Harriet Were is a New Zealand photographer who takes pictures of pretty girls and nice places. Which is pretty smart, because if there are two things New Zealand has pleanty of it’s babes and scenery. She splits her time between shooting fashion editorials for publications and populating her popular photography blog Harry Were. It’s the perfect mix of pictures that will make you want to take a holiday and people who look a lot healthier and more relaxed than you probably do.
VICE: It feels like so many New Zealand artists are moving abroard, do you plan to stay?
Harriet Were: Not forever—there’re so many places to see and people to meet. I will definitely always call New Zealand home, there's some sort of magic here.
You lived in Paris, which is obviously very different but also often romanticised. Do you prefer one location to shoot than the other?
I wasn’t taking very many photos when I lived in Paris. I had my Dad’s old film camera and no money to buy or develop film. I wish I had taken more. I have emails of my experiences then instead of photos. I wouldn’t prefer one or the other though. The location would be great wherever I was in the world. At the moment it is New Zealand and I like that to come through in my photos, or I definitely don’t want to cover that up.
Your work is so stripped back, do you have much of a process?
I try to keep it very simple. I rely a lot on natural light or no flash, the atmosphere is captured better. With my own work I like capturing girls and people just as they are. Not overly posed. I don’t edit photos, I don’t know how to use Photoshop. Imperfections and shyness are beautiful and normal. I hope people can relate to my photos.
Your photographs with models look so relaxed it's almost like they're outtakes. What do you ask of your models before shooting?
I don’t ask them anything. I want to capture them just as they are and the way they feel comfortable. Sometimes it's hard to peel back the seductive sort of looks and poses they're used to doing. I am not big on makeup and hair, they are beautiful as they are – young and fresh. I want people to see that.