Henry Seattle Weekly Cover

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Mural painter Henry photographed by John Keatley for the cover of Seattle Weekly.

I photographed Ryan Henry Ward for the cover of the current Seattle Weekly.  It looks really beautiful in print if you are in Seattle and are able to track down a copy.  There is something about the rough matte newsprint, muted colors, and heavy contrast that really makes this image stand out.  As the copy indicates, if you live in Seattle, or even visited recently, you have probably come across at least one of Henry’s colorful murals which are spread across the city.  He just finished his 120th mural in the last 3 years.  He has also sold over 2,000 canvases, which is impressive, but even more so when you hear he has only been painting full time since 2008.

Henry signs all of his murals with a big “Henry” in black on a white circle.  It’s hard to miss, and most likely a big part of his success and brand recognition.  Since his work is mostly cartoon-like animals, I thought it would be fun to photograph him in costume as if he were one of his creatures.  My art director, Boo Davis, came up huge in finding this narwhal costume, and big thanks to Henry for being willing to go along with this idea.  It took some warming up to the idea on his part, but I think it turned out fantastic.  The horn was a little problematic, and made the shoot take about twice as long as it needed to, but he was really patient and made it work.  You can read the article about Henry on the Seattle Weekly website.


You never fail to make a photo entertaining. Love the quirkiness!

POSTED BY KFinn on 9-13-2011

John you always seem to capture your subjects perfectly! This is great stuff! I've always admired your work and look up to you!

POSTED BY Mike Fiechtner on 9-13-2011

Our neighborhood all got together and paid him to mural a wall that was constantly getting tagged. He came in with his friend, his dog and his funky painted car and worked till all hours completing it (how he didn't run down his car battery with the lights on, I don't know. maybe narwhal oil?). He did a self-portrait of himself and his dog. I think he said it was his first self-portrait but I'm not sure. He was really nice, always comes back to paint over any tags. Nice to have a little playful sunshine at the end of our block instead of the eyesore that was there. (I did some pics of him doing the mural but I posted those on your FB update so I don't want to seem like I'm spamming you with my work by putting them here as well!)

POSTED BY Tuffer on 9-14-2011

How did you coach him to get such an expression out of him? This is great!

POSTED BY Ben on 9-15-2011

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