Helena Cristina Henriques’s images won Silver in the series category. She tells us that “I am very selective about the competitions that I submit annually - when there is work of mine that I absolutely love, then I submit it.”
The image “Amandalicious” is a portrait of Amanda Lepore which was taken for a fashion-art photo shoot in March 2008. “I am very inspired by Queen Elizabeth I and Tudors fashion,” explains Helena. “So I created this project inspired by transforming Amanda into Queen Elizabeth I. We shot it at the gorgeous Paramount hotel in New York City that was decorated by Philippe Starck and I had an amazing crew of wardrobe, makeup and hair stylists who brought in their own ideas and we had a blast with our muse.
“I took my time editing the project because Amanda Lepore is so amazing and I loved everything we shot together,” Helena says. “But Amandalicious was what the project was all about and helped me define the rest of the photo shoot. The image is malicious and sexy. Her eye stares down at the camera - like a beautiful beast hidden inside the skin of a beautiful woman.”
Helena enjoys being part of the LPA. “For me, the LPA defines English taste in photography at the moment,” she explains. “In my opinion, it’s so different from American concepts of photography. I love all that is a defined style with strong choices - that inspires me so much. Its fun to be a part of a community of great photographers.
Helena started photographing at fourteen years old and studied at IDEP, a well-known photography and design school in Barcelona. She was particularly influenced by the classes held by photographer Manel Ubeda who lectured about the meaning and interpretation of photographs. Helena then worked for ten years as a photo journalist in Barcelona and now shoots fashion, portrait, commercial and editorial in New York. She’s shot football player Luis Figo and his wife Helene Swedin Figo, Spanish designer Custo Barcelona, dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham, as well as the art muse Amanda Lepore. Helena also sells, exhibits and licenses her artwork.
She loves watching castings of the shoots that I will be working on. “Everybody that walks through the door has such a distinctive personality and energy,” she says. “Some peep into the audition room as if requesting permission. Some chat away to casting director. Others show portfolios shot at least fifteen years ago. I see gorgeous women present themselves like they are nothing, and not-so-beautiful women walk in with amazing confidence and an aura that fills the whole room. There are also very silent young models, almost too young to be mysterious. People are so unique and equally powerful. I like to sit next to casting director and just watch. I could never possibly decide on a model in the end. Everyone is inspiring.”
Her goal, Helena says, is to develop all aspects of a project from imagination to completion. “I want to see my clients succeed beyond their expectations with their campaign partly because of my photography. I’d like to continue working with great artists: from casting to art direction, wardrobe, makeup, hairstylists, models, retouchers, and friends of the arts. I aim to make the impossible to possible - without too much retouching.”
Photograph caption: Queen Amanda Lepore, March 2008.
Helena Cristina Henriques’s LPA Folio.