Helen Warner: The Drama, The Mystery, The Story

Originally published on Visionary Artistry Mag with photos here: http://www.visionaryartistrymag.com/2015/11/helen-warner/

At first glance, Helen Warner’s photography is striking to say the least. Take a look at the hair, make-up and wardrobe, and suddenly you realize how dramatic it all is. Sure, with Photoshop this would be easy to create. However, the Northern Ireland photographer’s work is completely unedited.

That’s right, what you see in the picture was created from scratch on the scene. The images are chimerical and dark, and sometimes those ideas are hard to get across to the models. “It does make it a little difficult at times, but I have been lucky to have great models who understand my vision. It’s all about the direction you give. I sometimes act out what I want them to do, which gives everyone a good laugh!” Warner told VA Mag.

Warner’s ideas are not usually concrete, which causes the artist to have do a lot of experimenting. However, she is somehow able to grab hold of these ideas and molds something brilliant. “I usually start off with a very vague idea and let it develop on the day. I can be quite scared of my own imagination; I let it do its own thing and never try to pin it down with definite sketches. An idea can go in a completely different direction on the day; I’m a great believer in leaving a lot up to chance,” Warner said with Frame Discovery, a blog that showcases and interviews photographers.

In the photographs, fabrics swim away from the models’ bodies. Their hair and make-up often look like something from the Victorian era – stark, pale and a little unnerving. All of these details turn Warner’s photographs from just pictures into stories. She reveals that she always wanted to tell a story, even though the artist started out making short movies. “I was interested in making short films, but realized I could tell a story with photography whilst taking storyboard photos. I enjoyed it so much that I continued in that direction,” the artist explained to VA Mag.

When working with ideas so grounded in fantasy, inspiration comes from just about anywhere and everywhere. She lists landscapes, designers, and music as some forms of inspiration. “Inspiration is everywhere when you keep your eyes peeled!” Warner said.

It’s evident that the artist isn’t bound by any one type of inspiration. Even specific places can give Warner ideas and get those creative juices flowing. “Locations can be a great source of inspiration. If I see a place I like, I usually end up taking a picture there. I’m lucky to have many great landscapes on my doorstep in Ireland,” she said in an interview with Frame Discovery.

Warner was fairly new to the photography arena when we first discovered her. She began taking pictures seriously a few years ago, but works hard to keep up her passion for photography. She constantly produces new, fresh work, proving that she can hold her own in the industry. “It can be hard, but if you get your work out there, stay connected with people and have a genuine passion for what you do. Anything is possible,” Warner explained.

She also has some advice for those who strive to pursue photography: “Experiment! Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, get your work out there, connect with other photographers and have fun with it,” the photographer said with VA Mag.

You can check out more photographs by Helen Warner on her Facebook page:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Helen-Warner-Photography/143818538967215. As you’ll be able to see on your own, all of her photographs are carefully crafted and created to make a captivating story. Warner’s work shows that she has an eye for the dramatic, which has already made a name for herself as an artist.

-Geneva Toddy


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