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Sophie Green
Photography Sophie Green

These portraits break down teenage bravado in south London

Photographer Sophie Green captures a softer side to a group of teen boys living on an estate in Tooting

24-year-old photographer Sophie Green’s camera has led her on a multi-faceted journey across the UK in the short time since graduating from a degree in fashion photography at the London College of Fashion in 2012. Immersing herself amongst all types of people and locations – from racing fanatics to the traveller community – she says, "I like finding something special in the ordinary; seemingly even the most dull, insignificant and ugly places can be interesting to me. Britain is full of surprises; there are amazing things happening in every corner of this country, you’ve just got to go out and find it.”

A self-described social documentary and portrait photographer who says she’s mostly drawn to the marginalised and underrepresented in Britain, Green finds photography’s ability to instil confidence that ultimately opens up new experiences and meetings most fascinating. “I’ve always used photography as a way to explore, I am a very curious person – I’m particularly inquisitive about people”, she reveals. “I ask complete strangers to engage with my camera and myself in a very intimate and revealing way. I find the whole process fascinating and unpredictable, and it’s a huge privilege when people open up and let me into their lives.”

“I am a very curious person – I’m particularly inquisitive about people” – Sophie Green

It’s the reason that the south London-based photographer found herself so intrigued by a group of boys living on an estate nearby her home in Tooting. “I just decided to go hang out for a day. I walked into an estate and that’s where I came across the boys,” she explains. Now featured in her series Made In Tooting, Green says, "In a group of cocky teenage boys you quickly gauge the hierarchy, but by the end of the shoot they were all competing to get in front of the camera, even those who initially expressed fear or embarrassment.”

Breaking down the teenage bravado that typically comes with being a 15 or 16-year-old boy, Green’s portraits capture a softer side to the friends, dressed in their sportswear and backdropped by unusually sunny surroundings. ”I wanted to portray them in an intimate and revealing way”, she says, “there was an endearing energy and playfulness between the group which was lovely to capture.”

See more work from Green here