Julia Khoroshilov

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Julia Khoroshilov

Julia is a photographer and visual artist based in New York City (@jkhoroshilov)

Your photos feel very instinctual, spontaneous, and in the moment. Are there any particular elements you generally aim to capture in your work? Or is it more just a gut reaction?

I would agree with you – I do feel that my photos are spontaneous, because they are. I aim to capture moments, which is something you can’t plan, so they’re definitely based off of my gut more often than not. I learned to let the situation I’m in, or my surroundings, point me towards a more concrete direction when I’m shooting.

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For the most part, you seem to photograph people more than anything. Is there a specific reason for that? And what kind of process do you have with capturing people and still having it feel real, natural, and intimate?

When photographing people, to me, there is so much more that goes into it. In a photograph, you’re not just looking at a person, but looking at someone in a space in time, a culture in society, and a human being with a story right in front of you. It’s all about making your subject feel like they can be their complete selves in front of your lens, which is my favorite part. I photograph people because I aim to capture a piece of a story in time, in the best way I can.

How do you feel about flash vs. non-flash, and when do you like to use it or not in your images?

For me, it just depends on the situation. If I feel that it will enhance the surrounding environment I’m in, I’ll go ahead and use it. Other times, I think it’s better without. There are so many ways you can make flash interesting and crazy!

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Most of your work I believe is shot on film. What draws you to use that as your tool for taking photos?

I sort of fell into film accidentally. It was in July of 2016 when I was going on a trip to Asia for a few weeks. I wanted to take a camera with me for fun but didn’t own one and couldn’t afford a “good” digital (camera) either, so I decided to just bring along a bunch of disposables. After that trip, I always had a disposable in my pocket. Fast forward to January 2017, I bought my first camera: a Minolta Hi-Matic AF2 Point and Shoot on eBay. There’s nothing like shooting on film. Besides how beautiful the medium is, it really taught me how to be precise on what I choose to photograph. Which is what I love about it.

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Talk about The Polaroid Project and where that idea came from to take polaroids alongside featuring a written element of people and their dreams across different ages and backgrounds.

The idea of The Polaroid Project came about with me being very uninspired. I didn’t really know what to do with myself, creatively, at a certain point in time. I didn’t own any cameras besides a mini Fujifilm Instax Polaroid, so I thought, “What sort of project could I create to re-inspire myself and others around me by just using that?” Dreams always fascinated me. I started to think about how different people’s aspirations could be depending on their age. As a child, you have bizarre, colorful dreams of the future. The older you get older, the more and more tamed they become (in most cases). Thus, The Polaroid Project was born: an anthology of dreams and aspirations.

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Your website says you were raised in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Was it during this time that you first picked up a camera? Did that environment impact your start in photography?

Actually, I only started taking photos around two years ago. It wasn’t Asbury Park necessarily that impacted me, but the fact that I was raised in a creative household. My Dad is an architect and my Mom is a graphic designer, so as a kid I was constantly exposed to different styles of art. One of the most impactful mediums for me was ballet, which I did for about 10 years. Today as a photographer, when capturing people and things in motion, ballet has helped me understand the form of the human body in an unexplainable way.

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How does now being based in New York City impact you and your work?

I’ve lived here for (going on) four years and the constant mayhem of the city is what inspires me and my work every day. From the absurd happenings on the streets to the many people coming and going, and going and coming... when you merge the chaotic energy with your art, really cool things can happen. New York is like no other place, it’s a magical place that can (also) break you if you let it.

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You have a Diaries section on your website of some different places you’ve been around the world. If you could choose anywhere to go and photograph next, where might that place be?

Ooh… Mexico.

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Where does the “Think Point Shoot” name of your website come from for you and what personal meaning does it have?

I created it when I was only shooting on disposables, so “Think Point Shoot “was a different way that I could describe what I was doing. You think, you point, and you shoot. I still have a special feeling for it.

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What are your thoughts on Instagram? And of this generation or current time of photography overall?

I think Instagram can be a great tool, especially for artists and the developing generation of photographers. It has helped me in countless ways in reaching amazing people and getting opportunities (for example, this interview!).

About a year ago I was working for a director who got commissioned to create an Instagram Story for a huge fashion house in Paris, so just because of an Instagram Story I got to travel there, which is still insane to me. It’s one of the platforms that makes connecting with anyone – and everyone – almost seamless. With that being said, I think it’s important on knowing when to take a break from it, which I’m still working on…

Is there anything you want people to take away from your photos?

What people think about my photos is entirely up to them. Whether they’re ecstatic, outraged, or surprised, I just hope my photos bring out some sort of emotion from the viewer.

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See more of Julia’s work on Instagram:
Or on her website:

Q&A by Jack Sommer

Jack Sommer