Hellin Kay is a photographer, director and content creator. She has worked in fashion and entertainment for two decades: creating branded content, photographing advertising, editorial, marketing, and social media campaigns; directing short films, music videos and commercial work; and styling for advertising, runway and magazines for a long list of clients.
After emigrating from the Soviet Union to Baltimore Maryland in 1980, Hellin picked up her first camera at the age of 14, and hasn’t put it down since. Growing up on the East Coast she was heavily influenced by punk music, art and politics. Shortly after high school she started studying at Bard College, where she earned her BA & MFA in film, while writing, directing, editing and producing six of her first short films, which were screened at multiple US film festivals.
Her film 'Every Woman Was Once A Little Girl with Dreams' (with a starring cameo from DC music legend Ian MacKaye and filmmaker Adolfas Mekas) was selected by Miranda July for the first Miss Moviola Project. 'Was Once A Girl', which she wrote, directed and produced on location in Moscow Russia, screened at the IFFM in New York, where it was written up as a “One To Watch” by Amy Taubin in the Village Voice and Mary Glucksman in Filmmaker Magazine. It then went on to win Best Short at the San Diego Film Festival.
After college, her love of photography and fashion led her to accept a job as the assistant to legendary fashion editor Polly Mellen at Conde Nast. Following Ms. Mellen’s retirement, Hellin was hired as the fashion editor for the launch of Russian Vogue, helping build the global Russian fashion market. Since then she has worked as a photographer, stylist and fashion editor, both as a freelance contributor (L’Uomo Vogue, i-D, British Vogue, Elle, Nylon, Visionaire and many others) and as the staff Fashion Director for the Russian editions of Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and Spoon Paris, where she photographed, styled, developed and packaged content, and produced fashion shoots for a long list of luxury brands. Other editorial clients include The Last Magazine, Marie Claire, Nylon, The Fader, InStyle, L'Official, Cosmopolitan and Women's Wear Daily.
Throughout her years in fashion Hellin has continued to direct music videos, fashion films and commercial work, while working as a photographer for editorial and advertising clients in New York, Los Angeles, Paris and Moscow. Clients include Club Monaco, Jamilco, Tarte Cosmetics, Anthropologie, Revolve Clothing, Erin Fetherston, Capital Records, Kohl's and Joe's Jeans.
In August 2017 she was hired as the brand photographer, director and stylist for Elie Tahari; art directing, producing and photographing all of the imagery and videos for the brand’s advertising, social media, marketing and website. Her new short film, Anatomy, was completed in 2017 and she is currently developing several film and TV projects.
Her love of film, music, and road trips runs deep and her approach to life and work reflects an adventurous, always curious, kind spirit. She treats her clients the way she sees the world: with laughter and light.