Khalip was born in 1908 into a theatrical family in St. Petersburg then moved to Moscow. After leaving school he attended the State Institute for Cinematography where he began to take photographs. In 1926, his photograph “Moscow Embankment at Night” was published in Ogonyok and in 1928 he particpates in the important exhibition “10 Years of Soviet Photography” where he receives a diploma paper for his series of portraits of Soviet actors. After 1931 he devoted himself entirely to photography. His photographs were reproduced in such magazines like Kino i Zhizn (Cinema and Life), Soviet Photo, and Krasnaya Niva.
He took photographs for the Soyuzfoto agency, newspaper Pravda, and for the biggest illustrated magazine USSR in Construction. During 1935 and 1936, Khalip actively photographed Baltic Fleet producing famous images like “On Guard. Big Gun,” “Battleship Marat,” “Torpedo Gunner” and “Smoke Screen.” His photographs of Baltic Fleet were used by Rodchenko and Stepanova for the Album 20 Years of RKKA (The Worker’s and Peasants’ Red Army), designed by A. Rodchenko and V. Stepanova for the 20th Anniversary of the Red Army.
During WWII (from 1941-1944) Khalip was a front-line correspondent for the newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda. From 1944 to 1946, he worked for the Soviet Information office. After the war, there were exhibitions of Khalip’s work in Moscow in 1967 and 1968, in Czechoslovakia in 1963, 1965, and 1967, in Helsinki in 1975, and in London in 1960.