Isaac Lamb is photographing “freaks, geeks, cuties and people being their most authentic selves”
By Ella Joyce | Art | 22 May 2024
This article is part of HERO Framed

HERO Framed is our ongoing series platforming up-and-coming photographers capturing the world around them through a unique lens.

Photographer Isaac Lamb first picked up a camera on a skate trip to New York in his early twenties. Having dislocated my shoulder the weekend before, he swapped his deck for a point-and-shoot and documented his friends instead. From there, Lamb was hooked. From capturing his friends in skateparks, the British photographer eventually wound up touring the world with musicians and taking candid portraits of some of Britain’s most promising acting talent (Paul Mescal and Josh O’Connor, we see you) – building a portfolio as broad as it is captivating. Inspired by the likes of Elaine Constantine and Richard Avedon, it’s his subjects who fascinate Lamb the most, attracted to the strangeness and beauty of human behaviour above all.

Name: Isaac Lamb

Age: 27

Location: London

Camera of choice: Pentax 67ii or Nikon F5.

Preferred subject: Models, freaks, geeks, cuties and people being their most authentic selves.

Favourite time of the day to shoot: Just before lunch so everyone on set moves quicker as they want to eat.

Most recent photo you took: A beauty test with an amazing model.

How you first became interested in photography: I started around four years ago when I was 23. Me and my friends were going on a skateboarding trip to NYC. I had dislocated my shoulder the weekend before the trip and couldn’t skate. A girl I was seeing at the time gave me a point-and-shoot, a load of 35mm film and told me to take pictures instead. When I got my first photos developed I instantly fell in love and then my other friends who were in a metal band saw the photos and asked me to tour with them to Japan and do the same thing I did in NYC. Crazy first two projects when you don’t have a clue what you are doing.

“I’m about to go to Marseille to shoot some teenagers who are up to no good.”

Biggest influence: Seeing other photographers’ work and their dedication to the ‘art’. I love Mary Ellen Mark, Elaine Constantine, Richard Avedon and Helmut Newton, especially his creative collaboration with Thierry Mugler. I think there are two types of photos: good ones and shit ones. There is no in-between, I don’t think you can have a photo that’s ‘just OK’. If you look at all of these people’s work you can see how much love, care and devotion they put into making every photo or project great. It’s like you can see a bit of them in each photo. That is my biggest influence now, asking “How do I make this the best photo I have shot?”

Favourite photography series/book: Mary Ellen Mark: Tiny Revisited is an amazing piece of art, Mary spent her whole life documenting Tiny, a street kid from Philadelphia at the age of fourteen right up until Mary’s death. It’s a 40-year-long photo project, I always look back at it to ground myself and realise how powerful photography can be. Also massive shout out to Camille Summers-Valli and her project on Finnish Ice divers, it’s fucking great. The book layout, the way it is shot, and the subject – super amazing stuff.

Current project/s: I’m doing lots of beauty testing at the moment and I’m about to go to Marseille to shoot some teenagers who are up to no good.

Check out Isaac on Instagram here



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