Harry is one of the UK’s finest portrait photographers and his work has been published widely. His earliest commissions were for the NME, New Musical Express, and then The Observer. He won prizes at the World Press Photo awards (1997 and 1999) and was a judge in the contest in 2010 and 2011. In June 2005 he was awarded a solo exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London. ‘Harry Borden: On Business’ brought together 30 portraits of leading business leaders and The NPG now has more than 100 examples of Harry’s work in its permanent collection. At the age of 40, having spent half his life photographing famous people, he wanted to do something with meaning.
Harry wanted to use his work to show something that would show the test of time. ‘You have to decide whether you’re just trying to do a project because you think you ought to,’ he says. ‘I feel more drawn to projects that mean something to me personally– and each one of them does.’ ‘I want to take intrinsic pleasure from my work,’ he says. ‘My main aim is to be reflective and just to have an enjoyable life. If you are creatively fulfilled and your approach is true to yourself, I think it makes you a happier person.’
His on-going personal projects include a series on lone fathers, Single Parent Dads and Holocaust Survivors, which was shortlisted for the European Publishers Award for Photography and was released in 2017 by Octopus. In 2014 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Royal Photographic Society.
Harry feels fortunate to have met and photographed remarkable people and this has certainly felt meaningful to him and taking photographs of holocaust survivors helped him find his own identity.