art.

interview with editorial photographer Jordie Hennigar

The Empathetic Badass: Women in Photography

Rena Siddall / 21 March 2019

Jordie Hennigar self-portrait

We interviewed Jordie Hennigar for our piece on the empathetic badass: women in photography in honour of International Women’s Day. This is what she had to say:

How long have you been taking photos?

I started around 5.5 years ago

Why fashion photography?

When finding my style when I first started, I tried shooting everything- but nothing felt as comfortable and ‘right’ as fashion. I did a lot of creative portraiture at the beginning, and I still love doing that, but my style has evolved into what it is now very naturally, and is still evolving. It was just natural for me, style and fashion has always been a huge part of my life- since I was young- always designing and creating, making my friends and cousins do fashion shows (me styling, of course) and then taking photos. I always needed an outfit to be unique and on point. My photography is in an aspect who I am in picture form.

What do you find the most challenging thing about being a business owner?

I think having a creative and ‘artist’ mind, I think it’s hard to separate business and your art- trying to not take things personally.

In a notoriously “man’s-world,” do you find the glass ceiling exists for female photographers as well?

When I first began, I found that it was quite a mans world- most models I worked with said I was the first female photographer they have ever worked with. Now I see so many women in his field and all supporting each other. In my community the local female photographers all meet up and chat about everything photography and it is really a great support network — I also follow so many other wonderful female photographers who are killing it. From my point of view and what I have experienced the glass ceiling is not as existent anymore.

What inspired #womanattheendoftheroad? What is it meant to capture?

I moved to the small community of Tofino about 3.5 years ago, taking a hiatus from photography. Once I picked up my camera again the women around me were my only options for models- so I started shooting with local women. These women in Tofino are so beautiful and strong with their own unique story- so naturally my portfolio started becoming a beautiful story of women finding their way in this small magical town- at the end of the road.

What is your favorite subject to shoot?

Women.

Do you ever meet anyone and think “I have to shoot them”?

ALL THE TIME! Still working on getting the guts to ask sometimes!

Who are your inspirations? Photographers or otherwise?

I find inspiration in fellow photographers, musicians, fashion designers. I am always falling in love with new people. Right now I love Rodarte, Petra Collins, Ellen Von Unwerth, anything for Vogue Italia, always Alexander McQueen, Dolce and Gabbana, Molly Goddard and got to love me some Beyonce and Rhianna!

What is one thing you might change about your business if you were to go back and do it all over?

I honestly can’t think of anything, everything led me to where I am today. Being self taught, everyday is a lesson, I am still learning. One thing would be to stop doubting myself, but I think that is just the life of an artist!

What do you most want your work to convey?

One of the best compliments I have ever received was ‘ your work makes me feel something-‘ so I guess, that’s exactly what I hope my work does!

What is the most challenging shoot you’ve ever done and what made it so?

At the beginning of my career, I traveled to France twice with a designer, shooting 12+ hours a day for a week- so that was probably the most challenging.

All of your models on Instagram are women and- for lack of a better phrase- pretty damn sexy, how do you find them? Or do they/clients find you?

Before I moved to Tofino, I worked with a lot of modelling agencies and so [models were] who I mainly worked with. The last few years have mainly been local women in Tofino (other than when I am travelling) so the majority of women you see in my portfolio are friends and friends of friends or people coming to Tofino wanting beautiful photos. They find me, I find them! Most of them have never been in front of a camera before!

Is it intimidating working with such beautiful people all the time?

This might sound cliché, but I think it’s the reason I am good at what I do: I truly see beauty in every single person and finding that and showing it on camera is honestly such an amazing experience. Beautiful people in front of my camera is what makes me tick!

Do you consider it a special talent to rouse the sex appeal out of people?

Honestly, I have never really thought about it. It just kind of happens, and somehow I have just known how to do it. Another favourite compliment I get sometimes is that I make people feel very comfortable and free and they have fun, so maybe making them feel this is what rouses the sex appeal — for me it all just comes naturally, and I am very grateful for all of this!

In your opinion what makes a good fashion photographer? What makes you good at what you do?

I think having an eye for style, and this can be any style, but having an aesthetic, being unique, authentic, pushing the boundaries. I think what makes me good at what I do is people feeling comfortable and having fun with me. I am open to anything, I can adjust to any situation, I allow the shoot to become what it is meant to be. Patience, kindness and making a real connection with the people I work with- most who become my friends after.

A lot of your photos posted on Instagram are taken outside. Is that your choice setting or is that by default because of where you live or client’s requests?

I definitely go though phases. Sometimes it’s by default because of where I live- not having a lot of access to studio quality places. As I grow as a photographer I am learning how to use difficult spaces to my advantage to get a more unique photo. Since I do live in such a beautiful and magical place, a lot of my clients want to be shot outside, so without knowing it my portfolio has become filled with outdoor sessions!

What would be your dream feature spread or exhibit?

Vogue, always Vogue (Italia, but would love any!)

More of Jordie’s dreamy editorials can be found on www.jordiehennigar.com or follow her on Instagram, @jordiehennigar.

Rena Siddall / ohsnapcreative@gmail.com

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