How did you come to being a photographer?
It's a bold statement, but instagram changed my life. I had always been interested photography, but never did anything creative with the photos I took, for me it was just a way to capture memories. That all changed when I got my first iPhone in 2009. I became obsessed with the hipstamatic app and regularly found myself patrolling the streets of London looking to photograph anything that caught my eye. A couple of years later instagram came along, I didn't really understand it at first and thought it was just a set of filters, it wasn't until someone explained to me that it was "like Twitter, but with pictures" that I realised there was a community behind it. It changed the way I looked at photography and I started following people that inspired me.
In those early days it was mainly just architecture that I liked to photograph before later realising it was people that I most enjoyed pointing my camera at. I started to gain more followers on Instagram as my photography improved and I landed my first freelance job for a coffee company, I shot all the photos on my iphone and was able to buy my first professional camera with the money from that project. Fast forward a year and I had quit my job to pursue photography full time.
How long have you been freelance full time?
It will be three years next month, and it's still the best decision I've ever made. People tell me I was brave for packing in my old job to go it alone but I was massively unhappy before so really I had nothing to lose.
What's the creative process for your work?
First thing is to arrange a meeting with the client, ideally face to face, to discuss in detail and potentially bounce some ideas around, I like to be involved in the creative direction as much as possible but also happy working to a tight brief. Every job is different though so my creative process varies just as much.
You take beautiful portraits. What’s your top tip for engaging with a subject?
I like to be able to have a chat with the model before I start shooting them, I feel it makes you more familiar and in turn gets a better photo, with time constraints being what they are this isn't always possible but even something as easy as asking the model what music they'd like playing whilst your shooting can go a long way. Also, just be nice and friendly, it baffles me when i hear models talk about other photographers and say "oh yeah (insert photographers name here) was really rude when I worked with them", Why would you be like that?!
Is there a particular shoot that stands out as a favourite?
My favourite shoot from last year was with Anthony Joshua for Lynx, I've been fortunate to work with lots of Athletes over the last few years but he was 100% the best, a real pleasure to work with.
What would be your dream project for 2018?
I'm typing this whilst looking out the window at a very wet and grey Walthamstow, so right now shooting a spring/summer campaign anywhere hot would be the DREAM! Brands I'd love to tick off as having worked for this year would be Vans, Levis, Converse, New Balance, Carhartt to name a few... as well as loads more I can't think of right now!
You can see more of Henrys' work here