The collection of Helge Heinonen
The career of Helge ‘Hele’ Heinonen (b. 14 September 1922 in Nastola, d. 21 October 2012 in Vääksy) progressed from the post of a process engraver at a printing house to a photography club member, who grew into a self-taught, valued professional in the field of press photography. Even when he was still working as a process engraver for the newspaper Keskisuomalainen in the 1950s, Heinonen took photographs for newspapers and magazines in Helsinki, such as the Urheilun Kuva-aitta. From 1957 to 1963 he worked as a photographer for the magazine Kuluttaja. For the last 21 years before his retirement, he worked for the Apu magazine. Magazines invested in press photography in the 1960s and the 1970s, which gave Heinonen the chance to create feature stories both in Finland and abroad. His collection features both everyday life as well as special events in Finland, big news events such as the deaths of four police officers in a dramatic shooting, President Mauno Koivisto sliding downhill on a sledge, and portraits of people such as the politician Väinö Tanner, the author Pentti Saarikoski, Kalevi Keinänen, and Miss Universe Anne Pohtamo. Heinonen was also an avid photographer of nature.
Helge Heinonen participated eagerly in Finnish and foreign photography competitions, often placing or winning prizes. One of his most famous photographs features the pole vaulter Paavo Nikula in 1961. It won him the shared first prize in the annual ‘Vuoden lehtikuva’ photojournalism competition. His photographs have also been on display in many exhibitions. He received an artist pension in 1984.
The Journalistic Picture Archive JOKA received his collection in 2015. Heinonen’s study in Asikkala, Vääksy, was full of negatives and slides. Because Heinonen was interested in darkroom work, the collection includes dozens of black and white prints. The collection has not yet been organised.