Fotolia attracts great photographers from around the world. This weeks featured photographer Jón Ari Helgason is no exception.

As an art director and graphic artist this weeks featured photographer brings an interesting mix of design and photography to his portfolio. We are excited to highlight the work of Jón Ari Helgason.

In his own words:
I am a 32 years old living in Reykjavik Iceland with my wife and 3 daughters. Being a graphic designer and art director I am more customed to being on the photographers side than actually behind the camera itself. I have however enjoyed taking photographs for a long time.
I initially learned the art of photography as a kid from my stepfather. He had a trusty canon SLR and taught me everything about appertures and shutterspeed. I did take some photography classes in art school studying to become a graphic designer but I just didn´t care much for the darkroom and developing part. So most of my early masterpieces just stayed undeveloped in the fridge until my wife needed space for cheese and yogurt and threw them away. That changed dramatically when the quality of the digital SLR cameras finally caught up to the film and just before christmas 2004 I bought a brand spanking new Canon 20d. In the absence of boring darkrooms and smelly liquids it didn´t take long for the shutterbug to bite again. And it bit me hard – I´ve basically been carrying my camera with me ever since.
Needless to say photography as a hobby fits very well in with my work as a graphic designer but mainly it serves me as a quick creative fix. No clients to deal with, no meetings, no deadlines, no nothing. Just creating something with a simple click. I shoot just about anything but my favorite is macro photography, even with wide angle lenses I like to shoot close to my subject. And although my stock portfolio doesn´t showcase that I do like to shot people a lot too. With a camera of course. But I decided early on to focus my stock photos on non-living subjects and try to have as much variety as I could manage. My portfolio mainly consists of things I think are useful for myself and other designers. I do a lot of isolated objects with handdrawn clipping paths and also material backgrounds. Normally I try to think “how would anyone use this?” before I upload, If I dont have the answer it usually means it´s rubbish and goes to the trash. I also try to be very selective when I upload, I see no value in clogging Fotolia with similar photos of the same subject. I try to limit myself to uploading only a handful from each photo shoot.
I started doing stock photography in february 2005 and have always looked at it as a way to finance my hobby. I first heard of Fotolia when reading a photography magazine and when I logged onto the website I learned that they were paying photographers to uploading for a limited time. So I decided to try the site out, figuring I didn´t have anything to loose. To make a long story short I have never looked back. Fotolia proved to be a great site providing steady sales and truly is a great community for both designers and photographers.
It´s very hard to pick one favorite photo of mine on Fotolia so I´ll just take the easy way out and pick a few. I´ve always liked this close cropped macro of a pink gerbera. It was one of the first images I took after getting a dedicated macro lense. This blurry image of track runner has always been on of my favorites as well. I like how it captures the essence in the sport and still only shows the bare minimum. And since christmas is just around the corner there are two images that always take turn in gracing my desktop over the holidays. Both are of christmas lights and are good examples of experimenting with depth of field, one is deliberately out of focus to get all the lights blurry and the other one has just enough depth of field to isolate the bright starry light .
I dont spend much time looking at other peoples work but there is one photographer I truly admire and that man is David LaChapelle. David is a true genius in my mind and his work never ceases to amaze me. Maybe it´s because he is a mainly a commercial photographer and I come from that background.
Finally I want to thank Fotolia for featuring me as Photographer of the week. I am honored and feel fortunate to be a part of this great site.
Jon A. Helgason
Click here to see more of his work.