Hi there! My name is ILINA. Originally from Bulgaria, I now live in NYC, and do design and photography for a living (and for joy).

My New Website!!! - ILINAS.COM

I got intrigued by photography in the summer of 2006 when I took some artistic snapshots with my point-and-shoot camera. Then in December 2006 I bought my first DSLR. Shortly after I discovered the incredibly talented photographers on Flickr, in particular self-portrait artists such as LaraJade, KedraLynn, Quizz and Miss Aniela. I fell in love with self-portrait photography and started experimenting.

Over time through Flickr I started getting interest from agencies and publishers. My photography has since been used on over 400 book covers, and by companies such as Microsoft, MTV, American Express, ABC Studios, Marie Claire, Asiana Airlines... It was also recently published on the cover of The Village Voice!

Some of my book covers:

It's been truly amazing to share my journey into photography with other artists here on Flickr. Thank you all for your support and inspiration! It really pushed me.

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Interested in using any of my photos? You can find some on Getty Images.

Many more "book cover" style pictures are available at Trevillion.

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A small interview >
(It's translated in French, but below the French part there is the original in English).

Ilina S.. Get yours at bighugelabs.com/flickr

View my DNA at bighugelabs.com



What equipment do you use?
Ok here goes:
Canon 30D
Canon 5D Mark II
EF28-135mm lens
EF17-40mm lens
My earliest work was done with a point-and-shoot Canon, I forget the make.
Studio lighting: 3 hot lamps, reflector, green screen, color filters, wireless switch, a flash.

Can I add you as a contact?
Sure thing, go ahead. I should mention though that I don't open my adds anymore, since they are a bit overwhelming. But you do not need my permission in order to make me a contact anyway. Of course it is a compliment to me if you do, so thank you!

What Photoshop filters / effects do you apply on your pictures?
Every picture is different, but I very rarely use filters. I do use gradients, color adjustments, layer blending and plenty of the dodging and burning tool. Sometimes I use more than one image to make one picture (only personal stock). When it comes to Photoshop there is no one solution to it all. Just experiment as much as you can, and online tutorials could be of great help. I cannot recommend any one in particular but if you want guidance on retouching such as "how to smooth skin" or "how to apply texture on an image" just try and google it - I have found this to be the most efficient way to learn new stuff just when you need it.

Photos of ILINA S. (25)

ILINA S.'s favorite photos from other Flickr members (5,378)

Following (1,297)

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Testimonials (19)

  • view profile

    Angelo M™ says:

    "Ilina‘s stream is as famous as flickr. I love surreal atmosphere and minimal location so she is one of my living exemple. Her skills in postproduction transforms a good photo in a masterpiece. Ah she’s so beautiful to stop your breath but this becomes marginal.."

    July 15th, 2009

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    Miss Aniela says:

    "I was first drawn to Ilina's photostream by its rich, robust, ruby tones, and the way in which she featured herself within bold colour palettes that were moving and poetic, yet with a sprinkling of almost Disney-like fantasy.

    Ilina approaches photography from the point of view of a web designer and a former model, with a strong, inspiring processing style. Her progression in photography has been startingly steep over a seemingly short space of time. For me personally, my favourite images of hers feature Ilina as a kind of troubled, bewitching Sindy doll, who takes her own picture with the remote control visible in-frame, making us fully aware that she is controlling the image we see.

    I was chuffed to spend some time with her in New York on a cold day in Dec '08, when I had the pleasure of getting to know much more about her in interviewing her (for a future project) and even shooting some collaborative self-portraits with her.

    Thanks for being an inspiring artist, tour guide, and friend!"

    March 26th, 2009

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    acastleblue says:

    "When it comes to Ilina's work I love to pause and linger for long minutes. On the surface you can immediately sense the smile and invitation, but then looking more closely you find a deeper invitation. An invitation to see with the eyes of your soul as she reveals layer by layer the work that she carves from her soul. Her art is much more than a subjective thing ... more truly and more honestly, it simply is "an always beautiful thing" …and an always beautiful place to be."

    March 30th, 2009

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    jackbritboy says:

    "Wow, i cannot believe that I haven't written any testimonial to Ilina. Man, I must have getting old. hehe. But anyway, Ilina's photos are breathtakingly beautiful. All of them look very well thought out, meticulously post processed. Her color pallet is also very great. She is a true talent!!!"

    August 14th, 2008

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    Pu®e Poison says:

    "What a sweet person
    I love her pics she’s really got talent
    Her style is unique, feminine and lovely
    It’s a pleasure to have you as a contact my dear
    All the best .. :)"

    July 15th, 2008

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    kacholek says:

    ""great. cool. amazing. excellent. sweet. intelligent. beautiful. talented. classy. smart. wonderful. brilliant. splendid. big-hearted. brave. outstanding. competent. sensual. captivating.

    April 9th, 2008

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    Nick Today says:

    "ilina is a constant inspiration. Her photography is nearly flawless and creatively combined with her graphic design skills. Her insights into all sorts of things photography or not are priceless! I don't know why i didn't write this a long time ago. Keep up everything that you do ilina!"

    March 13th, 2008

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    [ninjaphoto] says:

    "In a word . . . inspiring."

    March 11th, 2008

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    Teresaphy says:

    "I have no idea how Ilina is doing this but every single shot in her amazing photostream is incredibly special. The little lovely details makes them special.
    The great thing about her photos is that you can keep looking at them for hours - and you won't get tired!
    Ilina, you are a great artist!"

    February 16th, 2008

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    哭泣的手 says:

    "i have always been expecting her next work! a really sensitive artist..."

    November 2nd, 2007

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    ulibrsrkr says:

    "A totally gifted young lady"

    June 30th, 2007

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    artur.borzecki says:

    "Ilina is very talented photographer, her pictures are amazing in every detail. On her auto-portraits She captures her moods and thoughts perfectly. Completely Delightful person :) I always cannot wait for new shots. Keep it up!"

    June 22nd, 2007

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    leannelimwalker says:

    "A pleasure to browse through these wonderful photographs, by a very beautiful and talented woman."

    June 17th, 2007

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    CHAD COOMBS says:

    "awesome lighting and excellent post work.
    great images all around and amazing self portraits.

    portraits full of mood and amazing eye connection full of feeling and meaning.

    all around hard stream to get out of your head. worth every second spent visiting."

    May 8th, 2007

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    C.r.y.s.t.a.l iS BacK ! says:

    "i adore your work...
    you picture yourself with feelings..
    you're an angel of all time..
    god bless you..."

    May 3rd, 2007

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    mauricio cevallos www.mauriciocevallos.com says:

    "when words doesn't work. There is a Ilina picture to say.
    She is not only a pretty face. She is an artist in a complete meaning."

    April 4th, 2007

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    alan e miller says:

    "A true artist. I enjoy returning to her photos just to brighten up my day. She can take a photo with style, class, elegance, and of coarse with natural beauty and amaze you. Thanks Ilina for your contribution to the world of photography."

    April 1st, 2007

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    I'm:Laurel says:

    "Feminine, beautiful, skilled and creative. To my mind Ilina is the perfect female photographer and model. She is graceful and unassuming.
    Thank you Ilina for sharing what you have!"

    March 8th, 2007

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    Patricio Rodríguez says:

    "An Imaginative, seductive and ethereal goddess who always surprise us with her creativity and glamour."

    March 13th, 2007

January 2006
New York, NY, USA
Designer & Photographer