Russian-originating New Yorker Yulia Zinshtein is probably on the move right now as you read this. Asked to keep a month-long photo diary by The Editorial Magazine, Zinshtein came back with pictures from Paris, Amsterdam, Montreal and Burlington.
Everywhere she goes, the photographer seems to find new muses. Those muses are not always women. They are always people who hold your gaze for a duration that becomes more comfortable the longer you look. Keep at it for a bit, and you’ll have the sure sense that these muses have been looking back at you for the past half minute or more, and a connection has been established.
Like any worthwhile human interaction, making that connection takes practice. Stretch out your observational skills on Yulia Zinshtein’s homepage, and build up your powers of being observed on her Instagram.
The Skeeve: What role has travel played in your photography?
Yulia Zinshtein: Traveling was a part of my life growing up and moving around to different countries. It’s how I found my interest in photography; it’s a way to connect with my surroundings and the people I’ve encountered on the way.
The Skeeve: Is there a difference between shooting people who are your friends and other people?
Yulia Zinshtein: Yes, it’s like hanging out with a bunch of your friends or a bunch of strangers. I lean toward shooting my friends more because there’s something special I see in them, but when I have the urge to shoot a stranger, a lot of the times they become my friend. I like building a connection either way, even if it’s for a moment.
The Skeeve: Why photography?
Yulia Zinshtein: Why not! To be honest, I didn’t think I was good at anything else. I only now got the confidence to start writing again and shooting videos!
The Skeeve: What do you hope for going forward?
Yulia Zinshtein: As a 20 something year old in New York, I feel like this question comes up a lot. I would say I’d hope to work with physical objects more than ever. I definitely plan on shooting a lot more videos, making small publications, and hopefully putting on a solo show but also curating with other artists. I’m actually curating a show with two other artists (Seema Pejman and Ebba Pero) in New York called “Dreams Come True”!
The Skeeve: What is great about the last three places you’ve lived?
Yulia Zinshtein: I think about the highlights of each place as the people I met there more than the places themselves. The people of the city always make the place for me. Moscow was home to me; so it will always be great because of that. The people are so blunt and straightforward that it may come off as cold. To me, it’s just being really honest. Milan was filled with the warmest, funniest people I’ve met. You could be sitting at a bar alone, meet someone, and end up going to their family’s house for dinner. And Paris is aesthetically so beautiful there’s nothing like it. Nobody can compete with a French girl.
All photos copyright Yulia Zinshtein.