Often times when we as individuals are faced with a tough decision, we (more often times than not) choose the path that is most comfortable. Sometimes it is a choice that works out for the best, and sometimes you end up in foreign country surrounded by empty beer bottles, a capuchin wearing a jean jacket, and a Mike Tyson tribal tattoo. I'm not one to judge. My taste buds are still recovering from that Venom shot four months ago in Hong Kong.
We all have our own trials and tribulations and sometimes our paths aren't as clear cut as the proverbial "fork in the road" often implies. When it comes to seventeen-year-old Los Angeles based photographer Hennessy, the choice was never to choose the path laid out before him, but to carve a new path of his own design.
I knew he was going to be in interesting individual just by his name alone. Being a big fan of cognac, his alias wasn't one I would soon forget. As Noble Timepieces continues to grow and expand, so has our team of artistic and like-minded individuals. Joining us for our much anticipated launch of "The Director", I had a chance to catch up with our in-house photographer Hennessy in a means to help introduce him to all of our followers and loyal customers.
"I began shooting when I was fifteen-years-old," Hennessy said, "and shot for nearly two years on my iPhone before switching to a Canon T2i. A lot happened during those two years: including moving around foster homes, bouts of depression, and even being homeless for a time."
Sometimes it is the little things that we take for granted. Things that come second nature to the majority of us, like a nice meal, a warm bed, or even the roof over our heads are also everyday struggles for other people. But Hennessy didn't fold under the pressure. He strived forward and endured the hardships the best way he knew how - through his photography.
"Photography kept my head straight through it all," he went on to say. "Now, I've come to terms with my past and my roots, and I'm moving on with my career. I consider my fallbacks a blessing because they keep me humble in the long run." Need I remind you that this is coming from a guy who is only seventeen. Most teens his age are more concerned with Drill Music, Codeine, and Social Media.
The look and feel of his finished products conveys complex emotions amidst unique and sophisticated settings. It was apparent to me why his distinctive sense of style is sought after and he explained to me the process of his work. "I draw a lot from my own experience and emotional state when it comes to my art. A lot of my photos are cold and intimate at the same time, which I think reflects the mood I was in for most of the time I spent developing my art form. I like to call my style a cold warmth," he explained.
Some of the clients Hennessy has shot in his emerging career are YouTube sensation JC Caylen and Electronic Dance music duo, Krewella. When asked what his ideal project would be, Hennessy had this to say, "I am actually an avid fan of high fashion. Yves Saint Laurent was a major influence in my life. I'm hoping to study design and pursue a double career as a designer and a fashion photographer." Ambitious goals for an ambitious individual. "I see myself continuing to shoot photographs, hopefully traveling the world as I do it, while meeting many other creative souls." he concludes by saying," It has been a dream of mine to shoot for publications like Vogue and Vanity Fair, so I see that as a major possibility as well if I follow the right paths in this industry."
It is our past experiences that define who we are in the present. As the old saying goes, "to get something you've never had, you have to do something you've never done." In other words: sometimes the clearest path to success lies beyond the road less traveled. Hennessy is the epitome of that.
(All images by Hennessy Vandheur)