Models: Sabrina Sin, Karen Zomboro, Hex Hypoxia, Roxy Vandiver.
Kenny Haner is a Houston-based photographer. This interview appears in Sinical #7.
Sinical Magazine: You're currently based in Houston. Have you always lived in Texas?
Kenny Haner: I was born in New York, but as far as I can remember, I've always lived in Texas
Sinical Magazine: When did you get started in photography?
Kenny Haner: My last two years of high school. I had a camera, but took photography classes because the classroom and darkroom were separate. So you could roam the halls or even leave school and nobody would notice. I had too much fun in the darkroom though and never got around to the truancy.
Sinical Magazine: What type of camera and lighting equipment do you use?
Kenny Haner: I try not to geek out on gear too much. Some of the best photos in the world were taken on far less advanced equipment than what we're walking around with in our cell phones. That said, I currently have a Canon 30D and mostly use an Alien Bee 800 and a couple of speedlights.
Sinical Magazine: What is the most important aspect of a photo to you?
Kenny Haner: Every pixel is important. Unfortunately, one of the rules I picked up in photo class that I never got out of my head. I once signed and dated the corner of one of my assignments instead of the back. I was treated to a lengthy lecture on how if the area I wrote on, was so unimportant that I could scribble all over it, I should have cropped tighter.
Sinical Magazine: Beyond your alternative photography, what other types of photography do you do?
Kenny Haner: I'm a food and beverage photographer by day. A magazine I was working for needed photos of a martini and as it turns out, that's really hard to do and I became quite good at it.
Sinical Magazine: Do you enjoy commercial photography or is it more of a job to you?
Kenny Haner: I absolutely love it. I've worked some horrible jobs. The worst day shooting photos is infinitely better than the best day sitting in a cubicle or painting firehouses in the Texas heat.
Sinical Magazine: There is a horror theme in a series of your photos. Can you talk about your fascination with horror?
Kenny Haner: There's just something great about scaring yourself and getting creeped out.
Sinical Magazine: What are some of your favorite shooting locations?
Kenny Haner: I shoot downtown Houston often. It's close by and pretty much every block has something interesting. For more risque images, local bars and clubs are pretty hospitable and well decorated.
Sinical Magazine: Do you prefer to shoot in a studio or on location?
Kenny Haner: This changes almost daily, but I get bored quickly in a studio. I find myself searching for something different and usually end up outside. Location shoots usually have more possibilities and make great shots easier. For me at least.
Sinical Magazine: How important are props to you in a photo shoot?
Kenny Haner: Depends on the image. Even when shooting with props, I tend to get closeups of faces and those usually are my favorites.
Sinical Magazine: What are some mistakes you made photography-wise when you first started out that you don't do now?
Kenny Haner: Not Looking at light was a big one. I quickly grasped the technical details of shutter speed, aperture, DOF, etc. And I liked my composition and immediately thought I knew it all. Being able to see light and its reflections is very valuable and only later did I figure that out. Shooting glassware is the trick. You have to light the reflections and it's a mind blowing experience when you figure it out.
Model: Shannon Lark.