interview interview advent

Interview Advent Day 19 : Helen, WhatsTheHelen

12/19/2017Jake Ryan

Helen is a travel and lifestyle blogger currently living in Bali. Helen has managed to turn her love for Bali and photography into a way to get sponsored content creation jobs. I recently asked Helen a few jobs about her life in bali and her photography. 

Hey, Tell us a little about yourself. 
I'm Helen, @whatsthehelen
I'm originally from Ukraine and my passport name is Olena which you can translate as Alyona (in Russian, this is how all friends call me) I'm Helen (in English, this is my international name), so it's usually a bit confusing for people. 

I'm turning 24. I moved to Bali 9 months ago because me and my boyfriend just couldn't forget about our first trip to Bali at 2015. So happy here.

I see you’re currently based in Bali, how is Bali treating you?
Bali is my happy place. I call this island - An Endless Celebration of Life. Feeling myself blessed to meet the most creative and passionate people here and enjoying the weather as well. Excited for a tropical Christmas and New Years day as well. 

What’s your favourite thing about living in Bali?
Weather, food, people and... Magic! Bali magic is something you can only understand after staying here for a while.

What is your favourite area of Bali?
Berawa area to live with so many healthy food places and beaches. And North of Bali for travelling - untouched spots and the best waterfalls are here. 

Your photos are absolutely stunning, did you study photography?
No, never. My boyfriend takes photos of me. He's a self taught photographer who's still learning. 

What equipment do you use?
We bought our first camera only 4 months ago. It's Nikon d5200 + 35 mm lens and Nikon 10-24 mm lens. 

What advice do you have for someone wanting to start out in photography?
PRACTICE! And rush to get an expensive camera at first. Try to learn angles and editing with the equipment you already have, even an iPhone works. I got my first 6,000 followers and my first modeling jobs with using only iPhone pictures. 

I see you’ve visited some other amazing destinations. Where is your favourite place you’ve travelled to? 
Maldives for 1 week getaway with your one and only, it's a perfect place for photography as well. And Singapore is also a favourite. 

How do you fund your travels?
Me and my boyfriend created online shops back in Ukraine and we still manage them online. We also get modelling and content creation jobs now. Also we collaborate with Hotels, so we get complimentary stays for 2-3 days in exchange of content and Instagram posts. 

What is it about travelling you love so much?
Food! Just kidding... 
It was a dream of mine when I was younger, so now when I can afford it and also share it with my love - it's the best feeling. I'm also trying to get the best deals for the budget we have - it's like a challenge for me which is pretty addicting. For example the previous time we got flight tickets to Maldives for only 200$ and a Huge discount for our resort. 

What/Who inspires you?
So many people! But I'm trying to concentrate now on where I was 6 months ago or let's say 2 years ago and motivate myself by my own achievements and changes. 

And finally, what are your plans for the future?
Traveling, learning and growing. Planing to do what I love, to build my portfolio, to overcome fears and challenges and to have fun of course because I'm young and free. Maybe moving to US for 3-5 months next year. Building a villa in Bali would be nice in the future, I would like to play a designer a bit and have my second home in Bali.  

Thanks Helen for speaking to TravelFoodFilm

Follow Helen on Instagram - WhatsTheHelen

All photos in this post belong to Helen. 

Did you miss day 18? Catch up here - Joel Thorpe

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