Interview of Marlin Helene by Sophie Pellegrini

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m an 18-year-old high-school graduate. I’m interested in environmental protection and work in environmental protection in addition to attending school.

When did you get started in photography?

I got a little digital camera for my 12th birthday. But the first good pictures I took were when I was 14 with my SLR-Camera in Switzerland.

Why do you enjoy photography?

I always was a creative person and tried different types of art. For a long time, painting was how I expressed myself. Now I dance and photograph. Shooting is a perfect thing to capture the feelings inside of me or feelings I have for something. I think people can get to know me better by seeing my photographs.

Why do you choose to shoot in film?

I started with analog photography at a school workshop, where we learned to develop black and white negatives. I fell in love with the process of shooting and developing. You are so concentrated, you take care in shooting, because you have a limited numbers of pictures. Also the colours and the mood of analog pictures reflect my feelings in a more authentic way. It’s like an addiction, once you try it, you cannot stop. But in such a positive way.

A lot of your portraits are self-portraits. Why do you enjoy this? Tell us a bit about the self-portrait process.

Most of the time I just have me and the camera and nature. But taking self-portraits is also a kind of therapy. Other people write in diaries and reflect on themselves in that way, but I take self-portraits.

And I like it because of the difficulty. Most of the time I shoot with analog manual focus cameras and it takes a long time to get the right focus on yourself since you can’t look from behind the camera. Also I try to express myself with my photos, and the best way to do this is to show myself.

Who are some of your favorite artists that inspire you?

Charlotte (Sophie Charlotte) and Kathi (acoat), two friends, inspired me with photography. But I don’t have any particular famous people as role models. I saw a lot of awesome pictures in museums, in magazines, and on Tumblr and I wanted to photograph in this way. And then I started.

If you could give your 13-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Be yourself and be proud of who you are! Express the feelings you have inside. The truth is always the best way. Don’t let yourself be influenced by people and things that aren’t really fit to you.

List some things in life that fascinate you.

I love the power people can have when they fight for the same good thing, like the environmental protection movement.

And the expression of feelings with no shame or fear, showing the true personality fascinates me.

One of my strongest inspirations is deep connections between people. I love these soulmates. Intimacy gives me so much strength and self-confidence, from family and with friends.


Marlin Helene

Marlin is an 18-year-old student from Northern Germany and she looks forward to finishing her final exams this summer so she can finally do what she really wants to do. Marlin loves nature and tries to protect it as much as she can. She’s also in love with analog cameras and photography. Follow her on Flickr.

Sophie Pellegrini

Sophie Pellegrini is the Co-Founder and Artistic & Creative Director of Ramona Magazine for Girls. She is a 25-year-old photographer and wilderness therapy field guide in Colorado. She loves crafting, playing acoustic guitar, 90s music, the smell of summer, making lists, a good nap, cuddly animals, and the cold side of the pillow. Follow Sophie on her website and on Instagram.

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