Skateparks, underground clubs and behind the lens - a few places you're likely to find London based photographer The Naturalist. The young artist picked up a camera a few years ago, aged 16, as a gift from his father and has been attached to it ever since. His candid and natural snapshots are the inspiration behind his name and provide us with a glimpse into the creativity and young lives lived in the under belly of London.
The photography scene in the city is growing; images of dark basement clubs, skaters and rebel youth are coming to the surface more often and although all of those descriptions can fit in with almost every era of youth, its the nature of the pictures that tell us what the culture means at that time. This is where photography from The Naturalist comes in, he’s capturing the raw images of the bubbling creative scene through his lifestyle photography and occasionally dabbling in more focused fashion photography shoots to embody the "wavy" movement moving in and around London.
94/5 had a sit down with The Naturalist within his natural habitat - a skate park of course, to discuss his photography work. His Inspiration draws from the people and places around him. He noticed that his years of shooting "for the fun of it" has changed and sharpened his view of his surrounding world. The Naturalist named influences such as Elijah D0m who he appreciates for his photography style which shares the candid feel of his own photos. From the get go we noticed that his work is embedded in his lifestyle; every show or skate park shot are within his day to day excursions and often capture the faces that he surrounds himself with most. The London youth culture to The Naturalist is supposed to be about "the kids that wanna do shit [..] and go somewhere in life" such as Collectives like 'Mansion Co.' which are all part of the creative family that has become intertwined with his photography work. His 'Cherry Worldwide' movement which he hopes to grow in the next coming years, is the next addition. It’s a lifestyle movement built around the skater life, extending from his own personal fashion choices of comfortable, practical clothing that still shows some edge. "I don't wear any shoes that I can’t skate in" he tells us and we’ve already noticed him adorned in the Cherry brand crewnecks (we’ll keep you posted for when those are available, hopefully one day soon, we gotch you).
The shots often involve musicians and artists alike, he's even shot Raekwon (like, bruh), demonstrating the level of connectivity happening around London right now - everyone knows someone and through The Naturalists' work, snapshots of this moment in time are being made. Giving us the feeling that a lot of these images are gonna be worth so much more for the culture in years to come. You can keep up with The Naturalist on Twitter and Instagram to see more of his lens magic. When we had our sit down he told us the aim for his photography work and beyond is to make sure everything "is fucking wavy", but all jokes aside, the description is pretty on point. Check out even more of his images below.