FSD: How long have you lived in San Diego?
Helene: I have been in San Diego for about 3 1/2 years.
FSD: Where are you from originally?
Helene: I was born in Edmonton Alberta, Canada and graduated from University of Victoria, British Columbia, with a BFA and Honors in Photography.
FSD: Tell me about your business?
Helene: I am a fashion and destination photography specialist. I have shot for fashion magazines in LA like Flaunt, 944, Genlux, Black Book, and have been featured in several European Avant Guard fashion publications. I have shot the cover of magazines around the world, from Nostika in Mexico to Pacific in California and most recently Destination Wedding Magazine. I frequent the pages of San Diego Magazine among many other Southern California editorials such as Exquisite Weddings and The Knot. Last year I was happy to receive the award for CANADA'S BEST CANDID WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER by Wedluxe Toronto.
My company Booty Boudoir is a branch of my wedding and fashion photography which attracts a lot of new brides, moms, and wives looking for a perfectly spicy gift for their love interests and themselves! We provide a full team of hair, makeup, art direction, and of course, the best fashion stylist in San Diego, Vanessa Valiente, is a part of my glam squad. Booty Boudoir is based on the principles of female empowerment, and I am currently touring the world promoting my specialized posing and empowerment techniques to beginner photographers, models, makeup artists and creative professionals on the right ways to set up your company for success.
FSD: How would you describe your personal style?
Helene: In terms of my wardrobe, I am inspired by people with personality and culture. I would rather start a bad conversation then no conversation at all when networking. Playing it safe is not an option when you work in the fashion industry. Controversy and adversity are key points to getting attention, and when you work for yourself you cant expect to promote your self if you are boring. I find San Diego to be completely stagnant and predictable. That is why I have to leave every week to see that people don't wear board shorts and flip flops to the bar in the rest of the world. Put in some effort. You deserve it and so do the people looking at you. When I meet someone who says they work in fashion in San Diego, sometimes I ask myself, really? That should not be my first response. I approach people all the time who have unique style here and congratulate them. I say, "How refreshing it is to see you today! Thank you for being you! "
FSD: What is your worst fashion memory?
Helene: I am so proud of all of my desperately stupid outfits. At least I wasn't ever boring. That would be a huge mistake- to blend into the masses! I am honored to say I have worn a thong bikini to the standard pool and I loved shaving my name into the side of my head with my fashion mullet proudly blowing in the wind. I am and continue to be a hot mess on a regular basis.
FSD: What article of clothing or accessory do you plan on buying next?
Helene: I plan on buying a new pair of pointy black flats as my last pair died. And a European cut tuxedo suit.
FSD: Any down low fashion advice or secret shopping scene you want to share with FSD readers?
Helene: Secret shopping: Off 5th, Last Call. My advice is not to follow trends, its a waste of fabric and money. Don't be visual clutter. Stay away from non-permanent riff raff like American Apparel and Urban Outfitters, unless you are under the age of 16. If you spot two people wearing the same outfit or accessories as you, it's time to revisit what you think is so unique about yourself. If you are clueless, hire a professional.
FSD: Sheesh. What is your favorite part about living in San Diego?
Helene: The weather and that I don't have to pay $25 to valet my car at whole foods- I can run errands efficiently. I have a great husband who doesn't want me to change and loves all of my lovely lady lumps, and that is not something that existed for me in L.A.
FSD: Where is the most random place you bought something stylish in San Diego?
Helene: Is that an oxymoron like military intelligence or tax break? Ha. Just kidding... garage sales here ROCK! But, I furnished my first apartment by dumpster diving in the Beverly Hills. I am not afraid to get dirty and dig for some gems.