You know that friend of yours who somehow attracts all the good fortune in the world like a magnet, and therefore leaves you to feed off the remnants of whatever prosperity’s left, as if you’re an emaciated dog fending for measly table scraps? Well, Frederike Helwig is that friend, only way more successful.
The German-born photographer, who was ostensibly predestined to make it, first started receiving photo assignments while still in college. And no, she wasn’t being hired by her school to shoot Johnny Football throw some 40-yard pass or some other amateur shit like that. Rather, her first gig was for i-D Magazine, which instantly propelled her into the big leagues; she was already shooting for mags like Dazed & Confused and Vogue by the time her peers were proudly celebrating their first internships. All the while she amassed a loyal clientele consisting of the heaviest of the heavy: Nike, Adidas, you name it.
But it’s not like she wasn’t, or isn’t, deserving of the success. Her photos, which effortlessly blur the line between documentary and fashion, are instantly accessible, yet highly refined – glamorously stylised without being phony. Her concepts are always super simple, but each photo is so full of life it’s incredible. In other words, they’re what most would call “perfect". And by most, I mean the people who consistently commission her chops: GQ, Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Teen Vogue, just to name a few.
So perhaps the lesson to be learned with Ms. Helwig isn’t that some are fortuitously predestined for success, it’s that some are just inherently better than others. Well, shit, I guess that does mean some people are predestined for success. If you need me, I’ll be cursing God for not making me one of the so-called “chosen ones” like Frederike Helwig.
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