In her youth and armed with her father’s Pentax, Helen recalls the thrill of taking her first ‘real’ images and processing them in a disused garden shed converted into a make-shift darkroom. ‘It was a moment of magic’, she recalls and the point when she decided capturing her own images, was all she wanted to do.
At 18, Helen secured her first fully paid job as an apprentice to a small established team of hardened pro-snappers and journalists, supplying images of the Rhodesian conflict to Reuters, the PA, and AP.
By the mid-’70s, she joined her mentor, photographer Doug Dalman, as a studio assistant and darkroom technician, processing roll and large format sheet film, C-types, silver gelatin prints and Cibachromes. Here, Helen began working on ad campaigns for international brands such as Camus Cognac, Kenya’s Tusker Beer, Rolls-Royce, Heinz, and Ethiopian Airlines, with agencies BBDO, Saatchi, Ogilvy & Mather, and J. Walter Thompson.
Relocating to Johannesburg, South Africa, in the early 80’s led to new work for car makers Alfa Romeo and Land Rover with ad campaigns for DeBeers, Edgars and Unilever.
A move to the UK, a few years on, and Helen faced additional challenges, with the running of a London photo agency and stints in publishing, PR, and marketing. As a’ new-kid-on-the-block’, it gave her a much-needed grounding as to how the industry worked. Helen returned to full-time photography, taking up editorial assignments and advertorial commissions for leading landscape industry professionals, interior designers, and architects, on a global level.
Not surprisingly, Helen is a highly respected hands-on creative, a tenacious and skilled team player with a vision to capture great imagery both on location, and in the studio. She regularly contributes to features in leading lifestyle magazines and tabloids and continues to shoot for both commercial and private clients.
Helen is co-founded and curator of the Garden Photographer of the Year competition; an accredited AOP photographer and current chair of the RHS Photographic Portfolio division.