Henrik Purienne exists in a hedonistic universe home to a myriad of captivating women and perpetual sunshine - attributes that undoubtedly stir up jealousy and admiration in equal measure. We caught up with the libertine photographer to find out more about the man behind the lens.

Where did photography begin for you?

At the Hugo Naudé Art School in the small town of Worcester, South Africa. I had an Italian art teacher who gave me a skeleton key so I could hang out in the darkroom* after hours (*not the bar on Melrose, LA). I guess before that I was solely responsible for wasting tons of film on the ‘family 35mm camera’ – my mom use to hide it from the kids. That made it fairly appealing. 

What inspired the creation of Mirage Magazine and what's next in that chapter?

Mirage is basically a scrapbook for my more superficial obsessions such as design, cars, girls and architecture. When I teamed up with graphic designer Frank Rocholl it just fell into place. Currently we are developing a lifestyle brand around it to serve our following..a capsule fashion and beauty line.. content channels.. and a series of related ‘dream project’ collaborations. 

Tell us more about your self-titled book?

‘Purienne’ is my first monograph published by Randomhouse/Prestel. It is a collection of summer holiday snapshots and portraits between Cape Town, Los Angeles and the south of France.

Do you have another book in the pipeline?

My next book with Prestel is due early 2015. I’m scaling down on commercial photography and shifting my focus to books and exhibitions. 

Your penchant for blondes is unmistakable - what sparked this?

I could speculate but reality is that this is a complete mystery.  

Who do you look up to?

By nature I appreciate those who are indifferent to public notion or trends.

What is your favourite time of the year?

Summer. Forever.

What's your drink of choice?

Harmless Harvest Coconut Water.

Define beauty.


Something you couldn't live without?

Freedom of choice, speech and movement. 

Who do you most want to photograph?

Whoever I’m in love with at the time.

What inspires you outside of photography?

The human condition.

What would you be doing if you weren't doing this?

I’m really just doing this so I don’t have to compromise on my first love.

What's next for you? 

My first love.

Henrik Purienne

Henrik Purienne

I’m really just doing this so I don’t have to compromise on my first love.