Picking up a camera for the first time can be a life altering experience. Like for these five young photographers, who happened upon the medium and now live their lives through it.

By capturing their friends skating, partying, travelling, and gleefully loitering around their home towns and cities from Essex through London and Cardiff, they uniquely chronicle the fleeting highs and lows of youth. Raw magic, through the lens.

Brandon Wilkins – Essex

Brandon Wilkins began taking photographs at the age of fourteen, and he’s been living life through the lens since. He merges skateboarding with photography, mixing muses with mates, travelling around Europe doing what he loves.

“If there’s no story behind it, it’s just a couple of pixels” – Brandon Wilkins

On the pursuit of shooting and having a good time, Wilkins has worked up an archive of gritty, candid shots. Young, free and creatively unconfined, Brandon’s photos are totally compelling. There’s an authenticity about his air. Smoking, skating and dirty dishes show what it’s like to leave home for the first time without your parents and with your mates. 

Read the full interview with Brandon here

Josh Nice – London

London-based skateboarder and photographer Josh Nice first met the Bordeaux-based Perdu skate crew in 2015 whilst they were in London checking out Southbank’s skate spot, a shared love of skateboarding smoothed over the language barrier cracks and an instant friendship formed. 

“I love physically holding photos or something that I’ve created, looking at your photos in a publication is way more satisfying than looking at them on a computer screen” – Josh Nice

Nice’s treks take him to the likes of Berlin, capturing his friends as they rolled around the German capital, hitting up hidden skate spots and exploring the city’s renowned architecture. The resulting images came together in Nice’s zine, Berliner Perdu.

Read the full interview with Josh here

Lewis Robinson – Kettering, UK

Twenty-three-year-old photographer Lewis Robinson has been skating since the age of fourteen. But after discovering most of his mates held greater skills in the skate park than him, he picked up a camera – and the rest is history. Since then he pursued a visual narration of the life and skate scene that encircles him and his friends. His style, unconstrained and in possession of a spontaneous quality that makes for intimate depictions of his daily surroundings, has illustrated the perfect storyline for his succession of DIY zines. Entitled Its Not America, Whatcha Mean, Whats A Zine and the latest, Pushing Through, the three instalments trace skate trips from Barcelona to Ibiza, through to back home in Kettering, UK, capturing the tricks, friendships and mischief made by Robinson and co while chasing concrete. 

Read our full interview with Lewis here

Reid Allen, Cardiff

Reid Allen is a young skateboarder and photographer living, skating and shooting in Cardiff. In spite of local skate shops closing, government funded anti-skating architecture, and the increasingly prohibitive costs of going to see bands, Reid has spent the last two years documenting the local skate and underground music scenes that are thriving in the Welsh capital. Recently, that came together as his zine, The Lords of Bute Town, released through independent publisher Project Upcoming.

“Parallels can be drawn between residents battling gentrification in Butetown and the battles we as skateboarders have against the ever-increasing defensive architecture of the city” – Reid Allen

Shot on 35mm film, Reid’s photos offer a glimpse into a lively and defiant youth culture, from hard-won shots of tricks being landed to the joyful carnage of DIY gigs at his friends’ houses, and everything in between. 

Read the full interview with Reid here

Jessica Madavo, London

Sixteen-year-old photographer Jessica Madavo first picked up a camera as way to document her friends; a subconscious activity with no real agenda, simply because she enjoyed the process of photographing the people she loves and instilling the memories of the time they spent together.

“When I look at the faces of all the people I’ve shot from my very first to now, it’s been a fun journey because it’s real” – Jessica Madavo

She’s been shooting non stop ever since, her style is unconstrained and spontaneous, it presents a raw depiction of her daily life and freewheeling energy of youth. The young photographer has accumulated her body of work in a series of zines, the first edition titled, Sentimental featured exclusively with HERO depicts an array of in-between moments with friends spliced with illustrations, music references and collages.

Read the full interview with Jessica here