Shortly before the holiday break we met Julia who visited Berlin this time only to enjoy the popular Christmas Markets and to taste the seasonal spirit. We talked to Julia about her Scandinavian styled Instagram account @jularif, her present projects and future plans.

Julia is from St. Petersburg, Russia but currently lives in Antalya, Turkey. A polyglot, she speaks several languages. Amongst them Russian, Bulgarian, English and recently, she started to learn German as well.

She is speaking quietly, a bit shy from the spotlight but always a smile on her face. Slowly, she takes us on a journey to her projects.

A professional lifestyle portrait photographer, but lately she’s also been working for restaurants and assisting with food styling, design and creating social media content.

Picture with two tortoises and text "no hurries, no worries" on polaroid postcard

one of the cards we created with @jularif

This is not her first trip in the unfairly nicknamed Grey City. When asked what brings her to Berlin, her humble smile broadens and she reacts with enthusiasm, “Berlin is almost my second home now. Only in the last six months I was visiting many times even for a longer period. I love big cities and this place really suits me, the people, the vibe. Last summer, I participated in a film making course and later, I came back to take part in the shooting process. It was an unbelievable experience, a dream came true”.

Julia got interested in photography as a teenager using her father’s Zenit camera and taking portraits of her friends and school mates. However, she didn’t think back then that one day she would be a professional, almost totally forgot about it. Then, she set up her first Instagram page @julka8484 and she dived into B&W pictures. That is when she started considering to set foot in the magic land of photography: “I really got into the composition, I started to read a lot about techniques. I was really hungry for it, I was absorbing all the knowledge.”

In her B&W account she mainly posted more geometric and graphic pictures. “It is mostly because in Antalya I miss architecture. Then I was always searching for subjects that somehow remind me of the big city.”

However, since five years she posts as @jularif where you mostly find Scandinavian lifestyle pictures,  bouquets snapshots and portraits of her sweet daughter, Sophie. “When I had my daughter I also wanted to take more homestyle, lifestyle photos and share it with the community. I was so much into it, I wanted to learn to shoot these beautiful images, to capture the moments how we celebrate life. Throughout the photos you can see Sophie growing up.”

When she talks about what photography means to her, she says it is really entertaining and even doesn’t take it as a job. It is the process that she really enjoys; from the communication with the clients, through the shooting until the very end, the post-editing. “I could not imagine my life without it.”

When we are talking about Instagram and what the platform means to her, she explains that lately the account is not as active as it used to be because of her busy schedule. “When I started with my first Insta-feed, I participated in many B&W contests, there was a big B&W community back then, it was really amusing. With @jularif I also received a lot of support from fellow lifestyle Instagramers because, at first, it was challenging how to do lifestyle photography. There’s also many people from all over the world, with lots of inspirational accounts such as @confettis, @foodstories and @kristinrogers just to name a few of my favourite ones.”

About her future plans, she really considers to try herself out also in the art of film making as a film set photographer. “I really think that I could see myself in this direction, insomuch that I will probably apply for the so called Cinematography Education department at the Film University of Babelsberg in Potsdam.”