Inspiration of Henry Hargreaves

Henry Hargreaves is a self-taught food photographer, born and raised in New Zealand. His fascination with food came from previous experience working in the food industry before becoming a full-time photographer. He was amazed by customer’s requests and what it said about their personalities and character while they ordered. He tried to translate these ideas into his work by using food to create visual connections. After leaving the food industry, Hargreaves worked in fashion in the early 2000’s and was even a model for 4 years. It was then he realized that he wanted to be the person “calling the shots behind the camera”. He started out buying a camera just to play with the idea and see if he could get it to “take some nice shots”. Over time, Hargreaves picked up some lighting techniques and tricks and got a good sense of balance in his compositions. In his work, he gets inspiration from anywhere creating images that appeal to him. He says “If it makes me laugh or constantly comes up in my mind without me having to write it down, I want to try it. Once I decide to execute the only challenge is motivation”. Hargreaves also does a lot of collaborations in his work, he believes it’s a lot more fun and makes the work come out better. He says “collaboration is great for having someone challenge your ideas and compliment your work. A successful collaboration blurs the lines between photographer and artist/stylist and vise versa.” He continues by saying “get out of your comfort zone, that’s when you’ll learn something and get an unexpected surprise.” In the example of his work below, I notice that although most of he likes to be playful with his work, Henry Hargreaves is not afraid to get political. The photo below is from a series called “Power Hungry” where he uses the abundance of food on one side of a table and the scarcity on the other side illustrate the idea of using food as a weapon in society. Throughout history, depriving or restricting access to food to the poor or underprivileged has been used as a way of controlling or silencing the voices of those groups. In the photos, the first picture is well lit and positioned with silverware and table cloth making the food itself look more appealing. In the second picture, the mood of the photo is darker with less appealing food to represent the reality of commoners.


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