As Instagram and cell phone cameras change the landscape of photography, the pressure to evolve is heavier than ever. Though many traditional photographers are being left in the dust, Brooklyn-based photographer Henry Hargreaves has combined a variety of life experiences into a successful career as a creative food photographer (though I doubt that label really does him any justice).
Whether you realize it or not, you’ve likely seen one of Henry’s playful photo projects from his technicolor fast food photos, to his depiction of death row last meals, to his investigation of the amount of sugar in popular soft drinks.
With one of his most recent projects, Henry has delved into coffee culture (he is a New Zealand native, after all) and examined the frequently ignored art of coffee cup design. Coffee Cups of the World is an Instagram and tumblr page that literally highlight all of the beautiful coffee cup art from cafes around the world.
He originally became inspired when he was at Five Leaves in Brooklyn and was struck by the beauty of their cup’s design. Soon after, he created an Instagram account to showcase cup art and it wasn’t long before others began posting their coffee photos with his hashtag. Not one to sneeze at opportunity, Henry decided to turn the Instagram account into a platform for user generated content, where anyone can submit a photo and he posts the best images. He explains, “nowadays 99% of the pictures you’re exposed to people have shot on their phones. I think that’s just the reality of where we’re headed and you have to embrace that. You still have to be conscious of content, but it doesn’t have to be so polished.”
You don’t have to be a professional photographer with a 32mm lens. You can snap a photo with your phone, and as long as it looks good you can be a photographer that has your image alongside myself and other photographers.
In addition to having over 17k followers, Coffee Cups of the World has also teamed up with illustrator Massimo Mongiardo to create limited edition prints for New York based e-commerce site, KNOWLITA. Mongiardo drew the cups that Henry chose from the shops he feels best represent the major coffee-loving cities of the world (New York, Brooklyn, San Francisco, LA, London, and Melbourne).
Henry is a quintessential modern artist from his willingness to evolve, seize opportunity, collaborate, and most of all, never take himself too seriously. Click here to check out the rest of his portfolio and keep up with his ever evolving projects on social media.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, Henry likes his coffee traditional drip style with a hefty splash of half and half – all day, everyday.