My full name is Ilina Simeonova ("ILINA" is pronounced "E-'lee-na"). I grew up in Bulgaria, and after graduating high school, I dreamed of becoming a fashion model. This took me to Paris, and eventually New York, but I had little luck. So instead, I studied graphic design in college, and developed a passion for Photoshop and the Internet. I went on to have a great and fulfilling career as a web designer, and never suspected I'd one day do photography as well.
I began taking photos in 2006 as a hobby, posting my first shots on Flickr. The lively community inspired me and stimulated me to keep improving. A few years into that, I was invited to become a contributor to agencies such as Getty and Trevillion. I discovered that I'm quite passionate about creating images that tell stories and sell products, and found myself building a large body of work. Now, my photos have been used on over 1,000 book covers, and by companies such as MTV, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Microsoft, American Express, ABC, and many others.
In a curious twist of fate, I got to live out my modeling dream as well. I've modeled for many of my own photos that ended up on book covers and advertisements. Life can be strange and wonderful sometimes :)