Type “Yulia Taits” into any search engine and the Israeli graphic designer/photographer’s name will appear in an array of languages with accolades about her hypnotizing photography project of albino people.
The 11 photographs of adults and children afflicted with the congenital disorder of albinism in her exhibit Porcelain Beauty are mesmerizing, angelic and pure.
“Their unique beauty hypnotizes me. This beauty is so pure and amazing for me, as if it was taken from fantasies and fairytale legends,” Taits writes in her preamble as to why she took upon this personal project. “As a Photoshop artist, I have a passion to create fantasy worlds through my work and artistry. This series was an amazing experience for me because I could create this beautiful photography without Photoshop. What transpired was pure natural beauty.”
She shot her models on white backgrounds and wearing white clothing to accentuate their whiteness.
“All of the photographs were taken in white tones with no additional coloring. I’m excited to prove that white is not just one color! It has many tints, shades and beautiful tones,” she writes.
The world’s reaction to this project has been passionate.
Before November 16, Taits was a relatively unknown maternity and children’s photographer working around Israel. But then upon uploading the project to the World Wide Web, she found an admiring international audience.
Her post on Bored Panda garnered 485,000 views in 72 hours.
“I didn’t expect so many views and shares,” the 38-year-old, who is not albino herself, tells ISRAEL21c. “After I finished this project, I knew it was something unique but I didn’t expect it would spread on the web so fast. In two days, I got thousands of emails from people around the world.”
Albinism affects approximately one in 17,000 people from all ethnicities. In many countries, supportive community groups for those with the disorder help albino people deal with stigmas and discrimination.
In fact, Taits, who was born in Russia and immigrated to Israel in 1995, joined a local Israeli albino forum to seek out models and tell the community about her project idea.
Taits tells ISRAEL21c that she had the idea for this project swirling in her mind for three years but says she didn’t feel “confident enough” to take it to the public during that time. “About six months ago, I felt I could do it,” she says about how she finally set out to make her dream a reality.
“While creating this photo project, I was fortunately blessed with meeting amazing people. I was highly motivated from the support of the models and parents to create this project. Their passion and encouragement attributes to this amazing project. I am very proud of the results this experience has brought,” Taits, who lives in Bat Yam just outside of Tel Aviv, writes in the blurb about the project.
Her aim, she says, was simply to share the beauty of a community often ostracized.
“My main idea is to show people that everyone is equal and beautiful,” she says.