The Photographer

A labour of love
By Gustavo Exposito
Born in artistic environment, surrounded by great influence of her family, becoming a photographer was not a big surprise for Helen Navajas.

She was born in São Paulo in 1976, daughter of a famous local painter, Naldo Navajas and Solange Fortes, his wife whom by the time was a full time mom. Naldo was very popular in the city where Helen was raised, Ouro Preto, in the state of Minas Gerais.

Through her life, Helen Navajas never left aside her artistically vein, as in 2003 she graduated in Drama / Theater university. Little after, Helen moved to Paraty, a historical city in the southern coast of Rio de Janeiro, a bohemian paradise with a great artistic scenery. There, Helen managed a monthly magazine for tourists. That’s when the passion for photograph started.

Helen self taught herself in English, so then she would be able to study with great photographers, such as Claudine Doury Agence VU), Francesco Zizola (10bPhotography), André Cypriano and Izan Petterle (National Geographic). Meanwhile studying photography, Helen has worked as a graphic designer, in order to comprehend the full aspect of image, nevertheless her passion was always being behind the camera.

In 2010 Helen went to Córdoba, Argentina to study photography with the great Anibal Mangoli. There, she also managed to learn Spanish. From those times, a group was created called Untitled Document, which composes most of the experience gather under the teaching of Anibal Mangoli.

The year next 2011, Helen moved to The Netherlands, after a long distance relationship with her Dutch boyfriend, whom she met earlier in 2008. While in Holland, she had the opportunity to study with the north-american photographer from California, Jim Gamblin. Her final project under his taught was named Inner Child, which was very well received.

Today, Helen continues to do what she loves most: photograph people. She has also developed an unique style, which allows her sessions to be very creative and free. Helen’s passion can be noticed in the amazing and fun work she delivers, a great labour of love.



Helen Navajas by the lenses of Matchima Konin

Academic Background 

Advanced Photography – With Jim Gablim
FOTOGRAM – Amsterdam, 2011

Portraits with natural light – with Daniel Magalhães
At Escola de Imagem, Belo Horizonte – Brazil, 2011

Lighting – with Anibal Mangoli
C.E.F. (Centro de Estudios Fotográficos) Córdoba – Argentina, 2010

Photo Documentary – with Gabriel Orge
C.E.F. (Centro de Estudios Fotográficos) Córdoba – Argentina, 2010

Narratives of Documentary Photography – with Claudine Doury (from Agence VU)
September 2009 – 5th International Photo Festival, Paraty (Brazil)

Language, Instinct and Ethics in Photojournalism – with Francesco Zizola (from 10bPhotography)
September 2009 – 5th International Photo Festival, Paraty (Brazil)

Documentation and Authorship – with André Cypriano
September 2009 – 5th International Photo Festival, Paraty (Brazil)

National Geographic Challenge in Brazil – with Izan Petterle (National Geographic)
September 2008 – 4th International Photo Festival, Paraty (Brazil)

Photography and Citizenship – with Orlando Azevedo
September 2008 – 4th International Photo Festival, Paraty (Brazil)


2012 – Kids Collective Art Exhibition
The Bank – Amsterdam, Holland – October 2012 to April 2013

2007 – Travelling in Brazil
The Soda Gallery – Dallas, TX – EUA – October

2006 – 2nd Artists Festival Paraty, Collective Photo Exhibition
Cultural House of Paraty – Paraty, RJ – Brazil – April to July

2005 – Collective Photo Exhibition
Cultural House of Paraty – Paraty, RJ – Brazil – May to July

Highlighted Assessments

Subsponsor at the Waterdamkamp Volendam 2015
Volendam – Holland

Photography coverage of TomTom Employees Rembrantplein Office, for the TomTom Summer Fair Exhibition 2013, Amsterdam – Holland

Photographer and Post Production Editor at First Productions and Events
Córdoba, Argentina – 2010

Photographer at the 1st and 2nd International Movie Festival of Paraty, Brazil
2008 and 2009

Photographer at the Annual Catalogue of Tribo dos Pes 
2006 – Paraty, Brazil

Graphic Designer and Photographer at the Annual Art’s Catalog of Paraty
2006 – Brazil

Main Editor, Graphic Designer and Photographer at Paraty Dia e Noite (Trilingual Monthly Tourist Guide)
Paraty, Brazil – 2005 and 2006

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