Member Spotlight: Beatrice Helman

1. Whats your favorite camera & why? 

My Mamiya 645 medium format camera is my favorite, despite how particular and finicky it is, and despite the fact that it usually breaks on me at the worst times ever, the large rectangular negatives are so beautiful and so clear and for some reason let me get close enough to the subject of the photo in a way that’s intimate and familiar. And I love the chunk of it - it’s super heavy, but I love the whir and purr and feel of the machinery.

2. What type of photographer would you describe yourself as/how would you describe your photographic style? 

I’m definitely a moody photographer. I like feelings, I like trying to understand how I feel through the things that I make, and so I’m almost always somehow trying to understand my inner life through my outer art. I’m in graduate school for creative writing, and stories and photographs have always been completely intertwined in my brain for as long as I can remember. Fiction doesn’t exist without photography, for me, and vice versa. I prefer projects, or even singular photoshoots, that feel like they’re telling a story, however small, and even if it might not seem so, I always have some narrative in my head.

3. Whats your dream photo shoot? 

My dream photoshoot is a recreation of my parents wedding, white lilies, white gloves and all. They’re divorced, but my mom still has her dress, and for my birthday I begged them to just let me have one project revolving around them this year. Fingers crossed it happens! I’m fascinated by their relationship and it’s definitely one of the largest influences in my life, personal and professional.

4. Whats the longest you've spent on a project/most in depth you've gone? 

The longest I’ve ever spent on a project is probably a few months, but usually projects start to collect and brew in my brain for a few months before they happen, so in total six months probably. I usually fill pages and pages of my notebooks with ideas and research, so it really takes a while for ideas and photographs to come to life.

5. How long have you lived in Bushwick/Brooklyn/New York?

I’ve lived in New York since 2010! I went to college here and stayed.

IG @beahelman