Helena Exquis is one of our favorite photographers. We found her through tumblr and fell in love with her dreamy work. Last month, we teamed up with her and did a shooting in the downtown Bacelona with our TIME MACHINE collection. Here are the photos and the interview, let’s get to know Helena and her world.
Hello Helena! Can you introduce yourself a little?
Hello! I’m Helena Exquis, fashion photographer from Spain. I’m from a little town in the north of Spain (Oviedo) but nowadays I live in Barcelona.
How long have you been taking photos and what’s the initiated your passion for it?
I’ve always been interested in art, but when i was a teenager, a boyfriend lend me his father’s analog camera, so the magic happened. When I picked up my first roll of the laboratory, I couldn’t believe that I’d taken those photos.
Best thing happen so far from being a photographer? Any interesting story?
Being a photographer brings me some lovely opportunities of working with bands that I love (I really enjoy taking promo pictures of the bands!) and to meet a lot of interesting people. But my favorite history is about the last Meadham Kirchhoff fashion show: I went to the show with my friends of Miss Robin fashion fanzine, without any invitation (sometimes if the show is not full, they let in people in without invitation). They let us get in and we started to run to the inside, thinking about seeing the show at the last rows, but someone of the organization, saw me with my camera, and placed me in the FRONT ROW. I’m a huge fan of Meadham Kirchhoff’s works so I couldn’t believe it <3 I was totally nervous at the first, beckoning my friends at the last rows. They were saying “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING THERE?” I took some powerful pictures and had a very happy moment. You can seen the at the MissRobin website.
We noticed you particular interested in girls portrait? What to you try to say from your work?
I think I’m interested in girls portraits because I been surrounded by women my entire life. I’m the daughter of a single mother, and I have a lot of aunts who are part of my everyday life. I grow up in a some-kind-of modern matriarchy, haha.
So I think to portrait women is something natural for me, I obviously take pictures of men a lot but I’m exploring femininity at this moment.
Obviously this have a lot in common with myself and my own thoughts, when I portrait someone, even a friend or a model, they always have something of myself in them.
Could you share the ideas of the shooting with us? (the one with JumpFromPaper) What’s the store behind it?
Well, when you guys asked me to make a shooting, I think that would be nice to take a look to Barcelona. Maybe the shootings are collections of moments in the life of a girl of Barcelona: going to the film library, walking through the Raval, hugging the Botero’s cat statue… (laughs)
Best thing about Barcelona? How does the city inspire you?
Barcelona is a special city, with very good vibes. I’ve met a lot of good people and artists here and I found my happiness too. But maybe the town is a little too hot for me in the summer!
Share some secret hidden places in Barcelona you like with us!
Maybe my favourite secret places are the “bodegas” that are spread all over the town, a kind of typical little shops where you can drink some homemade vermouth (a kind of wine perfect before lunch). Also I usually buy comics and zines (I’m a big fan of comics) in Fat Bottom, a little bookshop in Raval (carrer de la lluna, 10), they make exhibitions of local artist. I love eating my lunch or breakfast at Granja PetitBo (passeig the sant joan 82), a modern cooffe shop with a really good homemade food <3
A typical day?
In the morning, when I don’t have a shooting, I usually work in the postproduction of my pictures or go to the gym. After lunch, I work in other projects beside the production of my photographs, like a webcomic called “nice girls don’t” (http://nicegirlsdonot.tumblr.com/) that I do with my friend Mia de Milazzo, my fanzine “orfidal”, or I use to hang with my friend, and usual collaborator Helena Gorogoro, at her studio. I love to go out and party!
In the summer, I usually spend my days in my hometown. It’s a place surrounded by nature and I love go to the beach or the mountain when the weather lets it (it’s a very rainy place too!).
Personal obsession recently?
My obsessions are always about the same kind of things ( 60s, music, coloured hairs, pop culture…). But at this moment mi current obsessions are: Pink lingerie, the seeds, having a new tattoo, making a shooting inspired by the valley of the dolls.
Your role model and why?
I was writing something like “I can’t called anyone a role model” but… JOHN WATERS. I love his sense of humor and his form of making art, and what he says about it and how he came from the underground, and how he´d arrived to make his own stuff.
All time favorite image?
OH-MY-GODNESS , what a difficult question! Maybe this one by William Eggleston, one of my all time favourite photographers. Or maybe one by Nan Goldin, or Meyerowitz, maybe one of the Tarkovsky’s polaroids… I don’t really know!
Where can people find you and your work?
In my website http://www.helenaexquis.com and my blog http://www.helenaexquis.blogspot.com/ also I’M A INSTAGRAM ADDICT http://instagram.com/exquis and usually I write my last news about my works on my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HelenaExquispag