Helen Cawte documents weddings across some of the most stunning destinations in Europe. Her photography combines her passion for travel with her love of documenting heartfelt celebrations and darling details. As one half of the founding duo behind The Collective, Helen has also created an incredible community of business founders across the South of England who understand the potential that collaboration and kinship brings.
Hi Helen, tell us a little about yourself and your photography business and The Collective…
I have been a full time UK & Destination Wedding Photographer for over 10 years now and I truly love what I do. My Grandad was a Photographer and continues to be a real inspiration for me. When I was 17 he gave me all his darkroom equipment, which allowed me to experiment with analogue photography, something I am still extremely passionate about. My work has taken me all over the work and been featured both online and in print.
Outside of weddings I also shoot commercial work, with a real emphasis on lifestyle, flat lays and personal branding to help clients stand out online.
My other business, The Collective, was born out my feelings of isolation working as a professional Photographer and the overwhelm of trying to be an “expert” in everything in order to run my own business. Finding a balance between work and life is hard. It’s all too easy to become consumed by your business and to neglect physical and mental wellbeing. The Collective is a friendly, supportive community for business owners online with a focus on collaboration, education and connection.
Why did you start The Luminous?
I’ve always been such an advocate for brand consistency and have noticed how so many brands really struggle with finding beautiful, consistent imagery to use online. When I started The Collective it became so apparent that this was a major challenge for most of our members in a hugely digital world. After speaking about image consistency at social media workshops last year I realised that although I can give people simple tips to achieve consistency in their imagery very few businesses have either the time or the money to invest in this.
It wasn’t until I started working with the incredible Kim earlier this year that we both got talking about how we could provide people with a solution to this problem. As Photographers, both Camilla and I have a wealth of imagery and together with Kim’s insane business knowledge and social media expertise we knew we could provide businesses with an affordable solution. It’s not enough to have great imagery these days, you also need to know how to use it and we are super proud to be the only company in the UK to provide such beautiful high-end imagery couples with templates and education.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I’m really into my health, fitness and all things active so most days you can find me on my SUP, out for a run, doing yoga or a hiit class! I go a little stir crazy if I don’t exercise, it clears my head and with 3 businesses I really need that! I love to travel, having lived abroad in Chamonix, New Zealand, Ibiza and Mallorca at length I am super passionate about experiencing new places and cultures, always with a camera in hand! I love the sea and mountains, I could never live far from one or the other, I met my husband in Meribel and we are both keen snowboarders. Other than that I love spending time with my family and friends, good food, a glass of rosé, reading and of course taking photos!
And lastly, tell us one random fun fact that most people don’t know about you…
One? How about 4? I actually studied languages at university (French German and Spanish). I am a snowboard instructor, having trained in Queenstown, New Zealand. I once spent New Year’s Eve with Kylie Minogue and I am a self-proclaimed super smeller and for this reason I can’t wear perfume!!