1Can you introduce yourself and talk about how you got into photography?
My name is Ksenia Krondo and I'm a Siberian photographer based in France. I found interest in photography when I was 19 years old through my attempts to work as an amateur model.
2Where did you study photography?
Nowhere! I'm a 100% self-taught photographer!
3Do you remember your first shot? What was it?
I guess it was a friend of mine, I was trying to do some kind of quirky fashion photoshoot! Of course it was absolutely horrible but the road to the success always starts from a small step.
4What equipment do you use?
Fujifilm gfx50r, 45mm lens.
5What compliment inspired/touched you the most?
It's an amazing feeling when people tell me that I'm an artist and my pictures looks like a painting.
6What inspires your unique storytelling?
I'm getting inspired the most by uniqueness and diversity of a humans looks. But I can't deny that my works has been affected by medieval romance and classical paintings.
7What THREE (3) words describe your photography style?
Fairy-tale, medieval, feminine.
8Congratulations! As the winner of the MUSE Photography Awards, what does it mean for you and your team to receive this distinction?
As a self-taught artist who has no art background or foundation, I have been perceiving photography as a hobby most of my life - I really appreciate that my works were noticed in such a big and serious competition!
9Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2023 MUSE Photography Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
I have two works this year (both are gold winners). One of them - "Of humans and animals" is inspired by last year's occurrences. There are still countries in the world where women have less right to express themselves, to be seen than mere animals. Where women deserve so much more yet have so much less than you could imagine.
The other one - "The mermaid story" - is inspired by my childhood memories. I tried to recreate fairy-tale illustrations from the book that I've loved to read as a small girl. Half-folklore and half-nostalgic story that visualized my homesickness that I get when leaving my country.
10How has winning an award developed your career?
My goal is to surround myself and my art around more fairy-inspired people but my absolute dream is to collaborate with art galleries.
11Name 1-3 photographers who have inspired you.
Paolo Roversi, Annie Leibovitz and Kristy Mitchell.
12What was the best piece of advice you were given starting out, by a mentor or your role model?
Do not be afraid to make mistakes - it's a part of the journey.
13What advice would you give someone who would like to become a photographer today?
Today we have so much information, opportunities and amazing people around us that are open to the perception of new unique styles. We live in a completely different era where rules are changing every year and the technical accessibility is pretty affordable. Give it a try and don't restrain yourself with any limits.
14What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
My key to success is hard work, pulling yourself out of your comfort zone all the time and get inspiration from everywhere.
15How do you stay in that space of being receptive to new information and knowledge?
Social media can be really helpful with pointing to the directions of new interesting areas.