Leonid Malashenok

Photographer Male San Francisco, California, US
My MM URL: http://www.modelmayhem.com/malashenok
Mayhem # 2936638

About Me

I was born in the now nonexistent USSR in Vladivosok city. Photography first began for me when my grandfather presented me as a little kid with a film camera. I took several shots with it, but since I initially found the process boring, slow and completely uninteresting, I put it aside.

Growing up I was very active and always interested in the arts. I attended drawing and dancing school for a couple of years, spent seven years playing the piano, and participated in many comedy and theatre shows in high school. In the shows, I starred as both an actor as well as part of the behind the scenes creative team.

Despite the fact that I was a very polite and well-brought-up child, I had a hard time taking anything seriously, preferring to have fun all of the time, especially in inappropriate situations. Therefore many people (especially teachers) called me a clown and suggested—being sarcastic of course—that I attend circus college after graduation. Clownery might be considered a serious profession nowadays, but at that time, and in my country, that suggestion was extremely offensive. Now as an adult, a sense of humor is an important part of my personality and is significantly reflected in my photography.

After high school graduation, I had options as far as places to study, explore and express my creativity—but I had no idea which university to choose or what I wanted to study. Chinese Language was what I eventually chose, which then turned into International Tourism.

After graduating college, I went on to become a manager at a place not worth mentioning, until my girlfriend at the time (wife now) insisted that I explore the photographic medium together with her. Photography had been her real passion since childhood, and at that time she was beginning to take pictures professionally. Her thinking was that by doing photography together, we would be able to express our inner unconventional creativity, and also have an alternative for making money.

This is when I started my career as a commercial photographer with no professional knowledge or experience—only with the help of God, internet search engines and a Canon 350D. At the beginning, I shot interior images for a restaurant agency catalog. I then went into weddings, portraits, still life and food photography. On the side, I shot work with a more personal twang, with conceptual and unusual ideas with my wife.

One day we both realized that the city we lived in was ultimately too small for us, had no art-related business, and therefore no real potential for us as photographers. We decided to move to the US to be a part of the real industry of photography, design, advertising, fashion, modeling and acting.

At the present time I am getting MFA in Photography at Academy of Art University in San Francisco. I mainly focus on exploring the beauty of women through commercial fashion photography with a fine art influence—in other words, commercial photography with a deeper meaning and concept. I have chosen to shoot women since I consistently find them to be the most charming, most attractive, subject matter since I began photographing.

Currently, I am looking for inspiration and collaboration with models, wardrobe stylists, clothing designers, make up artists and hair stylists.


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