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Work / Photography

16-year-old photographer Nico Young shoots the New York Times Magazine cover

For the most recent issue of the New York Times Magazine, 16-year-old photographer Nico Young was commissioned to shoot a photo essay and cover. Nico, a student at Santa Monica High in California, was instructed by Kathy Ryan, director of photography at the magazine, to “document the timeless rituals of high school – the mad dash between classes, lunchtime cliques, yearbook signings, the prom, and dissections in the science lab. When the athletes and band members returned for preseason practice in August, he was there to document that too.”

The images capture the subjects as they enter adulthood and are preparing to leave the relative safety of high school. We see the students partying, skating, smoking and falling down – in capturing his peers having fun, Nico has created a set of images that don’t show condescension or judgement on what is being documented. “Not surprisingly, the most interesting pictures were made outside the four walls of the classroom, where the students were free to be their most exuberant – and most vulnerable – selves, in a world of their own making,” says Kathy.

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Nico Young: Inside Santa Monica High

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Nico Young: Inside Santa Monica High

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Nico Young: Inside Santa Monica High

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Nico Young: Inside Santa Monica High

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Nico Young: Inside Santa Monica High

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Nico Young: Inside Santa Monica High

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Nico Young: Inside Santa Monica High

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Nico Young: Inside Santa Monica High

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Nico Young: Inside Santa Monica High

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Nico Young: Inside Santa Monica High

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Nico Young: Inside Santa Monica High