Friday, 23 February 2007

Hellen Van Meene interview goes live.

Image © Hellen Van Meene - Courtesy of Schirmer/Mosel

In late 2006 I had the great experience of interviewing renowned portrait photographer Hellen Van Meene. She was a fascinating articulate person with great thoughts and opinions about her craft. So much so that I had to do the harshest edits I've ever done in an article. That or it would have been three times as long as my editor would like it!

Hellen's work focuses on teenagers, mostly young women, who are on bordering on adulthood. The images have an almost otherworldly quality. She discusses the reasons for this and how she approaches her work in my article. I've included an excerpt of below as a taster. The full article can be found here on where I work as Professional Photographer Portfolio Editor.

Hellen felt part of her talent as a photographer was to draw something more out of her models something from within them. She felt sometimes this meant strong direction of her models which often means having to ask them how to pose or how to look. Guiding them through the process. Her description of this was dramatic referring to it as "like sculpting on a living soul" She feels a strong responsibility for her models and the look she gives them as she has chosen them in the first place for qualities they are perhaps unaware they have at this point. She adds after pausing for thought "I try to get the best things out of them. If it means I have to turn her around or anything else, it’s my responsibility and that is a big challenge every time. It’s too easy to make a photo of an insecure girl. I mean…there’s nothing in it. It’s much more of a challenge to take an insecure girl and change her into Queen Elizabeth. That’s more difficult".

I really hope you enjoy the article and as always if you have feedback, suggested photographers to interview or would like that kind of exposure yourself please drop me a mail.

Hellen's Book is available from Schirmer Mosel Publishing. I have my own copy already and am delighted with both the content and the print quality.

Previous interviews on

1 comment:

Paul Indigo said...

It's an excellent article. Thanks for your insights. A jolly good read.