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October - Helena You.

Helena You became involved in photography while working as an art director for an advertising company in Korea. Most of her clients were Korea's leading brands in fashion and cosmetics. In 1996, she moved to New York City where she focused on photography and pursued it as her career. She strives for strong and powerful images, yet ones that are feminine and sophisticated, images that have a romance to them but are consistent with her modern aesthetics.

I grew up in Seoul, Korea and became involved in photography while working
as an art director in the 80s. My work at an advertising company entailed creating the ad basis for photographers, providing visual ideas and among our clients were companies working with catering, fashion and cosmetics. I found camera very responsive to impulses I couldn't quite verbalize; I pointed, clicked and it showed me wonderful stuff! Since I moved to New York City in 1996, my companion has been my Hasselblad 503 CXi.

I love watching the various colors of the sky around this city, looking at great art works whether in a museum or on a side street and drawing new ideas from all this. Having photographed cosmetic products frequently in my early career, I can definitely relate to creating funky fashion shoot.

When it comes to fashion I am very inspired by the designer John Galliano.  When I see his show, I wonder if any of his following shows will be better than the one I see; he never fails to surprise me with his new concepts. To me, he is a fantastic story-teller, who creates a dream world filled with fashion. I have learned that the most important part of a job is the very beginning -  the concept or inspiration. I sketch this out, exploring the ideas further. Then follows the organization and coordination of the equipment and then the gathering of participants or objects necessary for a shoot.

As a personal project I like photographing some of my friends. I dress them up as if they were fashion models and create a fantasy so very different from their real lives. My friends get a kick out of it as much as I do! My latest project is photographing "over-size" people. It has been challenging to find willing models for this. When they look at my photographs of them, most "over-size" models seem to focus on how big or odd their body shapes are...

The Hasselblad camera is unique and the square format offers flexibility in framing or creating various compositions.  It is also great for detail. I have a couple of 35 mm cameras, which I use less and less since I have started using a larger format. I use 35 mm for outdoor portraits; it is just convenient to have 36 frames.
I prefer shooting with film to digital. It takes longer for the developing process and scanning but still I enjoy the moment of surprise when the films are developed.