steflead

Online Exclusive: Stef Mitchell’s London Go-Sees

19.01.2016 | Art , Twin Life | BY:

New York-based photographer Stef Mitchell is fast becoming something of a Twin favourite. You may recall she took us on a visceral journey behind the lens of some of her favourite shots last year – and the success of that story left us wanting more.

Around November, Stef found herself in London and happened to meet some great new people, as one so often does when travelling. As a result she embarked on a – quite literally – explosive series of go-sees, and is publishing them exclusively with Twin online. This marks the first in a new series of specially commissioned works from people that we love, and want to showcase – keep your eye out for more of the same in the year to come.

Meanwhile, enjoy this brilliant series from Stef, and discover a little more about her – and these images – below.

What was the idea behind these pictures?
I wanted to shoot a little series of go-sees while I was in London for a week. I really enjoy the process of a go-see because they’re extremely useful, and mostly because people are never what you expect. And every now and then you find someone amazing who you know you could collaborate really well with. I also enjoy dealing with different personalities and finding out how you get along. I usually don’t look at the pictures while I’m taking them, and it’s kind of nice if later on if you find something you like.

Where did you take them?
I took most of these pictures in Notting Hill where we stayed with a friend. Also the fireworks were for Guy Fawkes, but someone felt enthusiastic enough to let them off every night that week. I managed to catch them only once!

When did you first ever pick up a camera? What did you shoot?
I first picked up a (disposable) camera in the first grade and shot a roll of my friends at school.

When did you know that this would become your career?
I wanted this to become my career when I was about 17.

Have you been influenced by anyone over the years? Or is there someone who’s career you’d love to emulate?
I’ve been influenced by different parts of various photographers and artists over the years. But I wouldn’t want anyone in particular’s career. I think it’s exciting to head in your own direction.

What brought you to New York? Can you describe your neighbourhood?
I was traveling through New York and met a girl at a party who ended up bringing me back here by getting me an interview to intern with Annie Leibovitz. I actually ended up marrying that girl and we live on the Lower East Side. The block we live on is the type of place where you can see something inspiring or beautiful and someone projectile vomiting or being arrested simultaneously.

Do you prefer drawing or photography?
I don’t prefer either drawing or taking photos, they’re both nice for different reasons. I definitely get frustrated at times with both and it’s nice to be able to switch between the two.

Do you prefer sounds or silence when you work? If sounds, any particular ones?
I prefer sounds! I like whoever I’m shooting to chose the music so they’re happy. But if they don’t care I like Blood Orange.

Who and where would you still love to shoot?
So many different people! And I want to shoot in Italy, Sweden and the Bahamas. And Scotland!

What’s coming up in the next six months for you?
The next six months – I have a few projects coming out that I’m excited about and will hopefully spend more time running around Europe and dining at as many pubs in London as possible.

stefmitchelltwin

All images by Stef Mitchell, commissioned exclusively for Twin; with special thanks to Claire Dickens at IMG London

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frida_stef_mitchell

Stef Mitchell: the bigger picture

01.12.2015 | Art , Culture | BY:

How many times have you looked at a photograph and wanted to know what was happening in the exact moment that it was taken? How the air felt? If the people behind and in front of the lens even knew each other?

This is exactly what we tried to remedy with New York-based photographer, Stef Mitchell. Her absorbing work – which has appeared in places such as i-D and Urban Outfitters – is particularly portrait strong, so we asked her to share a few of her favourite shots, and tell us the story behind them. For Stef – who originally hails from Sydney, Australia – it’s the little things that count: “I just want to make nice pictures that make people react or feel something, even if it’s small.”

Here are a few of her characters.

Frida (main)

“The subject’s name is Frida Gustavsson, she’s in her early twenties and she’s from Sweden. This was taken in Tompkins Square Park right in the middle of the basketball court off ave A and 10th street. I remember it was the longest day of summer and it was hot and started raining as soon as Frida and I met up. I probably ate some M&Ms. I love Frida! We’d met on a few jobs while I was assisting. She’d just had a palm tree that I drew tattooed on her arm and sent me a picture, so we met up and took some pictures. I think afterwards we watched the World Cup and had a beer. I think Frida had just gotten engaged – we chatted about her spending time in LA, midsummer and a short film she was working on. Frida was so easy to shoot because she’s awesome and was totally comfortable for me to shoot while we chatted; it’s my favorite thing to do and it’s kind of rare for someone to be totally OK with letting me do it. I wasn’t really sure what ‘the shot’ was at the time but I think it was the first spot we took pictures in in the park. I love this picture because it’s so simple but people always respond to it. Frida is an amazing model and human and I think that comes through even with no hair, make-up or styling.”

boy_stef_mitchell

Boy

 Boy

“This was taken in the skate park under the Manhattan Bridge. The weather was pretty perfect that day, mild and sunny. I was on a job and had eaten everything in sight. I was scouting the area in between shots and just looked up and saw this guy. I’d never met him before but had just been chatting to his friend. I asked if I could take a picture, he said ‘OK’ but he didn’t really like doing it. I got two frames in before he skated off. I don’t know anything else about him. I love this picture because even though he was nervous, he just looked dead at me and didn’t try to do anything crazy.”

charlotte_stef_mitchell

Charlotte

 Charlotte

“This was taken outside my mums place in a suburb called Lane Cove in Sydney, Australia. It was about 7am and a big fog covered the street. My 14-year-old sister Charlotte was getting ready for hockey practice, and I dragged her outside for a photo. This is what she gave me. I’d maybe had some vegemite toast. When I made Charlotte come outside I thought she was very grumpy and turned out to be correct. Charlotte was probably 13 in this picture, and at the time her unique trait was to try and pull a face or flip someone off every time they took her photo. I think we were outside for about five minutes. I love this picture because every time I go home I try and shoot Charlotte on this street. She’s always been one of my favorite subjects and even though I miss so much time with her I like to think I’ll have a good series of pictures of her growing up for when she’s older.”

julia_stef_mitchell

Julia

 Julia

“This is Julia Hafstrom, she’s in her early twenties, and from Sweden. This was taken under a tree in Tompkins Square Park near the corner of Ave B. The weather was overcast and I definitely ate M&Ms this time. I thought Julia was a bad ass. We’d met before on a few shoots in LA. I think we talked about weird photographers, books and mums. Unique traits: being totally easy, fun and of course incredibly beautiful with the skin of 15th century cherub. I think we shot for half an hour, but again this was the first spot we were in and it ended up being my favourite. I love this picture because without doing anything Julia gave something real to the picture, and that’s my favourite.”

stef-mitchell.com

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