Visual Satiation: Elena Helfrecht

Visual Satiation: Elena Helfrecht

Elena Helfrecht is a very talented, self-taught German photographer, born in 1992 and currently based in London.

With her unique point of view, she’s able to evoke extremely tense and powerful images characterized by her peculiar mix of dark beauty, brutal truths and a gloomy tenderness.


Hello Elena and welcome to Visual Satiation! Would you like to tell us a bit more about you?

My name is Elena Helfrecht. I am an artist based in London and will be studying for my Master in Photography at the RCA until 2019.

Very abbreviated my work deals with the human condition and I like to see the camera as an extension of body and mind.


What’s your background, and what triggers the stories behind your stunning pictures?

I did my Bachelor in Art History, so I think this still influences my work today, as I love to visit exhibitions and to collect art books.

I research a lot about psychology, human behaviour and the occult, which all impact my work.

Photography is a method to capture something and look at it with more time and distance, as the camera immortalizes and distils what the eyes overlook.


What’s the process behind your photography, and how do you usually work?

My work originates from the heart, this never changed.

While back then my process of working was emotionally driven and very impulsive (as can still be seen in “The Silent Dialogue”), I work more planned by now and feed those thoughts and emotions with conscious research.

The essential process of photography for me is very close to procreation.

A part of the self is split off and brought forth into an independent existence; the thought develops in the dark, womblike space of the camera, fertilized by light, and is abjected in the end – to describe it briefly.

Making an image involves birthing and killing at the same time: the shutter slices and kills, but the gaze of the beholder revives.

Heart in hands and pomegranate seeds scattered over closed legs
a snail walking on human skin full of cuts

The Silent Dialogue, self-portraits 2014-2017


You’re constantly delivering remarkable images and getting involved in so many projects. How do you keep it up, and which ones are the most rewarding?

It actually doesn’t feel like so much, I always think I should do more, to be honest. Some things just happen, and I constantly have the urge to create.

Most rewarding for me are personal feedbacks of people who are touched by my works or who find a new perspective they didn’t consider before.


Which are your top three pictures so far?

I can’t really tell what are my top three pictures so far, because they all exist in their own right and I can impossibly rank them.

An image that is very close to me emotionally at the moment is “My heart is not a solitary organ.

Open heart over a fancy dress

My heart is not a solitary organ


Besides being an amazing photographer, what’s your other superpower?

Incredibly dark humour and very bad jokes.


What movies shocked you the most when you were a kid?

Das Sandmännchen“ and „Short Circuit“ (both very uncanny).

little man with a long beard, holding a lot of lute, next to a 70s machine, in the background a big TV antenna

Das Sandmännchen

Number 5 shoots with its laser gun

John Badham “Short Circuit“, 1986


What’s the last song you’ve been listening to today?

Glenn Miller “In The Mood”

Glenn Miller


Where would your dream house location be?

Sicily, close to the sea, with infinite money and Cannoli.


Thank you very much Elena, we wish you all the best!

Here’s a picture of this lovely girl & amazing photographer:

ELENA HELFRECHT black and with camera self portrait in front of a mirror

Elena – Self Portrait for Visual Satiation

Instagram: @elenahelfrecht


Facebook: Elena Helfrecht