Photographer Laura McCluskey turns her lens on London youth culture

Date
12 April 2017
Reading Time
2 minute read

Having grown up in Kent, photographer Laura McCluskey moved to London ten years ago to study at UCA Epsom in 2007. Now, seven years into a blossoming career as a freelance photographer, Laura tells us “2017 has been a really exciting year for me so far with a mix of editorial and campaign commissions. I recently shot a fashion story for Crepe City magazine on a Peckham rooftop, some portraits of talented musician Moses Sumney for So It Goes, poet Caleb Femi in Paris for The Guardian and some fashion stories for Paper Journal and Hypebeast. A couple of weeks ago I got to shoot three of my favourite new models for Fruitlands zine, these are published in the next couple of months. I’ve also been shooting for Topshop and some Adidas campaigns.”

Laura’s work, as her recent projects demonstrate, falls into portrait, fashion and documentary projects. “I have always been interested in photographing people,” she tells us. “I moved home a lot when I was growing up and I often felt like I was on the outside looking in.” Since learning to shoot on black and white film “when I was 14 at school and loved being in the darkroom and printing my work”, Laura has stuck with the medium. “I work in a very intuitive and decisive way with film,” the photographer says. “I moved on to digital and learnt to shoot a mix of both but I kept coming back to film as I felt like I was creating my best work this way. A couple of years ago I decided to keep to a consistent way of working and in a way that was most enjoyable. I love the mood created through a sense of lightness and ease. I love the process of working this way and shoot 80% of my projects on film.”

Describing her photographic style as “honest and relaxed”, Laura explains that “I always want to convey a sense of the subject’s personality and show something real about them. I enjoy shooting in a simple way like this and have learnt to get closer to my subjects to capture an emotional connection.” Youth culture and identity are never far from the frame, with street casting forming the backbone to Laura’s laid back aesthetic. Laura’s lookbook for skate company Sex is one example. “At the end of last year I worked on an exciting collaboration with my stylist friend Helen McGuckin – we shot the new Sex Skateboards collection in London,” she says. “I’d wanted to shoot a series of portraits that was entirely street cast. I found 10 boys and girls to shoot. I love the series because I‘d been working towards something like this for a while.” Next, Laura tells us she’s working on some personal projects (“one of which explores the space around us and how we live in London”) along with some portraits of her friends which she hopes to show later this year. Watch this space.

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Laura McCluskey: Sex Skateboards

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Laura McCluskey: Sex Skateboards

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Laura McCluskey: Sex Skateboards

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Laura McCluskey: Sex Skateboards

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Laura McCluskey: Caleb Femi

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Laura McCluskey: Caleb Femi

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Laura McCluskey: Crepe City

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Laura McCluskey: Crepe City

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Laura McCluskey: Akinola Davies Jr

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Laura McCluskey: Akinola Davies Jr

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Laura McCluskey: Cassey Chanel

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Laura McCluskey: Cassey Chanel

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Laura McCluskey: Cassey Chanel

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Laura McCluskey: Cassey Chanel

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Laura McCluskey: Moses Sumney

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Laura McCluskey: Moses Sumney

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Laura McCluskey: Moses Sumney

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Laura McCluskey: Samuel

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Laura McCluskey: Samuel

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About the Author

Bryony Stone

Bryony joined It's Nice That as Deputy Editor in August 2016, following roles at Mother, Secret Cinema, LAW, Rollacoaster and Wonderland. She later became Acting Editor at It's Nice That, before leaving in late 2018.

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