I am a fashion and portrait creative photographer in the D.C area. I was born and raised in Los Angeles and currently attending college and working in management. I am 20 years old and love shooting both in digital and film. I capture because I love snapping moments, getting to know a person through my lens, telling a story and seeing people happy and inspired when they see themselves in my photographs.
Our readers would love to get to know you more Helena. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
I am a female photographer who is working to break the current norm of male photographers in the fashion industry. But I am also a woman of color who was raised in a culture that doesn't see art or photography as an acceptable profession. I want to let people know that anything is possible, its okay to follow your dreams and be happy doing what you love.
Helena, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?
I've always known that I wanted to work in a creative field because I've always loved art and valued artistic expression. I picked up my dads film camera when I was 13 and was instantly in love with cameras. Getting to learn photography through film taught me so much. It taught me patience, how cameras work, that "mistakes" are okay and how beautiful photography is in film. I would love to one day work for a fashion/lifestyle magazine while also shooting for people who want to have portraits taken of them that will last forever.
Who is your inspiration in life Helena? How do you keep inspired?
I have so many inspirations in my life from people I just meet randomly through life, to places I visit and my biggest drive would have to be myself. No matter what, I'm the only person that can motivate me and push me to keep on working and produce content I'm proud of.
We all make mistakes Helena, we wish we could take back. Please tell us about a time being a Photographer , you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
The beginning of this year is when I really pushed myself to collaborate with local creatives and get my photography out there. So of course, it's all a learning curve when you put yourself in a position to work directly with someone. I've been fortunate enough to work with amazing bloggers, friends and people who contacted me to work together. But in the beginning, I wish I set firm pricing on my sessions rather than offering to work for free just because I was a "beginner". I think its so important to believe in your work and be a boss on setting business strategies for your photography even if you are a photographer just doing it as a hobby.
Helena ,when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Photographer, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
I always prioritize my clients based on chronological order. I make sure to space out my shoots and deliver images within 24 hours of shooting. It shows how dedicated and serious I take my work. Clients always appreciate quick turnarounds when it comes to receiving their photos and gets them coming back for more!
Please tell us Helena, about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?
Besides photography, I work full time and go to school so being strategic is key in being successful! I shoot when ever I have a day off from my other job, before shifts and even during lunch breaks. I've learned to stay on top of everything by having a clear vision of what I want my future to look like. There are days where I have two or three shoots so making sure I edit and deliver the images on time is very important.
Helena, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
I find it really fun to see people's reactions or comments on a photo. Its interesting to see how they view the image or their thoughts about it. I love asking people where they think a photo was shot or how I got a shot. I had someone ask me what an image of bokeh lights was from and she was so shocked to find out that it was from a Christmas tree. She told me that if she were ever to take a photo like that, she would have thought she took a bad photo but she realized its all about perspective.
Helena please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share to everyone. What is it and why?
A few months ago I was scouted by an artist agency to showcase my work in D.C and that was definitely a moment I won't ever forget. For people to respond to your work and reach out to either work with you or in this case ask to participate in a show is the best feeling as an artist. I always try to produce work that strikes a feeling within myself and then I know that someone will feel the same way about the image.
Helena, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
With being a fashion photographer, finding ways to be creative and different can be difficult. As a creative, I have to be quick with finding solutions to problems whether it be about lighting, styling or directing. I've worked with people that aren't very comfortable in front of the camera and it can be difficult to break through and capture images that best reflects them. But find what works for the client, use music, scout locations that makes them comfortable and be patient.
What advice would you give to the people who wants to be successful as a Photographer?
I would say to be consistent with your work. Never stop shooting and creating!
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Yes!! I am open to working with fashion models& brands
Now for the best part Helena! Please upload 5-10 photos so we can get to see your work.
Photographer: Helena Tewolde @helenatewoldephoto