New York, New York

01 Feb 2021

New York City is the place Henry Hargreaves (11589) wants to be right now, in spite of the global pandemic – it’s home and the hub of his fine art and commercial photography world.

In Condell’s House from 1993–1997, he credits College with whetting his curiosity, developing his confidence, and planting the seed of self-belief in his artistic field.

“Peter Robinson, the art teacher, just let us work with our own curiosity, he really nurtured it, and I became addicted to the dark room, spending lunchtimes there.”

Now, he’s doing the same in New York, where in his own studio he can style, take photographs and do the production in a one-stop shop that clients love.

His fine art work is sometimes polarising, always thought provoking, and often food centric and he has exhibited in 15 cities and 10 countries. A lot of his commercial work comes from people who have seen his fine art work – and like it a lot.

For Henry, it’s a dream come true to be making a living from his artistic passion.

“When I was at school I honestly didn’t think of photography as a sustainable career, not to do it and make money. But as I travelled and worked I began to learn about the possibilities.”

He was on the other end of the lens for years, one of the world’s top male models working for Prada, Kenzo, Yves Saint Laurent before moving to New York to bar tend and take photos himself.

After six months he became a full-time working photographer, learning that the art itself needed to be matched by personality and skill in developing relationships.

“People choose who they want to work with, and often it’s not the best person, but the one they relate best to, and have the best time with. It’s all about collaborations and flexibility.”

Having established a successful business, he’s not about to leave New York.

“I love the city, and the interactions that happen here between people all the time. You can use the subways 24 hours, there are always opportunities to do things, the cultural stuff is all close, and I love the positivity. It’s a place to come when you’re young, ambitious, excited and full of enthusiasm. I’m not planning on leaving soon.”

But he would like to get back to New Zealand at least once a year, and to have his parents meet their new granddaughter.