'The biggest challenge I faced when shooting Henry was to relinquish the control I usually have over a shoot and let him flow, with minimal interruption.'
Mark Leighton was a photographer whose work I had admired long before I started working on FH. Mark's images showed up early as pic of days starting in 2008, and in a piece spotlighting David Costa in 2009. It was 2012 however, when I first started full features with Mark's images. Mark's images quickly became a regular, a favorite part, of working on the site. In 2014, I started At The End Of The Day, a series featuring Mark's images of models relaxing, at the end of their long hard days.
Mark's images have sent me into dreamland many times, especially of one day planning a trip to Lagos. Mark's images don't just capture the beauty of city, it's oceans and beaches, they make you feel like your there. The rush of the water, the coolness of the sand and the heat of the sun beating down are all embedded in each shot. I especially love how Mark incorporates the ocean into his work. His models just don't pose in front of, or in the water, they inhabit it almost like mermen who live and breath with each incoming wave.
Mark is not only a talented artist, he is also a wonderful person to collaborate with. When I recently got in contact with Mark about an older shoot, as he often does, he was excited to share one of his most recent shoots, with Henry. After spending some time with Henry's images, it wasn't hard to see why. Henry has an incredibly elegant presence in front of the lens, graceful, dramatic and incredibly sensual. Henry also has a magnificent torso, especially his stomach and abs. They defy description, but so many of us I know, would kill to have.
'Henry is one of the most naturally talented and inspirational models I have worked with. Give him the location and the wardrobe and he will take it from there. He needs minimal direction. He has an ability that I think you cannot teach, to deliver an amazing variety of emotions which bring the images to a different level. Henry has a lot of energy and he can chat for Holland, shooting with him means there is never a dull moment.'
25 year old Henry Lim describes himself as a Dutch model of Singaporean extraction. After being spotted by a talent agent three years ago, Henry has been busy in front the camera and traveling for shoots in the Netherlands as well as in Belgium, Germany and Portugal. Henry is a natural performer and his dance background plays a part in all the incredible poses and lines he creates within his images. Henry describes his work with Mark as a lot of fun, starting the moment Mark picked him up at the airport. Mark was thrilled with the results of his work with Mark and attributes much of the success to the incredible chemistry they were able to create together.
'Mark calls me Tornado Henry, because I have a lot of energy and talked a lot haha. But he really liked it and it was a lot of fun with lots of laughing.'
'I was very nervous because Mark told me he had high expectations of shooting with me because of the pictures he had seen from me. I also told Mark that it is normal that I am nervous before the first shoot and that it actually was a very good sign. It is a way for me to focus on the shoot, so it happens all the time. I was used to it and I told him that as soon as I am on location and the camera shows up, I will get into my performance mode. After a few shots Mark told me that I was a very unique model, who actually didn't need many suggestions for different poses. He told me I was very natural in posing and that he was very impressed.'
We shot a couple of days on different locations, we did some indoor shoots, but most of them were on the beach. When we were shooting on the beach there were not too many people around. The weather was very pleasant for the shoot. Sunny with some wind. Every time I saw the unedited pictures after the shoot I was always very surprised that it was actually me on that picture haha, but at the end of my stay Mark really convinced me that it was really me! I didn't believe I could look that nice on a picture, so many times I just thought it was just another person. When I saw the edited pictures I was even more surprised, sometimes I just told Mark: "I never knew I could look that hot on a picture!"