PDN names Eric Helgas in “Top 30 Photographers to Watch” list
MICA Photo alum, Eric Helgas (Class of 2012), featured in PDN Magazine…
MICA Photo is proud to announce that alum, Eric Helgas (2012), has been featured in PDN’s annual list of “30 New & Emerging Photographers to Watch” for 2017. Here is the text from PDN.com about Eric, and his work:
“Eric Helgas has long been a fan of reality television, but he’s less fascinated with the lifestyles or the characters it presents than the facade itself. “I feel like I have a critical eye and I’m interested in looking beyond the constructed images of media and fashion,” he says.
Many of his conceptual still lifes and portraits are influenced by manufactured TV realities, and using bright light often helps him execute his vision. “It adds an artificial element. The idea of a set becomes way more apparent when there’s a blatant use of light,” he says. “I think the use of flash adds a performative quality to the work.”
Helgas began working in photography as a studio manager and assistant for Ryan Pfluger in New York. During that year, Helgas started marketing himself beyond social media by sending postcards to about 15 photo editors. “I was reaching out to people I thought I could actually make pictures for,” he says.
About a week later, a Bloomberg Businessweek editor called him to do a shoot that night for a story about what was then called the Apple iWatch. He shot an iPhone taped to a friend’s wrist.
He left Pfluger’s studio a few months later, and began emailing editors to request meetings. That effort led to work from The New Yorker, and other clients followed.
“Eric’s photographic style is unique because of the way he’s able to reimagine the familiar into something that feels slightly offbeat, unexpected and, therefore, striking and new,” says Siobhán Bohnacker, senior photo editor at The New Yorker.
Bohnacker sees Helgas as a “grade-A troubleshooter” who understands that images have to fit the esthetic style of her magazine. Bohnacker says, “He’ll push the subjects, the publicists, whoever it might be, to give him a little something extra.”