Russian-born freelance photojournalist Ksenia Kuleshova has a curiosity for stories that has led to a flourishing career. She began her professional life in public relations in Moscow before changing direction in 2011. "Photography was never my dream," she says. "It wasn't love at first sight. I studied and worked in public relations but felt trapped, so I thought, 'What can I do?' I decided to move to Europe and chose Germany." Upon enrolling on the Photojournalism and Documentary Photography course at Hannover University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Ksenia set out to learn not one but two new languages – German and photography.
The 32-year-old Canon Ambassador, who also took part in the 2017 Canon Student Development Programme, has since been published in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and is now working towards a Master's degree in photography at Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts. Her career trajectory, even as a student, has been shaped by unique personal documentary projects that have resulted in awards such as the 2020 W. Eugene Smith Grant for student photographers. Here, Ksenia discusses her career path to date, and shares her insights on how to succeed in the field of photojournalism.