18th Birthday Party Photography

18th Birthday Party Photography

The beauty of this job is you never know what's around the corner.  About four years ago now, from absolutely nowhere, I was suddenly shooting the wedding of Felix Barrett, the creative director and genius behind Punchdrunk Theatre.  From that wedding I found myself in France shooting the wedding for Britney Spears' manager.  (And now Miley Cyrus's manager.)  From an abandoned mansion in the heart of Wales to a grand chateau in the heart of France.  Random and beautiful but a logical through line in a way.  But this beautiful 18th birthday party at No.1 Mayfair, come, strangely enough, from a corporate photography gig I did a couple of years back.  So there was really no signpost for this at all.  Other than I now know enough about my job, and my clients to expect the unexpected (for example, last Saturday's wedding ended with a Japanese burlesque performance art rendition of Aphex Twin's Window Licker video in a blacked out venue with harshly strobing lights).  But I really wasn't expecting to find myself shooting what was effectively an old fashioned debutante's ball, with a very closely observed Gatsby theme.  The amazing thing about something fresh and new like this is it completely awakens the senses (NB. brides, who make it a key criteria that you've shot at their wedding venue before--you have got it absolutely the wrong way round.)  It shakes things up and gets your synapses firing like an explosion in a Chinese fireworks factory.  Also, shooting something like this you feel you're part of a photographic lineage.  Not just shooting the great and the good and the It girls of the past, but to any photos of teenagers letting loose--which for me, would also include Derek Ridgers photos of the London punk scene. It's that impression of beautiful invincibility, freedom and a newly formed fervid sense of self, forged in that crazy teenage furnace.  But anyway I'll stop talking now.

Click through.

Right here.

Just below this.

See for your self.

2 Comments

  1. Nada

    Thanks for this Nick. It helped me so much when I shot a similar (yet a bit less fancy!) 18th birthday party last week :)

    Reply

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