EDITORS’ PICK

Growing Up and Growing On

YOUTHHOOD

Youthhood Editors’ Pick

Following Greg Miller’s selection of winning images for our YOUTHHOOD theme, this compilation of 20 images, selected by the Life Framer editors represents some of the other talented photographers whose work struck us and left a mark. Each a stunning image worthy of exposure and attention…

These are intended to be a conversation starter… so feel free to join the discussion on our social networks.

BANNER IMAGE COURTESY OF LINDA VAROMA
www.lindavaroma.com / @lindavaroma

“My autobiographical work explores themes such as domesticity, motherhood and the everyday. My images all have in common a warm sense of humor, tenderness and clarity. I like to explore the quotidian and use my intensely seeing eyes to nurture me through these years of fragmented focus and weariness and make parenting my subject matter rather than an obstacle to overcome.”

Editor’s comment: Wonderful lighting creates an ethereal magic realism and clarity of expression to describe the boundless fun of youthhood.

IMAGE COURTESY OF TOMASO LISCA
www.tomasolisca.com / @tomasolisca

“Harar, Little Mecca, Ethiopia 2015.”

Editor’s comment: A claustrophobic, artificial scene where the blue overtones and crowded shelves in this image aptly reflect the constriction shown. Instead of roaming free, the boy is constrained to a vendor’s shop, not much bigger (metaphorically) than a shoe box. It poses challenging questions around the global fashion industry and child labor.

IMAGE COURTESY OF IAN BAGUSKAS
www.ianbaguskasphoto.com / @ianbaguskas

“From the series China (work in progress) – Eating dinner outside temporary housing for migrant construction workers, Beijing, China.”

Editor’s comment: A brilliant juxtaposition of a very ordinary, placid action in the chaotic environment of a migrant camp in Beijing. A quite fascinating glimpse into a childhood in difficult surroundings, caught in golden hour lighting that adds to the reflective mood.

IMAGE COURTESY OF ASAF OREN
www.asaforen.com / @asaf.oren

“From the series Domestic Moments – The project is composed of a series of staged large-format photos of daily actions, taking place in private domestic spaces. Those domestic spaces are revealed to the eyes of the observer with an abundance of light, color and detail, allowing them to observe and research the properties and symbols of each place. However, those “documented” acts are an extremely daily routine, seemingly totally insignificant actions. The kind of actions we never really pay attention to, and certainly don’t bother to commemorate by taking a photo. This meticulous and penetrating documentation method attracts the viewer and offers them a sharp view into those daily situations, creating a great sense of importance. But, a deeper observation will reveal that the main interest and subject matter are the domestic spaces themselves and their contents, and not the actions taking place in them. The contrast between those “unimportant” actions and between the wealth of information and cultural hints which lies in the details, creates a tension. The same tension which accompanies the question “what deserves to be photographed?””

Editor’s comment: While the eye goes first to the woman in the doorway, it’s a delight to bounce off to the lower left third where the child is. There is so much here to absorb – a beautiful chaos that sums up motherhood quite wonderfully, and that Asaf manages to channel into a semblance of order through his composition. Excellent color and detail of daily life as well.

IMAGE COURTESY OF CLIFF BEVAN
@cliffbevan

Editor’s comment: Everything from the ascending order of the boys, to the buildings in the background, to the vapor trails of planes in the sky line up magically in this shot. The “tough guy” expressions also add to the flavor, creating something beautifully expressive and idiosyncratic. And the color grading is nice too. Beautiful composition and editing!

IMAGE COURTESY OF DAVE SHRIMPTON
www.daveshrimpton.co.uk / @dave_shrimpton

“Gil Bartholeyns once said: “Once upon a time in the wonderful world of images, a few brave engineers discovered how to turn light into digital signals. But they were unaware that their invention would eventually lead to the pixellation of our entire visual world and that this new technology would soon create upheaval in the longstanding pairing of image and time”. It’s because of that I’ve made it my life’s work to bring it all back and it’s a rewarding thing to do. For every wet plate or large format Polaroid I create, I get a year’s worth of satisfaction, dreams and breathless moments of processing beauty. I have the best job in the world! Most of my photographs are taken using vintage cameras (some of them more than 100 years old) and produced on Perspex using the 1851 Wet Plate Collodion process. The photographs and plates were created in my darkroom using entirely traditional analog techniques involving the alchemy of Ether and Silver Nitrate. Each plate is unique and individual with its own beautiful wet plate collodion plate edge swirls and movement.”

Editor’s comment: A beautiful one-of-a-kind wet plate shot. The swirls and movement really add to the beauty and subtlety of the piece, while the subject themselves, gazing upwards in daydream, is wonderful. Well done!

IMAGE COURTESY OF GREG TURNER
www.gregoryjohnturner.com / @geetee1972

“From the series Here Among the Flowers – An exploration of the Jungian concept of the ‘Anima’, the unconscious, internal feminine side of a man. It aims to offer a more positive portrayal of men and challenge the collective perception of masculinity in the post ‘Me Too’ world. “

Editor’s comment: This image captures the essence of many different emotions at once, and the juxtaposition of masculine and feminine tropes (Stetsons, cigarettes, flowers, nudity) adds to the mystique and interest of the photo. Here is a young man of a generation that refuses to be pigeon-holed by traditional stereotypes.

IMAGE COURTESY OF TIJANA PAKIC
www.tijanapakic.com / @tijanapakic

“From the series Wherever You Find Me, I’ll Be There – I am a mother and so I take many, many photographs of my daughter like all parents do. But I take them primarily because I am a photographer. I use any equipment I have available in the moment: my analog camera or my digital camera or my smart phone. Using the different cameras I produce a lot of pictures that I compile, compare, select and mix even though the technical differences are incomparable. It doesn’t really matter to me… Every good image is worth attention no matter the tool used to make it and no matter of its technical achievement. These images aren’t necessarily about my daughter even though she is the main subject. I don’t intend to show her life story, there is no storytelling. I would say these photographs are about my visual perceptions over time through photographic research.”

Editor’s comment: There’s a lot of beauty in this composition – with the sunset of course but also the way in which the girl faces away from the others, yet somewhat towards the camera, lending the scene a real poignancy. The foreground stems of plants, picked out in the last light of the day, also act as a great framing device to give a sense of childhood exploration.

IMAGE COURTESY OF SHAMIL KHAIROV
www.khairov-photo.co.uk

“From the series The Music of Childhood.”

Editor’s comment: A fascinating monochromatic scene with the arched posture of the subject blending beautifully with the reflection in the pond. The skewed composition and interesting coloration create something that feels sublime – a divine depiction of the magic of youthhood.

IMAGE COURTESY OF SARAH MALAKOFF
www.sarahmalakoff.com / @smalakoff

“From the series Interior Portraits – My photographs are a collection of private spaces that ask the viewer to imagine the people who inhabit them. In these images, I look at evidence and remnants of childhood. Decor, toys, games, and forts appear in contrast with the architecture and other adult possessions. We see both the unique ways we live behind closed doors, as well as the universal impulse to control our environment. The quiet moments of the images, devoid of human presence, speak to the nostalgia and bittersweet memories of growing up and perhaps belie the tangle of family interactions that have transpired or are unfolding outside of the frame.”

Editor’s comment: A quiet still life bringing overtones of a childhood long past to mind. It’s an excellent, emotive portrayal of youth without having any human subjects involved. A superb response to the theme.

IMAGE COURTESY OF ADA BLIGAARD SØBY
www.istillmissdavidbowie.com / @dogpoison

Editor’s comment: A difficult image conveying a gritty side of youth. The composition is at once disturbing yet also apropos, as the abrupt cut off feeling of the bottom of the frame echoes the missing hand and the wound on it.

IMAGE COURTESY OF MICHAŁ GRUSZCZYŃSKI
www.michalgruszczynski.com / @gruszczynskimichal

“From the series The Tian Shan – Lake Issyk-kul in Kyrgyzstan, Tian Shan mountains. We were making breakfast by the lake shore and then out of the blue comes a white horse and 4 Kyrgyz boys. They start playing in the water, smoking cigarettes and drinking cheap wine. Unconcerned play.”

Editor’s comment: Tight framing and the black and white treatment distill this scene into a simple idea – youthhood innocence and the loss of it. It’s an excellent candid image, especially in the comparison of the differing expressions as the youths smoke.

IMAGE COURTESY OF PATRICK FRASER
www.patrickfraserstudio.com / @patrickfraserstudio

Editor’s comment: A “slice of life” photo with just enough tractor present to give us context. There’s great variety in expression and posture, capturing an excitement and ennui at once.

IMAGE COURTESY OF MEREDITH ANDREWS
www.meredithandrewsphotography.com / @meredithphoto

“Portraits of residents of Bermuda, my home.”

Editor’s comment: A beautiful portrait, capturing a tender affection between these young girls – the powerful, consuming bond of childhood friendship and shared experience. Placing them in front of the turquoise wall is a fantastic choice, creating a vibrancy in the complimentary red colors of their uniforms and make-up.

IMAGE COURTESY OF MELISSA STEWART
@mellisstew

“This portrait of my youngest niece Audrey, was taken up at Woodend where Audrey lives. She is 11 years old. When I asked her to bring something special along to the shoot she introduced me to her doll, ‘Baby’, aptly named, whom she is very attached to.”

Editor’s comment: Classical portraiture of a girl with her favorite doll, captured with soft colors and excellent framing. In her wary expression, slightly standoffish pose, and the way she clutches the small doll it asks interesting questions of care and nurture and affection.

IMAGE COURTESY OF LUKE BURGESS
www.lukeburgess.com.au / @lukeburgess77

“Future rider of the frontier / Svaneti dreaming – The juxtaposition of the lives of the young on the Georgian borderlands. Within earshot of danger and insurgents they stage the mountain crossings on imaginary horses. Wild eyed and cheeky, they bristle with bravery. The days are long and the life is hard. Well do they sleep and dream of their home on the frontier.”

Editor’s comment: A childhood far removed from many of ours. The childhood play with imaginary horses amidst a panorama so wide makes one wonder just how the land shapes a youth.

IMAGE COURTESY OF SARAH MEI HERMAN
www.sarahmeiherman.nl / @sarahmeiherman

“From the series Touch – Growing up is an important theme in my work, mainly focusing on adolescents and young adults; on their constant state of becoming; trying to capture the fleeting beauty of the continual changes and transitions they go through on their way to adulthood. I am drawn to the intensity, vulnerability and sometimes loneliness of these stages. A recurring theme is the gray area between friendship and love, and the ambiguity of relationships in certain stages of life. I primarily work on ongoing projects photographing the same subjects over many years. I started this series during an artist in residence in Xiamen. I photographed several young women and their intimate relationships, finding my subjects in the streets of Xiamen and at the university campus. With some of them I built up a closer friendship photographing them repeatedly over time. Linli became an important and recurring subject in this ongoing series. This photograph was taken of her together with her first girlfriend Naomi, just after they got together. They were very much in love at the time.”

Editor’s comment: An excellent document of the intensity of young connections, especially given the expressions on their faces. We see love, affection and closeness side by side with tedium and monotony. Endless days, for good and bad.

IMAGE COURTESY OF DEAN MARSH
www.deanmarshphoto.com / @deanmarshphoto

Editor’s comment: Classic summertime capture of youth with perfect lighting and the suggestion of adventure. The framing provided by tree branches and leading line of the winding river is excellent.

IMAGE COURTESY OF VIRGINIE PLAUCHUT
www.virginieplauchut.com / @ninieland

“From the series Mental Theater – I have always had his mental images which come to me like a flash, a breath, a draft. I don’t always understand them. Sometimes they bother me or question me. Sometimes I write them down, often I forget them. And then, they started to take up more and more space with the need to give them life. They are not related to each other. They are what is playing in my head. They are my mental theater.”

Editor’s comment: The simplicity and elegance of this shot really makes it stand out, and the high key lighting is tastefully done. Through dance-like posture it captures something of the intensity, perhaps overwhelmingly so, of youthhood love.

IMAGE COURTESY OF JAN-PETER OLTERS

Editor’s comment: The far-away look to this photo is reminiscent of how far away the play of childhood might be to children who have to work. The bleakness is highlighted by how barren the terrain is while the mission of the children is to gather firewood. Poignant on many different levels.

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