No matter what creative business Reddie Henderson has been involved in, photography has always been central to his life. “I grew up around it,” says Henderson, who's now located in Carmel, IN. “It’s in my blood.” Reddie traveled the globe doing commercial work, but he’s best known for his interior and architectural work that emphasizes thoughtful composition and dramatic lighting.
Reddie grew up in Chicago. “My dad did a lot of photography as a hobby,” he recalls. “He was the one who did all the portraits for family and friends. There always was a camera or two around.”
Though Reddie had photography firmly planted in his subconscious, he studied design and mechanical engineering at Illinois Central College and worked as a design engineer intern at Caterpillar, Inc. in Peoria, Illinois for two years. “It was during the early 1980s,” recalls Henderson, “and the Caterpillar started laying off people due to a nation-wide recession. It was depressing, but it was actually a good thing for me, because I realized I didn't really like it that much and it certainly was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”
He followed other family members who’d moved to Phoenix and, in 1983, formally pursued photography and design by enrolling in a local art school, graduating top in his class. The same year, he began working as an assistant to world–renowned photographer Rick Rusing, who was then based in Tempe, Arizona. “Rick was truly a master photographer in the making at the time and his business was taking off,” recalls Henderson. “We literally traveled the world, shooting on location in Tahiti, Germany, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Austria and throughout the United States.” Rusing, who started out in architectural photography, had branched out, with clients that included advertising agencies for Audi automobiles and a major cruise line. “It was a great education,” says Henderson. “You truly do not learn real world photography in school. It’s learned in the field.”
1988 - First Big Shoot (Del Webb Corp)
1983 - First Week of Photography School
Henderson went out on his own in 1988. In 1991, he co-founded R and R Images, Inc. with the late Rod Key, with whom he made the leap into digital in the early 1990s. “We were the first to have digital cameras in Arizona,” he points out, “and later added digital prepress.” Henderson admits that clients were at first hesitant to make use of the fledgling digital photo technology, “but the cost and time-saving benefits eventually convinced them.” Henderson also made his way into digital video, graphic design, and web design. Along the way, he worked for clients that included advertising agencies, home-builders, resorts, interior designers, developers and architects. “Even though I’m well known for my architectural and interior work, I also shoot people and commercial products,” Henderson adds.
Eventually, though, after many years of being in the business, Henderson took hiatus from photography and moved to Indiana where he met his best friend and beautiful wife, Shelly. Always appreciative of good design, advertising and marketing, Henderson began his graphic design, web design, and IT services, but he always maintained that photography was the real deal for him. He's since returned to the architectural photography and is currently based out of the Indianapolis area.
We asked Reddie where did he get such a unique name. He said "I was named after my grandfather." So, what does the name "Reddie" mean? "Well, if you look it up in the "Urban Dictionary" you'll find quite an interesting fact!"
1966 - First Interest in Photography