Ivanova Lyudmila Sergeyevna born in 1955 in Kavalerovo, Primorsky Krai, where her mother, a fine art restorer from Leningrad, had got a job. In 1970, she enrolled at the Orchestral Department of the Leningrad Regional Cultural and Educational College, where photography was taught alongside other subjects. In 1973, she was assigned to the House of Culture in the town of Taitsy, where she first worked as an instructor, and after the birth of her daughter in 1976, as a staff photographer. In 1975, she graduated from the Department of Photojournalism of the Worker Correspondents’ University at the Leningrad House of Journalists. In 1979, due to the financial difficulties her family faced after the birth of the second child, Ivanova enrolled at the machine operator training course and subsequently began working as an operator of a portable compressor, which she did until 1987. In 1982, she began attending the Zerkalo photo club as a non-member. Her work was influenced by the oeuvre of Boris Mikhalevkin. In 1983, she went to the Pskov region, where she took baptism and began shooting the life and activities of Christian Orthodox congregants. In 1987, she took part in the 5th Exhibition of Zerkalo’s Achievements, was awarded the bronze medal for her photo series Khram (Church) and admitted as a member of Zerkalo. In 1988, her Orthodox series won the gold medal at the All-Union VDNKh exhibition.