This photographer is capturing the stolen moments of freedom before impending adulthood
When asked what youth means to her, photographer Natalia Shlyakhovaya observes: “The differences, the wind, sun-scorched grass, gravel, dusty roads, broken knees, cotton dress, drafts, anxious chords, crackling cigarettes, thistle, punk – the time to experiment and discover.”
These little details pick a trail through her work, Reflections and Alex, as she seeks to capture the different stages of our lives before impending adulthood. In a dreamy, saturated haze, Shlyakhovaya illustrates the bizarre, wild, and intimate moments of youth.
“In these series I poeticise the authenticity and freedom of youth, and place the characters in wild, savage, sun-scorched days,” she explains.
Reflections is a muted exploration of little stolen moments, wandering through final days of freedom. Hazy nights are spent with friends, or pondering the sky; sequins and leather clash with plastic, neon stickers. Alex focuses on a friend’s journey to Cyprus, with an inquisitive, wide-eyed lens. Shlyakhovaya quotes The Magus, by John Fowles, when describing her time there: “It was like a journey into space. I was standing on Mars, knee-deep in thyme, under a sky that seemed never to have known dust or cloud.”
Check out more of Natalia Shlyakhovaya's work here