We recently caught up with avid photographer Duke Henry, who previously won the “I am the Image” photography competition by Nikon and Photography LIVE. Check out his insightful interview, where we found out more about his passion, inspiration and where winning the contest has taken him.
1. You got involved in photography in 2010, what sparked your passion?
When I was 10 or 11 years old, I used to cut photos from magazines, books and newspapers. In 2008, I got my first digital compact camera and would constantly be taking shots of insects in a macro mode of my camera. It was in 2010 that I started really enjoying photography and I had saved for almost two years to buy my first DSLR. As my interest grew I started to watch online tutorials and read some photography magazines to help me understand it further. A group of students in Taiwan noticed my passion and helped me participate in my first ever exhibition. That was a huge step for me as a beginner and my passion for photography has developed ever since.
2. What influences you in your creative process?
One thing that greatly influences my creative process is my willingness to explore. Explorations can be a success or a failure, but without them it’s hard to go that extra step to be creative. The people, environment, music and movies around me also influence me in a great way.
3. You specialize in travel, documentary, portrait and street photography. What are your reasons for this? And do you have a favorite genre?
I love to capture real people and real life stories. My main passion lies in capturing people’s lives, their cultures and traditions, their conditions and emotions. I am a curious person and love exploring the world. Although I adore the documentary or photojournalism style of photography, I think my main passion is in taking portraits. My current portraits project is still in progress and is a great challenge, as it can be difficult to capture a person’s emotions and who they are in a single frame.
4. You are originally from the Philippines, what attracted you to Dubai?
I had never previously thought about living in Dubai, but it has really given me the opportunity to explore new things. The city has a unique perspective that is intriguing to capture. The career and photography opportunities here are immense, such as the multiple photography seminars, workshops and competitions on offer. Through the “I am the Image” photography contest by Nikon, Photography LIVE and some photography groups, I was given the chance to explore my passion even further.
5. How did you come to enter Nikon ‘I AM THE IMAGE’ competition in partnership with Photography LIVE?
I’m a fan of Nikon and so read about the competition on their social media. As I read that other brands of cameras were also allowed to participate, I decided to try it out, but never expected to win!
6. Do you feel that entering competitions such as this is important for your photography career?
It depends on what kind of photographer you are. The best thing about competitions is that photographers are forced to curate their best works and compete with other great pieces. Although winning competitions is a big bonus, I don’t truly believe that winning awards will make you the best photographer. For me, understanding more about photography, pursuing your passion, chasing your goals and having empathy in what you do are important factors that allow you to be successful in your photography journey.
7. You have been lucky enough to travel to a few countries around Asia, as well as Kenya. Do you have a place in particular that you like to shoot?
Although every country will have its own unique charm for photography, for me, India is a real Eden for serious photographers. The diversity of people, their culture, traditions, weather, food and music make India incredible, and an extremely unique place to shoot.
8. What is next for you as a photographer?
I want to continue my personal projects by traveling and exploring more of the world. A Solo exhibition is every photographer’s dream, but for me I think this will take some time. One day, I would love to have my own book of photos – even a small one would do!