HOW VISUAL IS YOUR BUSINESS?

They say that photography is one of the most powerful and effective communication tools we have. This is why my mission is to empower you and inspire you to use and embrace the visual language to create dialogue and change in the world. Both for you…And the people you work for.

The question is… what is the best path for you?

No matter what fits you, I´m here to create these photographs, to give you the advice and strategies you need to focus your power, potential and purpose into the right visual focused action, so you can work with your business that expresses who you are, what your stand for…and change the world in the process.

My work is influenced by my education with Royal Court Photographer Rigmor Mydtskov, best known for her life-long collaboration with Queen Margrethe II, from 1999 to 2003. My personal approach is influenced from my education at the Danish School of Art Photography, Fatamorgana in 2004.

The fact is that we are uploading more than 1,8 billion images online every day. How do YOU stand out visually?

That´s where I come into the picture…

I can help you to create a strong visual expression of who you are. Reinforce your identity with personal portraits, stories and education. Because in today’s world that´s the only way to cut through the noise of billion pictures and actually be heard. That’s how you become a visual magnet. That´s how you make an impact.

Right here right now, you have the opportunity to reach people around the world – people who are waiting to hear your message, support your case, people who’ve been searching for someone like you to help them solve a problem that they can’t solve on their own.

When you build your visual identity with strong and relevant photographs, when you become aware of the power of images, then you can affect others with your message, move people and shape the world through it.

Gain control over your visual power.

MY STORY

My hearing has been poor since early childhood. Periodically, sounds and voices around me minimize, making me feel like I am in a glass case, without the opportunity to escape. In these periods, the outside world almost dissolves – my dreams come closer. I become a spectator of life and the people around me. My awareness of the surroundings increases, creating a kind of intensity in the glass case, where my thoughts can freely appear and form their own life. From this place, I try to look at, investigate and explore what surrounds me. Pictures have become my way of telling about and looking at the world.

In 1999, I was apprenticed to Photographer by Appointment to her Majesty, Rigmor Mydtskov, as her last trainee. She was 74 at the time. However, that was only after a ruthless trial period, where she tested me, both mentally and physically. Some nights I woke up with a racing heartbeat from fear of what she would put me through the following day. Those were years where I found myself in a constant process of trials and education, not only as a photographer, but also as a human being.

As the reviewing of photographs went on, I sat there, my heart in my throat and tears pressing behind my eyelids, for I had never delivered such a bad photo. However, it slowly dawned on me: Morten talked about my picture, but in reality, he talked about me. He saw everything. With appealing accuracy, he told how I felt on the inside and who I was as a human being. It became the year where I photographed anything but portraits, but tried many different things. I played, experienced, and constantly tried to give all of myself in the photographs I produced.

Training with Rigmor was never boring, but also not entirely without problems. She placed unbelievably heavy demands, not only on herself, but also on the people who worked for her. Although the time with Rigmor was exacting, it was always intense and full of humour. I learned so many things from my years with her. Most importantly, I believe, discipline and endurance, but also photographic artisan knowledge and routine. The crucial part, however, was learning about the psychology in photographing people and understanding the light.

After having been an apprentice to Rigmor for 4½ years, I was very much in doubt about what I really wanted to pursue with my photography. The obvious choice was, of course, to open a studio and start as a portrait photographer, but it did not feel right for me. I needed to do something other than photographing people, and I missed a space to experiment with my photographic expression and my storytelling. For many years, I kept track of Fatamorgana, and was attracted to the personal and often expressive way of working with photography.

I was admitted to Fatamorgana. From the very beginning, Morten Bo was overwhelming, wild and intense. I went through a photographic cleanup that year, in which I often felt stripped, naked. It was scary and liberating all at once. The first task we were given was “Photographing a stranger,” and Morten chose a dark and blurred picture of mine. I could not believe it. Through my years with Rigmor, where I focused the Hasselblad for her, the films were subsequently checked on the light table, and if there was a blurred picture, I was not popular.

As the reviewing of photographs went on, I sat there, my heart in my throat and tears pressing behind my eyelids, for I had never delivered such a bad photo. However, it slowly dawned on me: Morten talked about my picture, but in reality, he talked about me. He saw everything. With appealing accuracy, he told how I felt on the inside and who I was as a human being. It became the year where I photographed anything but portraits, but tried many different things. I played, experienced, and constantly tried to give all of myself in the photographs I produced.

The years went by, and I established myself as a photographer, built a clientele, and continuously created my own projects and exhibited around Denmark and abroad. On the outside, everything seemed fine, but chaos reigned inside – it was difficult to keep it all together. To be married, become a mother, be ambitious, self-employed and have a child who did not sleep much at night, living in a housing cooperative that was going bankrupt and with a husband, who worked ceaselessly in the film industry.

Four years ago, I was divorced and found myself alone with a child to support and the challenge of making everyday life work for him. Shortly after, I became ill and was hospitalized for 14 days with face paralysis and speech difficulties. I was treated and discharged with a 4 months sick leave and a rehabilitation plan. When I returned in the Spring of 2015, I was very much in doubt if I could reestablish my business and manage to make a living of what I love most: to photograph.

My overdraft was glowing dark red, several of my regular customers had found other solutions, and there were virtually no tasks on the horizon. I did not sleep well, and experienced palpitations and excessive thinking from fear of how was I going to get by. However, for the first time in many years, during my sick leave, I had a break to think about my skills, about what drives me, and about establishing a stable foundation in my life by setting these into action. I love to teach and I decided to develop further my many years of experience in facilitating workshops and giving lectures – and into building a platform of online and physical workshops for professional and budding photographers.

I decided that I wanted do it! That fear should not get the better of me. That it was possible if I took one small step at a time. The idea was that I had to translate one thing into action every single day to get closer to my goal. By focusing my attention to this on a daily basis, I slowly began getting assignments again, and my online platform evolved. So I continued, and month after month, I have been able to track progress. It requires constant attention, focus and immersion to make it happen.

My photographic foundation is now deeply rooted in the way I learned to look at images at Fatamorgana coupled with the artisan tradition and knowledge of the classic portrait photography from Rigmor Mydtskov. I photograph because it is a necessity. To me being a photographer is to be a human being in society. The potential of the photograph is that it is able to ask questions that society or we are not always able to ask. With our pictures, we can create the necessary dialogue that can open for a broader understanding of what it means to be human.

This is why I use the photograph to explore life, investigate reality and create insight, and to tell stories about it. To strengthen, inspire and create dialogue in society. I do this by creating authentic and personal portraits, stories and exhibitions for my customers.

And I train and educate photographers in using and working with photography focusing on developing a personal voice in your pictures, visualizing your identity and creating a strong visual impression. I teach you the various tools and methods and give you the individual sparring needed to define your photographic skills and help you develop in the direction you want to pursue. I help you create a strong business foundation so you can live off your photography and gain freedom, focus and immersion in your work.

MY MISSION

I use photography to empower, inspire and create dialog in our society.

By doing so, I try to affect and change our way of perceiving and how we perceive the world. I do this through the creation of authentic and personal portraits, stories and exhibitions for leading-edge clients; such as Minister for Children and Social Affairs Mai Mercado, The Danish Government, The National Audit Office, Council for Socially Deprived, Danish Red Cross, and many more.

I also train and educate people in using and working with photography focusing on developing the use of the visual language through a personal perspective. I have worked with hundreds of participants through workshops, mentoring and lectures (link til nyt vindue til undervisning), where I enhance the ability to express your personal voice in your photograph and create a visual impression through your work.

It is a necessity for me to work with photography. To me, being a photographer means to participate as a human being in our society. Therefore, I use photography to explore life, to investigate reality and to create insights, contact and tell stories about it – whether you are a director or homeless person.

Read more here.

WORK WITH ME

PORTRAITS

Are you a director, self-employed or an artist- and do you need a strong personal portrait? A portrait that shows your face externally – and expresses your integrity, professionalism and power?
Make demands towards your portrait – and get a professional portrait that is more than a stereotypic and shallow image. – Let it be a strong tool in your communication.

I can help…read more here

CONSULTING

Do you want to gain visual power to influence and move people, find their identity, and create enduring photographs that will long outlive the “trend-of-the-moment”?

Get help to
• Make a visual communication strategy and specify your message
• A visual storytelling on your or your organisations personal story (Lindevangshjemmet, Diakonissestiftelsen)
• Annual reports, (State Auditing Office, The Institute of Human Rights)
• And much more…

It´s time now…read more here

EXHIBITIONS

Are you tired of the grey hallways and impersonal offices of your organisation or company?
Give some soul to the surroundings, create dialogue – and strengthen your message with a photographic exhibition that expresses your identity and core values.

Do as Minister for Children and Social Affairs, Mai Mercado…see more

EDUCATION

Do you want to master the language of photography?

Photography is one of the most vital and effective tools of communication existing in today’s world. It is way for you to express yourself and show how you relate to and interpret the world. But if you wish to do it effectively, you must master the language of photography. I offer a range of different types of workshops through out the year, which help you to express yourself through your photography.

Get professional assistance to work determinate and creatively with the development of your photography through different workshops.

Learn more…

TALKS

Book a live talk

Step into the living univers of photography…get insight and new perspectives.
Choose between different talks as De Rodløse, Fra idé til værk or Body of Desire.
Book a lecture with photographer Helga Theilgaard, whom inspires and motives.

Read more…

MEET MY TEAM

Helga Theilgaard 
Founder and photographer

Helga is a photographer, who works with photography as a method to create dialog in the society. Through portraits, exhibitions and education, Helga uses the photography as a strong visual language in order to create insight, contact and to tell stories about being- whether you are a director or a homeless person.

Read more here…

Michael Elmkjær Madsen 
Retoucher and image specialist

Michael has a passion for photography and he believes in the unlimited power of images to influence and move people. As an image editor and retoucher his core competence is a deep and wide understanding of what makes pictures work and how to make an impact with strong, poignant visuals. Take a look at his work on www.fruit-imaging.com.

Søs Hansen
Head of communication

Søs is a visionary, passionate and professional communicator working with storytelling, branding and PR. She combines strategy and creativity, people skills and her holistic approach for integrated communication. She believes that communication is all we say, see and do – and has the power and the stamina to make her ideas come to life. www.soshansen.dk

Frederik Kruuse
Assistent

Frederik has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration & Project Management from Copenhagen Business School. His conviction is that effective visual communication used correctly will allow you to not only convey a message and a sensation or feeling clearly to an audience, but also create a unique position for you or your brand in their mind.

TESTIMONIALS

‘…really takes hold of you’

‘Helga really takes hold of you when she photographs a portrait. You can be ever so anxious and focused on all the reservations and inhibitions you bring to the studio, but she has the ability to remove that preoccupation and evoke different moods and expressions that show – or rather epitomize – you. She questions you closely, but due to her highly professional skills it is legitimate, and the intimate work never gets intimidating.’
Lisbeth Bjerregaard Jacobi, Producer, Hotel Pro Forma

‘…has shown great empathy and understanding’

‘Helga has delivered photographs for Hus Forbi, portraits as well as reporting photos, for many years. In that context, Helga has worked with homeless and socially marginalized people. She has been outstanding when it comes to capturing their situation in pictures and conveying the moods from places and environments that vulnerable people frequent. In her dealings with homeless and socially marginalized people, Helga has shown great empathy and understanding.’
Poul Struve Nielsen, Editor, Hus Forbi

‘…what I want to present to the world’

‘How do I want to present myself to the world? Dear photographer, help me look strong, look good, look like I can conquer the world. You are the one who in a glimpse bring about what I want to present to the world. You turn me towards the light, or you set the light on me and it changes my face. You ask me to think about something specific and my eyes change. The others do not know what I was thinking. If they knew.’
Kirsten Dehlholm, Artistic Director, Hotel Pro Forma

‘…you will be listened to from the heart’

‘At its best, portrait photography is the result of an artistic process. The photographer has a sincere curiosity towards, what it is that you contain inside, and may be processing inside. And you tell from the heart, because you will be listened to from the heart.
This is how the best and most experienced photographers are able to capture something that you did not know that you contained within yourself. This is why I like Helga Theilgaard. And this is why I, again, chose her with the task to find my contemporary expression.’
Pernille Bøge, management counsellor

‘…in a very sober and solidary manner’

‘Helga is strong. She takes pictures of shabby, living people on the edge. In a very sober and solidary manner, she leads us into a world that most people are afraid to approach- or even see.’
Tom Gottfredsen, head director HK Statbladet

‘…have learned how to be photographed’

‘I have learned HOW TO BE PHOTOGRAPHED! Which in my professional life has been a huge benefit. I used to fear the camera, with the result that it was never kind to me. But now I face the camera, and can present my best self.’
Susan Goldstein Associates, director

NEWSLETTER