White Papers

Here’s a quick Q&A session to help you readers get to know us, Chris Helman and Zak Kelley of Paper Photographs. Thoroughly Enjoy!

Who are you?
ZK:  Okay, well, I’m Zak. I’m the co-founder of Paper Photographs and a person interested in art, philosophy, funny things, and making photographs.
CH: Funnyman and magician…woops. sorry. musician.
ZK: What you did there, with that joke…magic.

How do you know each other?
CH: We both grew up in Parma, OH and came to Columbus to study Fine Art at Ohio State. We’ve known each other for, well, let’s see …18 years, and have collaborated on many pizzas.

Where are you?
ZK:  We both live in Columbus, but still make frequent trips back home to the Cleve.
CH: Don’t call it that.

How long have you been in Columbus?
CH: We founded Columbus.
ZK:  What Chris means is that we found Columbus 13 years ago.

Why photography?
ZK:  For me, photography started out of necessity while I was working on my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree  at OSU. A lot of the work I was doing was installation and performance based, which, by it’s nature, has a very short lifespan. The installations were very temporary and the performances were often over within minutes. The only way to really share this work was to document it on film. I quickly realized how important it was to have great images of my work and the photography itself soon became a significant aspect of my art making. It still is.
CH: I began similarly, using photography to document sculptural work. Eventually I became interested in using the camera as more than a tool to document other artwork. I now find myself photographing people. Funny, because I never really wanted to make figural sculpture. The two disciplines are quite different for me, but lighting for a photograph reminds me of sculpting. I especially like both the aesthetic and technical sides to photography. They allow me to be a beautiful nerd.