This body of work was influenced and started when I connected with Christine Shevchenko, who's a Principle at American Ballet Theater in New York. I've always had an interest in photographing ballet and when the opportunity came to connect with Christine, I was thrilled. I first spoke with her via FaceTime at 3am as she was in Hong Kong preforming. We spoke for over two hours. Her story not only inspired me, but also resonated with me as she immigrated to the United States at the age of 6 with her mom, just like I did. Even at that young age, she already knew she wanted to be a ballerina and told me everything she had to sacrifice to make it happen. Becoming a Principle in ballet is as rare as making it to the NFL or NBA without the mainstream glamour. Christine was determined, focused and knew her destiny despite the odds being against her. That's where I was inspired to come up with name “Destined for Greatness” for this body of work, and I had to not only work with her, but tell her story.
We shot for 3 days straight and the first day we worked 12 hours together. I did reportage photos of her practicing, portraits, and wrote & directed a short narrative about her story. After working with her, I wanted to continue this body of work and connected with Joseph Walsh & Sasha De Sola, both Principle's at San Francisco Ballet. They both had similar stories to Christine, and it felt appropriate to also include them in the “Destined for Greatness” body of work.
This is personal work and what I love creating when I only have to answer to myself. I love diving into all creative aspects. I created visuals on 8x10 large format film, 35mm black & white film, digital 35mm, wrote & directed short narratives as well created motion posters. This is an on going project that I plan to continue expanding as there's still so much more I would love to do. I lose sleep with excitement just thinking about future shoots for this body of work.