Thursday, 24 July 2014


Derek Ridgers described himself as a 'rank amateur' when he first started out. Equipped with 'one camera and one lens', he later expanded on his kit in order to capture his vision with more versatility. His subjects are the people you might look twice at when passing them in the street. I've been one of them down the years. An unassuming man preferring his role as documenter and social voyeur, polite to the extreme he always asks his subjects permission to photograph them, 'I was never interested in photographing people unless they were looking at the lens'. Perhaps Derek sees himself as an outsider, in actual fact he has become an integral 'insider', his photographic reportage being pivotal in recording transitional era's of dressing from the mid 70's onwards. In his latest book 78- 87 London Youth Ridgers reveals a counter culture of people obsessed with personal style, pointing his lens towards the characters that populate our fair city you get the feeling he himself is both obsessed and intrigued. Dressing in outlandish style or belonging to one particular scene is not something Ridger's feels compelled to do on a personal level but it's something he feels driven to document,  'I suppose I might have been fashionable when I was 15 [years old] for ten minutes'. His stern father mocked him at a tender age telling the young Derek he could not wear a seemingly garish item of apparel of Derek's own choice out in the street, at the time Derek quickly responded with a quip, 'Well can I wear it indoors then?'

All photo's courtesy Derek Ridgers

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