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Photographer Yulia Gorodinski

Based in Israel, the English Litt student here talks to Dazed about self-portraits and her love of melancholic images

Yulia Gorodinski lives in Israel where she recently completed her masters in English Literature. Besides speaking three languages she also served two years in the military, which she hated. It was only in the past two and a half years that she began taking photos and has accrued a plethora of followers through her Flickr account. Since then she has appeared on the American Apparel site, had art exhibitions in Spain and London. She was also just featured in the recent issue of New York Arts magazine. We chatted with the somewhat shy Yulia to get her take on her art.

Dazed Digital: Where are you from Yulia?
Yulia Gorodinski:
I was originally born in Belarus, Russia but immigrated to Israel when I was 12.

DD: You served in the military; did you learn how to shoot guns?
Yulia Gorodinski:
Yes, I did. I hated that part. I was a secretary. Can’t say I liked being in the military that much, two years is too much, if it was one year it might have been more bearable.

DD: Is it true that your mom doesn’t know about your following on Flickr and that you have amassed interest from around the world for exhibitions and interviews?
Yulia Gorodinski:
Yes, my mother doesn’t know about Flickr (laughs), she knows I take photos, but she doesn’t know about my nude photos. She knows partially about exhibitions and interviews, basically I only show her the ones that do not contain nudity.

DD: How and when did you get interested in photography?
Yulia Gorodinski:
I became interested in photography in 2007 while doing grad studies in History and English Literature. My attention was drawn to photography through Flickr. This medium captivated me instantly and I felt that I wanted to start taking photos as well.

DD: So it was kind of, ‘if they can do that, why can’t I?' type of attitude?’
Yulia Gorodinski:
Exactly. I realised that with a relatively good camera and Photoshop I can take professional looking photos of myself.

DD: Can you explain what type of photos you take and why?
Yulia Gorodinski:
My work consists of self-portraits. I am the model and the photographer and I do the post processing on my photographs as well. Most of my self-portraits are autobiographical; I like to convey my feelings through my photos or what I have been going through in my life at that time. I like the whole creative process involved. Also when I feel lonely I like to take photos it makes me feel better.

DD: Do you ever shoot other models or people?
Yulia Gorodinski:
No, I really wanted to at first, but I didn’t have anyone to shoot. Also, I found when I did find someone to shoot I couldn’t get the right expressions from the models that I wanted. Doing self-portraits gives me complete control over the photo I am working on, and how it is going to look like. I love the experience of the whole process, going to locations especially isolated one’s, be with myself and create, it’s my own beautiful world that is precious to me.

DD: What are the nature of most your photographs?
Yulia Gorodinski:
I would say the nature of most of my photographs is melancholic.

DD: You are very brave to take these photos in public during the day, wouldn’t you agree?
Yulia Gorodinski:
I guess so? If I see a certain location that I think is very cool, or I have a specific idea I have in mind, and there is somebody there, I will shoot regardless. I won’t see these people again most likely, so I don’t mind.