"I was on my belly low-crawling with 3 other recruits. The combination of the summer sun and oppressive humidity made the cool wet grass felt so refreshing. Suddenly I felt a horrible, searing pain in my arms. I had crawled my way over a nest of fire ants. It was 1994 in Orlando, Florida- Month One of my Marine Corps boot camp preparation"
A lifelong search for meaning, beauty and identity has taken Helynn Ospina down an unconventional path to photography. At the age of three she moved with her parents from Colombia to the United States. As an immigrant she has felt like outsider, both in her American life and her Colombian heritage. Even as a child in her own household, where the focus was confined by necessity to survival and stability, Helynn’s longing for a rich emotional life had her feeling like something of a misfit.
The spirit that emboldened Helynn to join the Marine Corps, and serve a 4 year enlistment, guided her on many different paths and propelled her to earn her undergraduate degree in biology and established a successful career in biotech. Her continuous search for a well-lived life lead her to earn her MFA in photography .
Today Helynn practices her fine art photography while working with commercial and editorial clients throughout the West Coast, Florida and Colombia. An intuitive storyteller with a cinematic eye, she has photographed actors, activists, artists, business leaders, and profile subjects for leading newspapers and magazines. She has also created campaigns for well known brands such as AirBnb.
During her free time you can find her roaming the nearby redwood forests, avoiding fire ants! She enjoys surfing small waves and training her two cattle dogs, Koa and Hilo, in agility.
"I feel most at peace finding stories in the mysterious tall shadows of dusk and the domestic glow of twilight, when the world is saturated in rich tones and awash in technicolor beams of light."
AirBnB • Atlas Obscura •Brightseed • Coreshell Technologies • Eleven, Inc. • Homepolish • Lonny • Martha Stoumen Wines • National Geographic • Nature • New York Times •San Francisco Chronicle • Sunset • Travel & Leisure • UpShift Creative • Urban Institute • Via Magazine • WeWork • Wall Street Journal • Washington Post
I currently live, learn and create on unceded land of the Awaswas-speaking Uypi Tribe. The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, composed of the descendants of indigenous people taken to missions Santa Cruz and San Juan Bautista during Spanish colonization of the Central Coast.