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  • Writer's pictureElena Gera

About My Travel Journalistic Background

Updated: Nov 24

Wadi Ram Desert, Jordan

So... you are wondering where I come from as a wedding photographer. Well, obviously from a mother's womb :-) And also from Moscow, Russia :-) I also come from many other things, like love for adventure, curiosity to travel, genuine interest in people, and excitement about all things beautiful and exotic. I have been blessed (and so incredibly lucky!) to combine three of my passions - love for travel, photography, and writing- pretty early in life.

As a graduate of the Photojournalism Program of the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York City, I spent ten years working as a photojournalist for GEO, a European travel magazine. I was a writing photographer (or a photographing writer, whichever you prefer). A lucky combination for any editor - imagine that instead of sending two reporters, you can send only one! My travel sometimes implied staying at a 5-star hotel and enjoying dinners at a Michelin. Still, often it meant that I slept in a tent and traveled on a donkey. (Real story happened to me in Jordan!)

Kyoto, Japan

Siberia, Russia

My job meant bordering dozens of flights a year. Getting up before sunrise to capture nature's beauty. Walking up long miles with a backpack (this was when I was writing about the Appalachian Trail). Staying up late to catch up on my notes and recordings from interviews. It also meant little family time and all the insecurities of a solo female traveler with a shiny camera. (I still don't know if it was courage or simply a lack of brains to fly alone into Cairo to document the Arab Spring in 2010. I managed to narrowly escape serious trouble because the Egyptian capital was like a war zone at that time…)

Yet, I loved my job so much!

My work for the travel publication has taken me to over forty countries. During my travels, I experienced unbelievable things, ranging from the marital customs of India to a whale-greeting ceremony in Australia. Armed with my camera and the knowledge my teachers gave me, I could always document the new, beautiful, and unique stories of everyone I encountered.

As a photojournalist, I aimed to help others "see" the people I had met and "visit" the places I had traveled. I wanted my photographs to show others how diverse the world is. Through my eyes, I wanted everyone to experience how giant our planet is and what wondrous things can be found on it. Looking back on these pictures, I can hardly believe I have seen all these! Japan, Namibia, Taiwan, Singapore, much of Europe, a good part of Asia, some of the American continent…

Throughout my photography career, I met many incredible, talented, and inspiring people who helped shape the person and photographer I am today. I photographed architects and archaeologists, fishermen and firefighters, scientists and circus workers, ministers, and models. Believe it or not, I even photographed the man who had been operating the first moon module from the Earth! (Yes, his business card actually said, among other things, "Lunar Rover Driver.”) Oftentimes, my subjects would only speak their native language, but despite that communication barrier, I still shot great pictures.

My approach to wedding photography is the same as photojournalism's; the only difference is the subject matter. Love is one of the most beautiful human experiences, and I enjoy documenting a couple's special day. After working with so many different people, I have realized that couples who speak the language of love are now my absolute favorite type of subject. To follow my passion, in 2017, I created my own wedding photography service, and "Focus on the Moment" was born.

Please get in touch with me if you have any questions or to check availability. 

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