Slovak photographer's love for Big Apple unfolded after taxi boy's "Welcome home, baby!"

Nadezda Tavodova Tezgor made her dream come true in America. Today, she maps the war in Ukraine with her camera.

Tatyana from Lesnoe, near Kharkiv, eastern Ukraine. (Source: Nadezda Tavodova Tezgor)

Outside a war-damaged house in the settlement of Lesnoe near Kharkiv, eastern Ukraine, local woman Tatyana was singing her heart out while friends, neighbours and dogs watched and listened to her moving performance of a Ukrainian song one May afternoon, with shelling in the distance.

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Ukrainians have repelled Russian forces from Kharkiv, though the second-largest city in the country continues to be shelled.

Standing opposite the lady, wearing her helmet and press vest, Slovak-American photojournalist Nadezda Tavodova Tezgor, whose first name means "hope" in Ukrainian, was also absorbed in the power of that song as she waited for the right moment to grab her Nikon camera and take pictures of Tatyana.

“Hope [nadiya] dies last,” the woman told Tavodova Tezgor after she nailed the song.

In her early days, Tavodova Tezgor, 43, might have become a ballet dancer had a ballet teacher not told her that she should not dance due to scoliosis. Instead, she pursued photography – another passion of hers, working her way up to become a war photographer and correspondent.

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Capturing the truth

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