Ian Kenneth Bird for Carhartt WIP Fall / Winter 2017 ~ ‘Take a picture, it’ll last longer’ is somewhat of a cliché, but it’s one which ultimately encapsulates the essence of Ian Kenneth Bird’s work. The British photographer’s aesthetic is rooted in ephemerality, capturing the fleeting nature of young guns and girls in their prime. Bumps, bruises and all – they’ll probably never look better.
A fascination with portraiture and love of skating overlapped when he moved to London, and continue to inform who and how he shoots. The people Bird casts are often not models, but kids he has found at the skatepark. “Or in the street or through instagram. I’m constantly lurking for people,” he says.
His unique aesthetic – youthful, intimate, a little bit raw – has seen the 26 year old enlisted by a number of luxury fashion houses in the past year. Fashion with a capital F, after all, has always had an obsession with youth. In Bird, they have someone close enough to the action to actually capture it. “Luckily I’ve always managed to have quite a lot of freedom,” says Bird of these projects. “I’ve always managed to cast the people I want and to shoot the way that I want. I think that’s because it has come off the back of personal work.”
That personal work – the kind that first thrust him into the limelight last year when he debuted his Don't Know What I Want But I Want It Now exhibition and photobox – is a constant for Bird. In fact, just last month, he released another self-published zine. Titled ‘Archie’, it focuses on one week in early August with one character – skating, chatting, hanging out. It was all shot, published and designed by Bird himself. “It was very natural and so it felt like the publication should be the same.” he says. “The plan was for it to feel simple, not overdone.”