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Born in Kyiv, Ukraine, Yelena Yemchuk immigrated to the United States with her parents when she was eleven. She became interested in photography when her father gave her a 35 mm Minolta camera for her fourteenth birthday, and went on to study at Parsons in New York and the Art Center in Pasadena. Influenced by photographers Diane Arbus and Cindy Sherman, and recognized for her surrealistic whimsy and dark romanticism, Yemchuk has shot for the New Yorker, AnOther Magazine, i-D, Dazed & Confused, and Italian, British, and Japanese Vogues.
Yemchuk released her first book Gidropark, published by Damiani in April
2011, followed by Anna, published by United Vagabonds in 2017.