Interview: Horror & Conceptual Photographer Elena Helfrecht

Interview: Horror & Conceptual Photographer Elena Helfrecht

Incantations V (The missing piece) (Interview: Horror & Conceptual Photographer Elena Helfrecht on CrispMe)

The talented 21-year old hobbyist photographer from Germany has done a great job at producing some really powerful images, which have quite a message behind them.

Please read the interview, and do check her out on:

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Incantations V (The missing piece) (Interview: Horror & Conceptual Photographer Elena Helfrecht on CrispMe)


Q1. Can you tell us about yourself, and just how you decided to get into photography?

Incantations V (The missing piece) (Interview: Horror & Conceptual Photographer Elena Helfrecht on CrispMe)

I think it was not a real decision. I got the old digital camera from my dad and started experimenting, starting with photographs of nature. At first I really hated the idea to photograph humans or even myself, somehow the pictures didn’t seem “pure” to me back then. Later, that changed, and I found it really interesting to capture emotions and atmosphere. That’s when I started to stage my ideas.


Q2. Where does most of the inspiration for your images come from? Do you browse other “Horror & Macabre” photographs to find inspiration as well, or does it mostly come to you through different means, such as life experiences?

I don’t purposefully browse other pictures for my ideas. It is a lot more spontaneous and emotional. Somehow a nearly primitive and instinctive process. As I study “History of Arts” I have to say I am influenced by what I love naturally, Gottfried Helnwein and Floria Sigismondi for example, but that’s not the only thing. Most of my photographs are not planned.

In a twisted mind (Interview: Horror & Conceptual Photographer Elena Helfrecht on CrispMe)

It’s like a flash going through my head and I suddenly feel the urge to capture it as soon as possible. It also happens that I plan certain shoots, but that happens only rarely.


Q3. Most of your images are categorized in the field “Horror & Macabre”. Would you rather not categorize your photographs as “Conceptual” considering the message they may be trying to convey.

To be honest I don’t really care where people want to sort my pictures in. I just put most of them in “Horror & Macabre“ because I think that’s where people will look for this certain aesthetics and in order to that they will find the images easily.

Looking for a soul (Interview: Horror & Conceptual Photographer Elena Helfrecht on CrispMe)

Of course they are also highly conceptual, but I don’t think the one thing excludes the other one. There are many adjectives you could use for my work.

Liar (Interview: Horror & Conceptual Photographer Elena Helfrecht on CrispMe)


Q4. As an artist, do you feel that your images do an adequate job at visualizing the concept behind it, or the message you wish to convey through them?

Existence (Interview: Horror & Conceptual Photographer Elena Helfrecht on CrispMe)

I hope so. Of course I can’t say or know that. For sure I try my best to evoke emotions through my pictures, but in the end it always depends on the beholder. I can’t judge my pictures as I think I am biased as their (pictures) creator. They are my children somehow. Also I think I am quite blunted when I work hours on one picture.

I don’t care about anyone following my intentions in every photograph. What really fascinates me about art are the many different perspectives in one simple artwork so there is no right or wrong interpretation, just many different realities. If anyone sees something else in my work in accordance with his/her experiences I am fine with that, that’s a beautiful thing. What is most important to me is just pure emotion, that’s the only thing I really try to achieve with my work: to make people think and feel.


Q5. Being a long time follower of your work, I take it that you underwent some surgery to remove a tumor. Do you think that had an impact on your photography? If yes, how so?

It definitely had a huge effect on my personality and in order to that also on my photography. The narcosis was a horrible experience. It was my first time and I really hated the feeling of losing control of myself and my life. I couldn’t do anything against passing out and when I woke up I thought at first I was in the morgue. Turned out to be the anesthetic recovery room, luckily. But I had to ask to find this out. The operation itself was no problem – but the narcosis was.

From that moment on I was thinking more of dying than ever before. I am really afraid of losing my consciousness and ask myself a lot why we live and what sense all this makes.

Also I felt I had to give something back in order to have such a luck. I mean, it was a benign tumor, so nothing too dramatic, but I wanted to give people strength and hope from my experience. That’s the main reason why I documented all this. Just to show nobody is perfect and everyone has to struggle with something. The important thing is simply not to give up.


Industrialized Mind (Interview: Horror & Conceptual Photographer Elena Helfrecht on CrispMe)


Q6. What camera equipment do you use?

I use a Canon EOS 600D and a Tamron 17 – 50 mm, F/2.8.


Q7. Is there any inspirational quote you would like to share with our readers? Maybe some phrase/maxim that you strongly believe in.

It may sound a bit stereotypical now but I really think that the most important thing in order to achieve your dreams is to: Never give up, no matter how hard it will be. Nothing is impossible.

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