing! the images are breathtaking. and the insight into their lives is fascinating! thank you so such for capturing such amazing details.

  27. Irina Mar 22nd 12:02

    The best photos and video.. and U nice man, take care. Good luck.

  28. mariana Mar 25th 03:42

    …words can’t describe enough

  29. yamina egulian Mar 31st 19:22

    there’s no doubt you really didt because you felt the neccessity…. those expressions in those marvellous faces, so real, so natural saying “- this is what I am-“… that’s to be A PHOTOGRAPHER: taking the soul of every person and the air of every place…

  30. Anra Naw Nov 23rd 05:09

    Александр ,доброе утро.я Анра ,живу в лапландии,в суоми.Следующим летом планирую привезти на чукотку норвежских шаманистов ,будем шукать шаманов …..Не представляю себе ,где я им найду их.У меня к вам вопрос и наверное не один .О вопросе приглашения и организации поездки в закрытый регион.я сама родо с острова айон ,7% километров от города Певек.То что ты побывал на чукотке это здорово.Я пока в кратце …скажи мне будь ласка -где именно вы были и остались ли у тебя какие либо контакты с оленеводами или это был проект .Как состовлялась программа визита и как удолось её воплотить много вопросов .Да фотографии говорят о том чо слишком мало было времени они шапочного характера ты приехал было холодно в монологе оленевода он сказал приезжайте к нам на год ,если бы это получилось были совсем другие фотографии с теме же людьми,оленями ,собавками ,чайками ,бабочками ,цветами ….. всё равно было приятно ,заглянув в фкйсбук увидеть сново чуктку,спасибо .Удачи !

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