Katie Shaw is an Image Maker and Stylist currently based in Manchester. Her Boyhood series, a collection of shoots inspired by, and at times featuring her younger brothers, capture the evolution of male adolescence from care-free school boys to teenagers on the brink of maturity.
We spoke to Katie about her photographs, brothers and childhood adventures.
TRIP: Tell us a bit about your Boyhood series...
Katie Shaw: It’s easy to grow old and forget the little things that were once taken for granted. The world as I remember it when I was younger seems so far away; the wind in your hair when you used to run as fast as your could, the grazes on the knees with the endless summer holidays that used to last forever. Taking influence from what makes me and what surrounds me, from my brothers to the kind of guys that live around my estate - all have come into how I shoot and see the world.
TRIP: What is it about the male psyche that you relate to?
Katie Shaw: Growing up with so many brothers and witnessing the different stages of growth of individual characteristics, I suppose it’s not really the male psyche that I relate to but what lies beneath in us all and the stories that make us who we are today. I like to people watch and everyone has their own story - rather than judge we should learn to listen.
TRIP: There are some beautifully intimate photos within the series, particularly those featuring your brothers - how important is it for you to have a personal connection with your subjects?
Katie Shaw: I feel that to get honest and the best photos achievable you have to have the nature to make models feel relaxed otherwise it shows in the images, to be on the same level is important.
TRIP: I love how each shoot references a different stage of adolescence, and the subtle nuances, be it the teddy bears, toy planes or school uniforms perfectly evoke memories of child’s play and mischief.
Katie Shaw: Thank you. Rather than have a concept behind all of the images I wanted the images able to speak for themselves and show a celebration of all different aspects of youth. I felt that this would add more depth to them as a range of photos and also give them each an identity without forgetting the start of the concept of boyhood.
TRIP: You’ve grown up with a lot of brothers, how have they affected your view of the world?
Katie Shaw: In a way it’s made me view the world in almost an innocent sense with a slight case of oldest child syndrome with a hint of mischief. It’s the best though going home to a house of your siblings; no matter how old you are you’re a child again. The time spent happy is priceless.
TRIP: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Katie Shaw: To be yourself no matter what everyone else is doing.
My tutor once gave us a quote of ‘stay hungry, stay foolish’ which was from Steve Jobs but i've actually kept it on my wall and will remain to do so.
TRIP: What can we expect from you next?
Katie Shaw: A lot more photos and hopefully some cool collaborations! Going down south soon and taking my cameras with me, I'm just happy snapping along.