How I capture the essence of youth: acclaimed photographer Hellen van Meene talks about her portrait work

Portrait Photography
Greta Thunberg - The climate activist portrayed in Time magazine, 2019. The visually striking green colour symbolises life (Image credit: Hellen van Meene)
Portrait Photography
Hellen van Meene

Hellen van Meene was born in Alkmaar, Netherlands, in 1972 and studied photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. A professional photographer for almost 30 years, Hellen’s work has been exhibited around the world, including at the Guggenheim and MoMA in New York. She received an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Photographic Society in 2016 and won the Victoriefonds Visual Arts Culture Prize in 2022.

Van Meene's photographs embrace an aesthetic of their own, appearing contemporary while at the same time, seemingly being from a different era. Influenced by 17th Century paintings, her work captivates the viewer, while embracing her own visual language. 


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Kim Bunermann
Technique Editor

Kim is the Technique Editor of Digital Photographer Magazine. She specializes in architecture, still life and product photography and has a Master's degree in Photography and Media with a distinction from the FH Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences in Germany. While studying, Kim came to the UK for an exchange term at the London College of Communication. She settled in the UK and began her career path by joining Future. Kim focuses on tutorials and creative techniques, and particularly enjoys interviewing inspiring photographers who concentrate on a range of fascinating subjects including women in photography, the climate crisis; the planet, its precious creatures and the environment.