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Mon Levchenkova: Mastering Authenticity

In honor of Women’s* History Month, we sat down with women-identifying Squarespace customers whose stories of strength, creativity, and success inspire us everyday. Mon Levchenkova is a photographer who, through her mastery of the candid photograph, has the ability to evoke a sense of familiarity and nostalgia. She captures everyday moments both fantastically and honestly, producing images fit for the silver screen. We were thrilled to get a peek into Mon’s creative process, gleaning some wisdom along the way. 

SQUARESPACE: How did you get your start as a professional photographer?

Mon Levchenkova: Before university, I was producing photo work on my online blog. It started to snowball into something else during my gap year. I started getting emails from people who ran zines and photography pools on the internet. I got some of my work featured here and there - it was really fun. During university, I developed my sense of style and form through working with my best friend in the studio space, often messing around and producing some really fun work. 

SQSP: How would you describe your creative vision in three words?

ML: I would choose gentle, romantic, ‘thingly.’ 

SQSP: How do you approach capturing candid, authentic moments on camera?

ML: Move in silent steps. Let them know what was happening was beautiful. Often a combination of the two, but sometimes one or the other. 

SQSP: How does your identity as a woman inform your work, if at all?

ML: Being a woman certainly changes the approach I have with people and how I choose to collaborate with others, based on some of my experiences in the past. I try to remember that people are complex creatures. You need to give them time and space.

SQSP: How do you choose which photos to include in your print shop on your Squarespace website?

ML: It’s a complex question. But I actually think that I choose photos based on whichever colors I am in love with at the time. I often dream of colors, actually.  Perhaps that is something to note. Seeing them in a printed form really makes me happy.

SQSP: What advice do you have for women who are just beginning their journey as photographers? 

ML: Remember all of the good experiences you have and the bad ones too. Whatever you found difficult to deal with, avoid repeating yourself. When thinking about the good, remember why it was good. Do not let people form your own style for you.

*We use an inclusive definition of “woman,” “women,” and “female” to encompass all people who identify as women in a way that is significant to them.

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