Inspired By Helen Van Meene

Dutch portrait photographer Hellen Van Meene is well known for her portraits of mainly young girls taken using a film SLR camera. Meene works very technically with light to focus on her subjects in the cold crisp environments she uses. Meene says she specifically chooses subjects who have never modelled before and who aren’t particularly attractive as a challenge for her to give them beauty in her portraits. Describing one of the girls she found in her neighbourhood to photograph she says, “she’s just a girl who’s a bit too chubby, a bit giggly, a bit nervous and insecure”, personally I really like this element to her photography as there are so many well known portrait photographers who just cast beautiful models for their photographs. This approach to photography really appeals to me rather than ultra glamourised fashion photography.

My Interpretations

For my interpretations of Meene’s work based on the photograph below, I used my camera’s flash to control the light where I was shooting these photographs at night. I decided to do this as Meene’s work is very much about the use of light and it plays a big part in the picture I took inspiration from which has a dark background and the subject is very lit up. I also made sure my subject was not looking directly at the camera like in Hellen Van Meene’s photos and I put a blue filter over my photos to give that cool temperature that Meene’s photos have.

So far all I have used is natural lighting in my photography so I decided to try using the flash on my camera for my Hellen Van Meene inspired shots. Like my previous photos I have still used nature as a main component of my portrait photos just to see how the use of an artificial light affects the photos. Personally I really like the results, I know that using proper lighting rather than my camera's flash will have a much better affect on the quality of my pictures but as an initial experiment I really like the way it works with emphasising my subject and her features picking up colour and form rather than texture.

1 comment:

  1. Knockout photographs Emily, The flash really adds something to the image. Katie has pale skin naturally but the flash seems to bleach it out even more. Your blog overall is really good full of excellent imagery and very good reflection on the nature of image making.I forgot to say that the flash images are very Hellen Van Meene .