Elena Chernyshova is a Russian documentary photographer, based in France. She was born in 1981 in Moscow, USSR.
A self-taught photographer, she developed a passion for this visual language during her studies at an architectural academy. After two years of work as an architect, Elena quit her job and cycled with Gael de Cevoisier from Toulouse to Vladivostok and back again: 30,000 kilometres, 26 countries, 1,004 days of cultural, human, and challenging experiences. The trip led to her decision to become a photographer.
Photography for her is a way of investigating the daily life of different groups and communities in the context of environmental, political, and economic change. Her work aims at visualizing the impact of human activity, ways of adaptation, and diversity of lifestyles.
In 2011 Elena received a grant from the Lagardère Foundation to create the photo documentary ‘Days of Night – Nights of Day’ about the daily life of the industrial city of Norilsk, 400 kilometres to north of the arctic Circle in Siberia.
Elena’s work has been published in National Geographic, Le Monde, Internazionale, Days Japan, A/R magazine, Newsweek Russia, and Ecology and Life.
Awards: World Press Photo 2014; Days Japan Awards and others.
National Geographic, Geo, 6 Mois, Le Figaro, Le Monde, Neon, Internazionale, Days Japan, Courier International, Le Temps, Sunday Times, A/R magazine, Newsweek Russia, Ecology and Life.
– Freelens Award 2016, Honorable mention. Lumix Festival. Project : Days of Night – Nights of Day.
– World Press Photo 2014, Daily Life, 3rd prize stories, project ‘Days of Night, Nights of Days’
– Festival des Boutographies 2014 – Exchange prize and a Public prize, project ‘Days of Night, Nights of Days’
– Days Japan International Photo Journalism Awards 2014 – Special Prize by the Jury
– Photographie de l’Annee 2014, Reportage, 2nd prize, project ‘Days of Night, Nights of Days’
-“Runner up” in the 2013 JGS Photography Contest, Forward Thinking Museum, project ‘Days of Night, Nights of Days’
– Finalist of « Invisible Photographer Asia Photos Essay Awards 2013 », photo project ‘Days of Night, Nights of Days’
– Winner of the Lagardère 2012 photography grant for the project ‘Days of Night, Nights of Days’.
– ‘coup de cœur of ANI’ 2010 (during the ‘Visa pour l’Image’ festival), project ‘Awaiting Movement’
– ‘European Emerging Talent’ at the Nikon International Photo Contest 2008-2009