Helena Smith


Stories and portraits. New ventures.

At work in Hackney, East London, image  Georgia Kuhn

At work in Hackney, East London, image Georgia Kuhn


Helena Smith

I am a freelance writer, photographer and project manager based in London. My topics are travel, east London, community and country escapes. Key skills are writing, photography, initiating projects, project management, editing and interviewing.

My schooling was in Stirling, Scotland and Malawi in central Africa, and I went on to study African and Caribbean literature at the University of Kent and photography at Central Saint Martins.

I am a winner of Vogue's annual writing contest, and the Independent on Sunday travel writing competition. I worked on the staff at Rough Guides for eight years, becoming a managing editor, and went freelance to focus on my own writing and photography.

Since then I've travelled the world for Rough Guides, Lonely Planet, Bradt and other publishers, writing about hikes, camping, glamping, independent travel and country escapes. I produced and published the first guide to Hackney with a print run in the tens of thousands, initiated a successful community food blog, Eat Hackney, and created a fundraising cookbook based on the blog. And I am a professional photographer: I worked for three consecutive years at the Edinburgh Film Festival, becoming their senior photographer.

I work for design and editorial agencies on promotional travel and lifestyle campaigns, and am available for commissions.