Young traditions

10th January 2020

I’ve known Rachel since my first year of university so that’s a large amount of time I don’t wish to calculate to remind myself I’m not 28 anymore. I was always hesitant to shoot her. I’m not sure why but it felt too intimate. Perhaps because I respected her artistic eye I was concerned for any sense of an anticlimax.
Rachel is both disappointed and inspired to the extreme. She sees wonder in nature and creativity and has a beautiful sense of appreciation of it. However, she is highly critical and tired of most of modern society.She’s an emo. It’s entertaining company that I adore. Therefore I assumed that any image we make would be assessed with open reflection that I needed to prepare myself from.
Once I felt brave enough, we unexpectedly began what is now an annual tradition. Rachel comes back to the UK from Berlin every Christmas. We meet at the Southbank, hit a show, take a stroll and shoot before reclining into any establishment that sells alcohol.

The first time we shot Rach surprised me with her enthusiasm towards the results and this definitely put me at ease. She has the wonderful ability to look at a portrait of herself objectively.
This year we struggled. Something was lacking, maybe I needed more pressure and a sense of risk or maybe I just felt uninspired. This resulted in Rachel standing freezing cold and grumpy in a corner of piss. Hence her expression.

What I love about our annual images is that I hope these will accumulate into a long lasting collection. To mark the wonderful catch-ups we have as we march along the Thames speaking openly like old friends do.

oao x