katya ilina


General: katyailinaphoto@gmail.com



Katya Ilina is an artist, photographer and filmmaker based in London. Her works explore themes of identity, human experience and gender expression. She captures candid impressions that immerse the viewer in the interconnectedness of times, cultures, and facets of the self.

Central to Katya's work is the desire to challenge barriers that divide, turning lens to overlooked stories and imperfect yet universal aspects of our shared humanity. Her images fuse spontaneity with conceptual depth, weaving rational and irrational moments together into revealing, open-ended photographs. Katya often works with women and queer people, emphasizing empowerment, joy and self-determination.

Katya has exhibited in the UK, France, Canada, and South Korea. In 2021, she won the third prize at The National Portrait Gallery's Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. In 2023, Katya's works were published in Portrait of Britain Vol.6 book by British Journal of Photography and Bluecoat Press. She studied Photography at Toronto Metropolitan University (Canada) and University of Westminster (UK).


Awards & Honours

2024  Global Photographic Portraiture Competition “The Human Element", TIME x American Society of Media Photographers, First Prize, Open Category

2023  Portrait of Britain vol.6, British Journal of Photography, Shortlist

2023  Open Walls Arles, British Journal of Photography, Winner

2022  Maria Medeiros Research Travel Award, Toronto Metropolitan University

2022  Roloff Beny Foundation Photography Award, Toronto Metropolitan University

2021  Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, The National Portrait Gallery, Third Prize

2021  The Independent Photographer, Portrait Award, Editor's Pick

2021  International Photography Awards, Honorable Mention (Fine Art, Portrait)

2020  Bennett Entrance Award, Toronto Metropolitan University

Selected Exhibitions

2024 Through Empathy, A Story Unfolds, Der Greif Studio x mirror. Curated by Ozan Turkylmaz and Ilaria Sponda, Brenner Str. 48, Munich, Germany

2024  You is for Unity, Curated by Ashleigh Kane and Daphne Chouliaraki Milner, Photobook Café Gallery, London, UK

2023  OpenWalls Arles (British Journal of Photography), Galerie Huit Arles, Arles, France

2022-2023  International Photography Exhibition 163, The Royal Photographic Society, Bristol/Gloucester, UK

2022  Rosemary & Thyme, Curated by Maria Kanellopoulos, Kunstmatrix, Germany/Canada/virtual

2022  Humdinger, London Gallery West, London, UK

2021  Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize (The National Portrait Gallery), Cromwell Place, London, UK

2021 ROUGHER Film and Digital Media Festival, Dundas Square, Toronto, Canada

2021 MaxEx, CONTACT Photography Festival, Toronto, Canada

2020-2021  International Photography Exhibition 162, The Royal Photographic Society, London/ Bristol/Birmingham, UK

Selected Publications & Clients





Getty Images

Iberia Airlines

Der Greif

The Guardian

Evening Standard

British Journal of Photography

The Royal Photographic Society Journal


2023  Portrait of Britain Vol.6 - Bluecoat Press

2022  Rosemary & Thyme - Self-published

2020  Night Shift - Self-published 

Public Collections

The Royal Photographic Society, UK

Toronto Metropolitan University, Special Collections & Rare Books, ON, Canada

Using Format