Welcome to Views!!! The only two page feature in any local publication dedicated to the promotion and exposure of the budding and professional photographer. This weekend is a very special one as we are featuring for the first time a female photographer. We immediately fell in love with her photography after stalking her Instagram page. Capturing the “realness” in a photo is amazing but she is able to invoke feeling and engage your senses with her work. Meet Alberta Henry of Alberta Henry Photography.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I currently lecture physical chemistry at SALCC and have been doing so for the past six years. Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family and capturing memories for other families. Many persons think I am super outgoing and make them laugh but really I am a very social introvert (I try to avoid social gatherings but treasure one on one time with friends). I love working with young people, mostly teens, and worked alongside my husband as youth leader at our church for six years.
Take us to when you first picked up a camera and why?
I asked my cousin for a video camera when I was a teen (I thought it would be a superior camera) and when that wasn’t fun enough I bought a “point and shoot” Nikon camera which I used on my friends up until university. I loved shooting faces because I loved to play with Photoshop (the same one I use now… did I mention I am not a fan of change) and would take every opportunity I got to shoot. At university I was given a “paparazzi” award because I enjoyed capturing moments at various limes, etc. My husband bought me a camera on our honeymoon to continue my passion for making people feel beautiful and that created new interest in capturing beautiful memories for people. One day I woke up with anenthusiasm to capture babies and just ran with it.
Has your style changed over the years or have you kept to one comfort level?
I think my style may have changed somewhat in terms of editing and how I shoot but I still aim to shoot exactly what I visualize in my mind and get it right in the camera. I still shoot JPEG. Our niche remains family and love and all that entails, although we have done some fashion work for international magazines etc.
What would you say is the perfect subject?
One that invokes emotion and brings about the “realness” of the moment at the time captured. I love to freeze moments in time that display personality, emotion, the weather, tensions, love, joy, etc in their purest form.
What’s it like working as a female photographer in Saint Lucia?
It has both advantages and disadvantages. Many persons expect a photographer to be male and I have been mistaken several times as being the assistant to my husband who they assume to be the photographer. However, I think being a female has worked out well for me especially within the niche that I capture. For example, at weddings I am with the bride in her getting ready suite the entire time and this not only allows for more moments to be captured but it creates a bond and familiarity which works well for photos afterwards. I believe in putting your best foot forward so that your work stands and speaks for itself.
Would you consider photography as a viable means of generating an income?
Yes it is as long as the photographer is serious about their craft and is business minded. A lot of work goes into producing a final product; from planning the shoot to editing and delivery. There is a mentality here that you are paying “just for photos” and persons are either not aware or do not respect the work that goes into producing an image. That is why it is important for photographers to know what they are worth and to charge and produce accordingly. The important thing however, is to have a niche and stick to it and grow it.
We would love to know who inspires your photography.
I don’t want to sound biased but my favorite photographers are female. YaisaTangwell (Trinidadian), Kesha Lambert (married to a St Lucian), Gina Francesca (Barbados), Jasmine Star, etc are a few that I follow on Instagram. I also love the work of Craig O Brist and Stanley Babb. They all have different shooting styles and different clientele, etc, but their work inspires me to do better.
What countries would you like to visit just to photograph?
I would love to travel the world to shoot, however I would honestly prefer shooting in colorful alleyways, and old buildings, and street markets, and colorful murals that have character (in those places). Although I would love shooting with the Eiffel tower in the background, etc, I would genuinely prefer an old abandoned bridge overlooking a river which focuses on and adds character to the subject.
Finally, are popular brands important or would you shoot with whatever is available?
Nikon body! I am loyal to my first “point and shoot” brand. The brand of lens does not really matter to me. Frankly, if my husband wasn’t upgrading my gear I would probably still have my first DSLR. Truthfully, I don’t think that brand gives better images; one can have all the gear and be clueless as to how to use it. The most important tool is creativity and vision and execution.