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3 minute read

Photography Through the Eyes of an Athlete

Lanna Apisukh explains how making the move into professional photography has allowed her to explore gender and identity from a different perspective

Lanna Apisukh’s photography journey is a unique one, full of twists and turns. Growing up in central Florida as a first-generation Thai American, photography was just one of her many interests, but not necessarily one she ever considered as a career.

She grew up in a home surrounded by photography, along with family members who appreciated the craft and the equipment that goes along with it.

“No one in my family was a photographer by trade, but my Dad and brother shot a lot of film when I was growing up,” Lanna says. “My Dad especially had all the latest camera gear and my brother shot for our high school’s newspaper.”

Her first cameras were of the 35mm film variety and she saved all her negatives from her school days!

Lanna spent much of her childhood as an elite gymnast on the US women’s national gymnastics team, dreaming of competing in the Olympics. She competed nationally and internationally and earned a full athletics scholarship to the University of Washington. College is where Lanna’s love of photography officially ‘clicked’, as she took art history and photography classes and spent her first time in a darkroom.

Lanna kept her love of photography as a side hobby as she embarked on a career in digital marketing and production in New York City.  As she began shooting content for clients at her most recent job at an ad agency, she realized she could do this full-time on her own. So, after taking several helpful hands-on photo workshops with BKC and going back to school to earn her Certificate in Photography at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Lanna made the leap and began to earn a living through photography.

In addition to her burgeoning photography career, Lanna is very involved in the photo and arts communities. When she’s not shooting for her own clients, she‘s working at BKC, helping with outreach, curating content, and organizing special projects like the Relief Markt print sale that was launched back in March 2020 – supporting artists throughout the pandemic and the charities they care about. She’s also a founding member of Seeing Collective, which is a Brooklyn-based artist group that organizes talks, photo shows, and critiques to build a more supportive and inclusive community within the photo industry.

Some of Lanna’s recent work highlighted by Fujifilm focuses on female and gender non-conforming skateboarders. “As a Division I athlete,” Lanna says, “I’ve always been interested in female athletes, and gender and identity has always been something I wanted to explore more. After retiring from gymnastics, I got more into skateboarding and the culture. I have always loved the independent spirit and creativity that skateboarders embody.”

However, she continues, “There were never many girls at the skate park when I was growing up and even now, it’s still a fairly male-dominated sport – but the space is beginning to change. Every time I go to a skate park, there are at least a few women that are shredding, or learning how to, and it’s awesome and super inspiring. So the work I’m doing now is to document how this space is changing and becoming more inclusive of women, skaters of color, queer, and trans people.”  

When asked about how photography has shaped her life, Lanna felt it has made her more adventurous and really just a better person. “It’s allowed me to make personal connections with people I’m meeting with for the first time and has put me in places I have never imagined I’d get to explore,” she said. “I am also grateful to have photography in my life as it has connected me with my community and has preserved so many memories for me over the years.” 

To see more of Lanna’s work visit:  lannaapisukh.com

Follow her on Instagram @apisukh

What’s in Lanna’s bag? Check out some of her favorite Fujifilm gear:

FUJIFILM X-T2

Number of Effective Pixels
24.3 megapixels
Image Sensor
X-Trans CMOS III with primary color filter
Lens Mount
FUJIFILM X Mount
Image Stabilizer
No
Continuous Shooting Electronic Shutter
Approx 14fps
Continuous Shooting Mechanical Shutter
Approx 8fps
Dimensions
132.5x91.8x49.2mm
Weight
Approx 507g

FUJIFILM X-Pro3

Number of Effective Pixels
26.1 megapixels
Image Sensor
X-Trans CMOS 4 with primary color filter
Lens Mount
FUJIFILM X Mount
Image Stabilizer
No
Continuous Shooting Electronic Shutter
Approx 30fps
Continuous Shooting Mechanical Shutter
Approx 11fps
Dimensions
140.5x82.8x46.1mm
Weight
Approx 497g

FUJIFILM X-T4

Number of Effective Pixels
26.1 megapixels
Image Sensor
X-Trans CMOS 4 with primary color filter
Lens Mount
FUJIFILM X mount
Image Stabilizer
Yes
Continuous Shooting Electronic Shutter
Approx 30fps
Continuous Shooting Mechanical Shutter
Approx 15fps
Dimensions
134.6x92.8x63.8mm
Weight
Approx 607g

FUJINON XF23mmF1.4 R

Lens Configuration
11 elements in 8 groups
Focal Length
23mm
Focal Length (35mm Format Equivalent)
35mm
Weight
300g
Filter size
ø62mm

FUJIFILM XF35mmF1.4 R

Lens Configuration
8 elements in 6 groups
Focal Length
35mm
Focal Length (35mm Format Equivalent)
53mm
Weight
187g
Filter Size
ø52mm

FUJIFILM XF56mmF1.2 R

Lens Configuration
11 elements in 8 groups
Focal Length
56mm
Focal Length (35mm Format Equivalent)
85mm
Weight
405g
Filter Size
ø62mm