Lucy Ridgard’s Arresting Portraits

By EyeEm Team - 4 min read

We used the EyeEm Vision algorithm to find an undiscovered photographer on EyeEm.

Out of all photographers joining us so far in 2016, we queried the EyeEm Vision algorithm to show us the most promising, yet under-the-radar talent, currently on the platform. The result: Lucy Ridgard and Youth Club, her strong series of portraits documenting the next generation emerging from her hometown.

The mood.
Quiet, thoughtful, strong. Sometimes with a touch of mystery and cheekiness, I hope. The start. At school in photography class, from about the age of 15 or 16, I think.

There’s no place like home. [This series published here] shows a group of teenagers from my hometown of Bury St Edmunds, England, whom I have a certain affinity with. They’re mementos of me at that age and my youthful pursuit of individuality through style and music. I shot them through a nostalgic lens and arranged in countryside locations that have a special resonance with me. Whilst at times the environment felt magical, it also felt boring, restricted and limited, and our aim was often escape. I Intended them to be seen neither with irony nor with judgement. I wanted to reveal their invincible, yet vulnerable, nature and their intensified search for identity and belonging, capturing the intensity and complexity of their passage from childhood into adulthood.

The inspiration.
Teenagers, people, style, cultural movements, and society as a whole – locally and world-wide. I’m really interested in anthropology and that idea of style tribes: humans are the only species that alters its identity through dress, adornment, piercings, tattoos, etc. Right now, I’m reading a book about the ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultz and his spent time with the Amazonian tribes.

Photography is…
A tool that can be used however you want, and as a great form of self expression. It can be a money maker, an educator, a documenter, an entertainer, an art form – a hobby can become an art.

I love that we all take photos on our phones. History is constantly being documented – what an amazing archive there will be of the 20th and 21st century!

Getting the shot.
After the subject, a good location that they’ll work well with [is important]: colors, tones, textures are really important to me. Light can be a deciding factor. If I’m just using natural light, I prefer afternoon onwards for the direction and color of the light… even if it’s cloudy.

London and the analogue camera.
London’s not often a direct theme in my work, but due to the expense of living in London, it means I have to really consider what I’m shooting and not waste my lm. So, inadvertently, London slows me down and makes me think and consider what I’m shooting more: A bit less haste, more speed, which I think is a good thing.

The artist and technology.
It helps me as an artist. In relation to EyeEm, Instagram, Facebook, etc., it only gives me more exposure, and sometimes jobs. Of course, there’s more competition and more people doing it. Because of the Internet, people today are much more clued in and culturally aware. Photography is much more accessible and that can only be a good thing.

Jacob, 17. By Lucy Ridgard.

Chants, 16. By Lucy Ridgard.

Charlie S., 16. By Lucy Ridgard.

Noah, 16. By Lucy Ridgard.

Will, 16. By Lucy Ridgard.

Alfie, 16. By Lucy Ridgard.

Milo, 16. By Lucy Ridgard.

Age: 42
Gear: Mamiya RB67
Tune: “808 state” – Pacific State
Art: Joanna Vasconcellos’ “Garden of Eden”
Dream Adventure: The Amazon
Heroes: Anthropologist Wade Davis; photographer Daniel Meadows
State of Mind: Happy

This article first appeared in Vol. IV of EyeEm Magazine. Want to read more? Head over to swag.eyeem.com and get yourself a copy.