For BAD Concept’s first international interview, meet Henry Diagne; a Photographer, Director and global citizen currently based in Paris. Through his images, Henry imbues the everyday and the ordinary with a touch of magic through his eye for detail pertaining to composition, colour and connecting with whoever is in front of his lens.
Living in Senegal, Switzerland and Paris, Henry has experienced a range of cultures that inform his work today, such as being surrounded by nature and beautiful landscapes while living in Senegal and Switzerland, “they are the two countries I feel very connected with because of the “down to earth” environment  I grew up in.” Refusing to limit his perspective when it comes to photography, Henry captures people, objects, places and fashion with a sophisticated wonder, "I use my visual senses a lot. I pay attention to what is timeless in the object, for example a garment, such as the cut and the material rather than the brand or the colour.”

Often it’s expected of photographers that they refine their work and find their style in order to be recognised or considered as an artist. Usually, this happens through an iterative process of photographing the same subjects, in a certain way over and over again. However, on the opposite end of the spectrum, and there are few who do this well, are the photographers whose artistic style and practice is defined by a lack of constraints. Their style comes from expressing their point of view freely rather than working within parameters. Henry is the latter, “I can’t say that I have any preference, the fact of making different things in photography forces me in a way to have reflection of what is my style and how I can be recognised by my style. I’m trying to not limit myself.”
What harmonises Henry’s work is his sensitivity to certain stimuli that comes from within. 
“Since I started photography, I have always let my sensitivity express itself. What I create combines instinct with the desire to convey strong feelings.”
Henry arrives at this answer after I ask him what he likes looking at.
"There’s something in the vivid colours I see when I’m back in Senegal such as yellow and green that inspire me. They are the colours of joy to me, I hear the sounds of Dakar in my head. It makes me happy."
“One of my other passions is art. The impressionist movement and painters like Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin, and Henry Matisse have influenced me. I was completely captivated by the quick loose brush strokes, bright paintings with relative colours and the “en plein air” painting technique."
When Henry first began taking photos, his style was led by trusting his instinct, knowing what he did and didn’t like and following what he was drawn to. This raw passion was then translated into a professional language Henry could use to make a living.
So he set out to gain all the knowledge he could from some of the world’s most established photographer’s, “I have assisted Jean-Baptiste Mondino, Ezra Petronio and Patrick Demarchelier.”
“They are the most iconic fashion photographers in the world and I was honoured to work with them. The inspiration they gave me made me reflect on which direction to head with my career. Now I’m focused on building my own professional entourage with conscientious people who have the same values as me.”
Despite assisting photographers like Patrick Demarchelier, who is responsible for creating some of the most extravagant images for Vogue magazine most notably, Henry’s own taste leads his lens in the opposite direction, to create simple and clean images that explore movement and liberty. 
“For me, incredible photos are based on small details such as the vein of a leaf in nature. I want to bring out the extraordinary in simplicity. Even though it is a cliché I think that less is more.”
Henry’s conviction that simple is best comes from knowing himself, what he likes and what he believes a beautiful image to be. Trusting your taste is something Henry encourages upcoming photographers to cultivate whilst simultaneously learning from those who came before you, “I would advise them to create pictures that they really like and that reflect their personal style. It's very important to exchange ideas and collaborate with other people who are more experienced, and build a network, because it is a very important part of the job for sure.”
From his humble beginnings working as an assistant at Studio Astre in Paris to shooting campaigns for Chanel, Nike and Rimowa as well as creating work for himself, Henry has nurtured a quiet and beautiful elegance that permeates his work, whether commercial or personal, to make images that will stand the test of time.
Keep up with Henry Diagne on Instagram
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