When Thierry Prinston meets us for the photo shoot, he exudes confidence and enthusiasm. Carrying a professional camera bag and sun reflector, he greets us warmly in clear English and jumps into our plans for the day.
‘Where did Thierry go to school for photography? How did he learn his craft?’ I want to know, as the team sips some cold Prestige (Haiti’s national beer) back at Thierry’s apartment. He’s a little confused by the question, and asks to have it rephrased. Thierry is self-taught. He got his first camera (a Kodak) as a gift from his mother when he was ten. “I used to take pictures of everything. Everything that moves; that grows… I spent the whole 22 shots on the film shooting nonsense.”
Thierry’s learned through his own experimentation with different camera settings, and research on YouTube and other websites, and listening to people using the same equipment. Today, you can see Thierry’s work all over Haiti. He juggles multiple commercial contracts, including work with 7UP, Malta, and the Haitian energy drink Toro.
When it comes to challenges, Thierry sees himself like many photographers around the world; his height is his biggest challenge. “I have to have the best angles; I have to climb on something.” But it’s really Thierry’s passion that defines him as an artist. “I think the best part, the thing that keeps me doing this here, is their reaction after I show them the picture. - First of all, they’re pretty accepting when you ask them to take the picture - but when you show, they’re like, ‘Oh! I want it. Can you take another one? Like this now?’”.
In addition to photography, Thierry has also studied Mental Health. He took Espere’s Certificate course back in 2015. “People need to know more about mental health, first. For what? Because we’re all stressed out. But we don’t know if the signs [indicate] depression. We don’t know what it is, you know? We have complete ignorance of it. We don’t know how to react. I think having people know about mental health and saying “That’s stress, that’s depression… and here’s how you deal with it. That’s how you react to this and to that. People need to know this more here.”
We are so grateful that Thierry, and his assistant Manuel, were willing and able to support Espere, by contributing their talent to Espere’s 2018 Calendars. 10% of the net profit from all calendar purchases will go to them. You can purchase the calendars in our shop, and you can follow Thierry on Instagram at @Thierry Prinston.