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by janet alexander


PRO: HISTORY-The Art of Getting Marilyn Monroe in Bed Page 127

enry Hargreaves is pretty much your average guy, which is to say, Henry likes boobsa lot. But to simply characterize Henry as a boob guy would be a gross understatement, because what distinguishes him from other men is not his three-year international modeling careerno, really, its notbut rather how he managed to turn an idea into a reality.

Originally from Christchurch, New Zealand, it would seem that Henrys keen appreciation for the female form was a reaction to his all-boys, private high school, Christs College. Building upon basic photography training offered in school, Henry spent his weekends using the darkroom of the sister school, where his aunt worked as an art teacher, to develop slides from his Canon SLR. I was interested in making slides and photographing them projected on my friends bodies. After graduating from the University of Canterbury with a combined Film/Art History degree in 2000, Henry was in a predicament common among recent college graduates; he was aimless. So he purchased a one-way ticket to London, stopped-over in Bangkok, and took a detour to travel around Southeast Asia. In Thailand, Henrys androgynous looksdelicate, angular nose; full, pouty lips; soft eyes, and wiry framedidnt go unnoticed. He was soon asked to model for a national magazine. Once Henry arrived in London, he approached agencies with the photos taken in Thailand. Within the same week, he was signed to Elite Model Management and flown to Milan for Fashion Week 2001. Henry is modest about his fast and sudden rise to runway fame and said, I was just the right look at the right time. But just as fast as Henry had walked onto the runway, he was ready to walk off it, as he became increasingly frustrated by how little of his career seemed to be in his control. Youre only at the top for so long; theres always new faces, and I didnt want to eventually be working for less prestigious people for less money. In the midst of disillusionment, Henry realized on set that he wanted to move from being in front of the camera to being the one behind it taking pictures. Just as hed done before as a schoolboy, Henry forged a self-taught approach in pursuing photography professionally. I started asking assistants questions about the equipment while I was on shoots, he recalled. During a modeling stint in 2003 with Tokyos Image Agency, Henry bought his first medium format camera, a Mamiya. Henry was tentative, but determined: Theres no roadmap for how to become a money-making photographer. With the access afforded by his modeling, Henry routinely asked his extraordinarily attractive colleagues hed meet on shoots if he could take their pictures. There were places I wanted to go, people I wanted to meet, and the goal was to crossover, he explained. Compared to other artistic mediums, photography was a way for Henry to experience his creativity without compromising his vision. In describing how he decided where to begin his new career, Henry recalled the first time he was in New York: Fashion Week, September 11th, 2001. I was staying in Queens at the time and walked all the way to Union Square. The whole city was in a smoky haze; no one knew what was going on. This worldchanging event proved to be a life-changing experience for Henry: To be there to witness everything that happened that day brought me closer to the city. Subsequent visits for modeling reinforced his familiarity with New York, and in 2004 he got a work visa and moved to Brooklyn. In London theres such an excessive emphasis on how wealthy you are, or what family you come from, but 141

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stated. Pretty girls in expensive clothes isnt interesting; trying new things is. One new thing Henry happened upon was separating color channels while editing in Photoshop one day. It reminded me of the old-school red-blue 3D look. Reading a series of blogs and online tutorials was all it took before he decided to organize a 3D test shoot. A testament to an innate photographers eye, the model he chose became wildly popular, and her agency refused the titillating photographs be published. The mishap only further fueled Henrys intent to create a 3D project. What would work well in 3D,

here its understated and cool; if youre interesting, then you have cachet, he said, explaining his love for his new city. For the first three years, Henry worked as a bartender at Schillers in the Lower East Side, photographing willing female coworkers in his studio apartment, while also making use of his agency connections, Id call in asking, What girls do you have in town? Word of Henrys photography practice gradually spread among customers whose recurring business provided enough work to eventually allow him to photograph full-time. Naturally, Henrys initial foray was in fashion photography, but a few commercial gigs caused an epiphany. Deep down Im not really interested in fashion itselfexploiting the Third World, selling overpriced garments, he


he wondered. Better question, Whats my favorite part of a fashion shoot?...When the tops come off... Boobs in 3D! His idea3 Double-Dcame together fast. Growing up as a guy, the only boobs you see are the perfect C-cups in Playboy or movies; when I started dating girls, I saw theyre really different, but really cool. To avoid the mammary of billboards and magazines, Henry posted an ad on to recruit girls. The casting call, offering $50 for a 30-minute shoot, got ten responses, of which only three were used. Personally, Im not a fake boob guy; its really uninteresting. The technique itself is simple: while the model stands as still she possibly can, Henry shoots a left-eye perspective, and then takes a half-step to his right to capture a right-eye perspective. This click-step-click process is made 3D in Photoshop, where Henry isolates each photo into a single color channelone red, the other blueand then overlays the two images for printing. Showing real boobs, of all shapes, colors, and sizes proved to be playful, not pornographic. Its a celebration of boobs; girls got that vibe, friends got involved, and even some of Henrys buddies requested that their girlfriends be photographed. Henry shot a total of fifty women. Within a year of the first shot, a friend from advertising agency Fahrenheit 212 offered to fund a prototype for publication.

Two weeks later, Henrys forty-five favorite images were shopped around to publishing houses across New York. It was still new technology at the time so everyone was really excited, but there was always someonetypically, a womanwho wasnt into it, Henry recalled. Eventually, every major publishing house passed on it. Henrys ad agency friend assured him not to be discouraged and contacted friend David Gomberg, President and Publisher of Seven Footer Press in New York. Because Seven Footer is known for childrens books, Henry wasnt optimistic and even prefaced his proposal by admitting, Youre probably not the right fit. In retrospect, he shouldve known better than to judge a publishing company by the cover of its books. As was explained to Henry at the time, Seven Footer is, interested in books that become series, which, more often than not, just happens to be kids books. A 3D book of boobs seemed like a viable series. They loved it. Released in September 2010, 3DD became the number one best-selling erotic book of the year on Amazon. Whats exceptional about 3D, Henry described, is once you put the glasses on, the only thing youre looking at are the pictures; its a novelty, and added, Im not a fan of 3D movies, so it was about 3D adding a layer to a project about boobs. The books reception among men (no surprise there) and women alike was overwhelmingly positive, with dozens of the latter contacting Henry asking, Can I be in the next one? Sure enough, Seven Footer wanted a sequel; while trying to figure out how to repeat success without repeating himself, Henry was contacted by Ethan Moses whod heard about 3DD through the press. A 3D photographer and a professed boob guy himself, Ethan couldnt resist helping Henry; that Christmas, he flew from his home in New Orleans to New York and showed Henry how to custom rig cameras for simultaneous right/left shooting, as well as a PC-specific 3D computer software. With better equipment, a bigger budget, and a reputation that preceded itself, 3DD Deluxe has more women of more varieties, such as a willing sixty-five year old, and more locations, including Australia, New Zealand, Los Angeles, London, and New York. Henry credits his adept ability to photograph bevies of breasts to a lesson learned from the one photographer he ever assisted: Theres a thousand photographers better than me, he told Henry, but I do better than all of them because I know whats importantthe shoot is about the subject and making them feel theyre a part



of it. Henry, who insists hes actually bashful and shy, explains the ultimate goal of his shoots was to make the girls really happy with their pictures and feel proud to be a part of the project. Having learned from criticism of the first book, Henry gave his models the option of showing their faces or remaining anonymous, in case dad picks up the book and sees his daughter in there. But, to his surprise, many girls actually demanded their faces be included. A self-described man of all seasons, Henry doesnt pick favorites among the boobs hes photographed, except maybe for those of his girlfriend who he began dating in the midst of producing Deluxe. In the interest of their relationship, he consciously decided not to include her in the book: I didnt want to be sitting in a room full of people hearing her boobs being critiqued. At home, Henrys father, a commercial printer, and his mother, the director of Christchurchs annual arts festival, are really supportive and think the book is amazing, but, grandma pretends it never happened. Further demonstrative of the books wide appeal is the range of its celebrity owners, of whom Henry mentions Lil Wayne, Bono, and Scarlet Johansson. For aspiring 3D photographers, Henrys advice is simple: Just go for it and experiment, like I did. I didnt get perfect results, and I still dont, but its a fun way of engaging someone in a picture. Beyond boobs, Henrys photography has gained a following, appearing throughout New York on the walls of The Standard Hotel, the West Villages Fedora Bar, and SoHos custom denim boutique, 3 x 1. Henry remains as much of a boob guy as before. I didnt overdose on them; they still fascinate me. Having accomplished what he considers the holy grail of a photography career, i.e. getting published, Henry boasted that his book is now a part of his high schools library collection, as it is a Christ College tradition that every boy with a published book be inducted. Its in a glass case and you have to request it to be removed from the display to look at it, he chuckled. Plans for a trilogy have yet to be determined: Im not desperate to do another, Henry reflected. I just want to shoot exciting, memorable images.

As a celebration of boobs (and in defense of them), Resource will hold an auction this summer of Henrys images to support breast cancer research. Check out our website for more info:

Henry Hargreaves: