photo by Chanelle Nunn Barona
A Brief History 
        I was born in Latvia during good ol’ Soviet times. I was delivered to Brooklyn, NY at the formative, tender age of 9. My extra curricular activities included music theory and my focus was high academic grades. I skipped third and ninth grades and took college courses in high school - a psych major.  People were impressed by my reading speed. I was in the 99th percentile in my math citywide tests. I read about UFOs in the school yard and drew animations of our teachers with my friends, while reading science fiction books in math class, and absorbing both subjects simultaneously. 
        The original plan was to be an astronaut, and then I settled for accountant or lawyer, maybe a psychologist, until twelfth grade. I needed an extra class that fit my schedule and chose photography on a whim. My first photos were of police officers blowing bubbles out of chewing gum and that’s when I realized that: 
        A. Asking nicely can yield fun results, and art is a cool way to connect with people.
        B. Everyday life can be like a lucid dream .
        C. I can make statements that might change perspectives.
        D. Laughter and innocent pleasure are fabulous forms of medicine.
          I enrolled in Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, which is one of the most intense, tough, technical, commercially geared creative universities in the country. At any given moment, there is at least one student crying from overwhelm - if only I was kidding.  Setting my expectations low, I went in to learn how to become a fast-talking, motorcycle riding (not really), “standard” commercial photographer who would methodically eat photoshoots for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A professor told me that to become good, one must make photography their religion. I scoffed. Then I got really into it. Thanks to almost 20 years of experience with photography and about a decade with film, I am versed in being both a one woman whirlwind and/or an enthusiastic team player, as well as most genres/styles of film and photography. 
          As I continue to whittle down what makes me stand out from the sea of photographers, I consider how I can contribute with my academic merit. I like math and the sensation of learning something new, and I want to share that in a fun, effective and innovative way. I am especially drawn to commercials, which can embody absurdism, psychology, and a hint or more of education. 
"On The Bubble" - the beginning. 
Self portrait while capturing a stop motion sunrise time lapse for "Another Day Alive." 
Long Exposure self portrait while capturing a stop motion walkthrough of Coney Island in Brooklyn, NY. This is not a Photoshop composite, it's a 20 second exposure with an initial flash to capture me in the background. 
Behind the scenes of Midori's performance, and the day I faced my childhood fears.
With my Nikon FM2 35mm film camera - Photo by Najva Sol
Luxuriously Bathing in Paperwork. Photo by Renat Zarbailov
This is my version of the view from 2 Columbus Circle; Museum of Arts and Design in NYC has some of my favorite surreal design. I also worked there as a photographer in the Education Department.
On set of "Dreamers" - Photo by Kaya Bailey
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