One day in November, replacing boots and warm clothes for shorts and flip-flops, I changed my life radically and forever…

The plane landed in Ho Chi Minh City – the largest city in Vietnam. I knew very little about Vietnam, let alone Asia, but was excited about this new step in my life nonetheless. All of my friends and relatives had just assumed I would go to Europe, so for me to go to Asia was a big surprise to everyone. Learning about my “experiment,” many of my friends and family believed I would return home shortly after I left – return home to a house in St. Petersburg – to a most familiar life in a beautiful city, but under perpetual gray skies.

Elena Nikolenko Photography

But my experiment has been delayed and, although I my parents thought this experiment would be short-lived, my “home” has seemed to materialize here in Asia. My notion of “home” has moved several time zones and eight thousand kilometers from dear St. Petersburg.

Since my arrival in Krabi I have realized my decision was a great one. Krabi is so full of light, textures, faces, colors, viewpoints, and so much more. Asia, as a whole, has been a beautiful place! The attitude of Asia has been patiently and carefully leading me to love, freedom and harmony. This continent has the ability to completely turn your life upside down, show you another side of life, and another way to look at life. It can be difficult, but if you surrender to its power, it can be a wonderful experience, blasting the mind and opening the heart.

Elena Nikolenko Photography

My interest in photography began with the interest in men – their personalities, emotions, and moods. So in my work, a lot of portraits. When I look at someone, I wonder – what is he thinking? What dreams does he have? Why does he have such sad eyes? When I take the camera in my hand, a thrill ripples through my body. I have the opportunity to unravel a mystery, to discover something new, to catch some point – something previously hidden, but very important. I see the beauty in others, all different types of beauty.

Elena Nikolenko Photography

Sometimes I need to help my subjects open up by comforting them with words of encouragement. It is very important if I am to learn more about my subjects that they are relaxed and comfortable. Photography for me is about the lifestyle, taste and shapes as well as the diversity of tones and contrasts. Photography offers me a great outlet to pass on what I see and feel to others through my photographs.

Elena Nikolenko Photography

The desire for freedom, my love of art, and my constant cycle of ideas have culminated in my becoming a photographer. Being from St. Petersburg, I have seen countless outlets and locations for taking spectacular photographs – it was a great place for opening up one’s creativity and development. It was here that my passion for photography was born. I am grateful to my motherland and for the friends who supported my decision to go where I’m happy. Now I am looking for new light and angles for my photos, for new inspirations to drive me but most of all for other artists to learn with. Now I live and work in Krabi, This is my home and source of inspiration.

After traveling to different cities and countries in Asia, I wanted to convey the emotions I felt through my pictures. I want to share my passion and encourage other people all over the world – as much as possible – to travel. No material possessions are a substitute for experience. Open your eyes and your interests in life. Take the time for it. Health to you and inexhaustible energy. Love, be loved and happy!

If you have questions or would like to connect with me for a photo session, email me at:

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or you can visit my website at:

 ArtOfLady – Elena Nikolenko