Holly Whitaker is photographing London’s underground music scene
By Ella Joyce | Art | 6 February 2024
This article is part of HERO Framed

In 2014, when Holly Whitaker’s friends began to make their mark on the London gig circuit, she was in the crowd proudly snapping away with her camera unknowingly photographing the city’s next generation on the rise (we’re talking Fontaines D.C., Shame, Sorry). Inspired by British photographic icons Ewan Spencer and Tish Murtha, her work is born in the eye of the mosh pit: couples are captured mid-snog; limbs flying; or on the shoulders of friends. Currently on tour with Naima Bock, the London-based photographer’s next step is a book compiling the best of her archive.

Name: Holly Whitaker

Age: 27

Location: London

Camera of choice: Contax G1

Preferred subject: People, always!

Favourite time of the day to shoot: Towards the evening…

Most recent photo you took: Waxahatchee in East London!


How you first became interested in photography: When my friends started doing wonderful things in 2014 in music; I felt so proud and overwhelmed by it that the only way I felt I could convey this was to document it. I wasn’t looking to be a photographer at first, but it was the easiest and most exciting way for me to record everything and I ended up being really taken by it.

Biggest influence: My mum’s old photos, my friends!

Favourite photography series/book: I have so many, I really can’t pick one! From the top of my head – Youth Unemployment: Tish Murtha, From Alice to Ocean: Rick Smolan & Robyn Davidson and While You Were Sleeping 1998-2000: Ewen Spencer. Also, it’s an obvious pick but The Ballad of Sexual Dependency: Nan Goldin; I inherited it from my parents and it’s been a huge influence on me from very early on. Her Sirens exhibition at the Marian Goodman Gallery in 2019 was very important to me.

Current project/s: I’m sifting through my archive at the moment to hopefully put a book together! I’ve also been touring around with Naima Bock which is an ongoing project that I love so much.

Check out Holly on Instagram here



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