Harry Hardie

Today Harry Hardie of HERE visited us. HERE is a company that exhibits, supports and teaches photography. The name HERE was given to the company because Harry thinks of photography as saying “look here”. At present Harry’s company is producing a series of affordable photo-books of new documentary photography for example one by Seba Kurtis called ‘Drowned’. Alongside this Harry also works as a curator to support this project.

Harry doesn’t describe himself as a photographer; he doesn’t actually take photographs himself but he has worked alongside many photographers and has taught documentary photography at Falmouth University. After studying sculpture for his degree, Harry first became interested in photography after moving with his girlfriend to Venice whilst she worked for a company producing photography books called Trolley Books, meaning that he was introduced to many photographers and their work. When he returned to London he worked in a variety of photography related jobs such as selling tickets at the Tate gallery, selecting images for the Times T.V. listings and then became assistant to the director of photography for the Times. After four years in this position his work turned more to writing about photography when he worked with Image magazine, director of the Times ‘LUXX’ magazine and at the FOTO8 gallery hosting talks, seminars and film screenings.  Until he then created his own company HERE.

Harry is passionate about making images into something i.e. photo-books and advised us to make sure we do something with the work we love. He also advised us to consider the format of our work when editing and to not be afraid to totally rethink the presentation of our work for different formats. We will take this on board for when we make our own degree show book. Harry showed us Seba Kurtis’s book that was A5 in size and came in a plastic envelope like a passport style. This was the kind of style we had been considering for our degree show book. It was also interesting to learn the cost of producing newsprints is only around £1,000 for 1000 copies then just £30 more for a second 1000 copies etc, so we may want to consider this style of printing for our degree show book.

In a round table discussion with Harry after his talk we had the opportunity to discuss more about the way Harry works. When asked to tell us more about editing Harry talked about the value of getting another opinion on your body of work or taking a break from your own work to get a fresh look at the editing so far. He also said to think of photography like a language, so if someone misreads your work think about your use of language.

The way in which Harry made people aware of his company was applicable for the awareness of our degree show. He told us that a strong mailing list is key to maintaining contacts, and to let people know about the show even if they are unlikely to be able to come in person. He also suggested offering guided tours to those key contacts with personalised invites.

It was interesting to find out that Harry is dyslexic so finds visual language of images easier to communicate through that writing. In his opinion for an artist statement it can be better to say what the work is (but not what it is about) then let the images explain the rest. Harry finds this works well for documentary bodies of work. The amount of text needed can depend on the body of work. For example Seba’s book has little written information in the book but has a map and refers the readers to the website for more information if they require it. This was a useful tip for condensing down the material to go in a book as we will have a lot of information to fit into our degree show book.

After attending a talk with Harry Hardie I conducted a short interview as I felt I had some questions to ask him that would help with my symposium because Harry was working in the photography industry as a dyslexic.

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