Helmi Flick went through quite a dramatic “career change” some 7 years ago, when as an an administrator (who loved cats) for some 30 years, she became a cat photographer. You know, it takes a bit of courage to make that step. But we all owe it to ourselves if we can.
It is particularly uplifting to read Helmi’s story when you learn she changed her work from something that she had to do to something she enjoyed doing and has a passion for. And working with Ken, her husband they have become a formidable team.
Helmi says that Ken, encouraged her to make the transition from an amateur to professional photographer. Before that step Ken also helped Helmi make the transition from “film photography” to digital photography. This vital step greatly facilitated the making of a fine cat photograph.
As Helmi says, photographing cats is “an elusive exercise with a very low yield of satisfying results”. Why? Because “The cat is going to do only what it wants to do”. “Zen-like” patience is required and most importantly the ability to seize the moment (and with digital photography you can check if you have seized that oh so precious moment right after you have taken the photograph).
The great photographer Henri Cartier Bresson (the founder of modern photo-journalism and perhaps the best of them all) coined the famous phrase “The Decisive Moment”, which occurs when the elements that make a fine photograph come together for a fraction of a second.That moment needs to be captured by Helmi and as I see it the potential for that moment is created (at least in major part) by Ken Flick through his off camera work.
Helmi Flick’s ability to capture this moment allows the cat’s character to be shown fleetingly in the photograph. Add to that great lighting, animation and the ability to use modern imaging software, and you’ve got a fine Helmi Flick photograph.
Helmi made a great start to her career as a cat photographer at the TICA Thunderkatz Show in Oklahoma City, where she was the show photographer. Helmi and Ken Flick have not looked back. Helmi, mentions two milestones in her career since that successful beginning. Helmi says “When I had only been shooting on the cat show circuit for 15 months, it was indeed an honor and a milestone in my brief career to have been invited last August to be the Show Photographer for this prestigious international event” [2002 TICA Annual in Arlington, Virginia].
And Helmi says “I was doubly honored just a few months later to have been approached by Gloria Stephens, the author of my favorite cat book, Legacy of the Cat, about using my cat photos to illustrate her next book. I very much admire Gloria and have benefited greatly from her friendship and support in the months we’ve been collaborating.”
Helmi deserves her success. When I first contacted her I didn’t know how renowned she was as a cat photographer. She kindly allowed me to use her photographs on this website. I hope those that have visited this website have enjoyed viewing her photographs as much as I do.
Helmi Flick’s photographs are throughout this website, illustrating several pages.
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