American Apparel shoots and photographing rappers: Meet Ed Little
He prefers to take pictures of his friends than models
Shooting fashion, black and white and snapping the occasional grime artist, a career as a photographer doesn’t sound too bad.
From starting out by spray painting slogans on models’ backs for his local club night to taking photos for American Apparel, Ed Little describes his job as extremely varied.
The 22-year-old graduated with first in Sociology and Politics from Durham – but instead of following his lecturer’s pressure to do a masters and work as a city banker or accountant, he decided to take photos for a living.
Ed told The Tab: “I don’t actually use many models, especially in my personal work because I think they can be less authentic.
“I ask if friends can shoot and usually it’s a lot of fun.”
He added: “I shot a video for the DJ Oceaán a while back. He was DJing for our fashion show before he became as big as he is at the moment.
“Next week I’m shooting Clement Marfo, who used to do stuff with Kano back in the day.”
“They’re all really nice people within those circles and most of them become friends anyway – it’s not strictly professional and hardcore relationship.”
One of Ed’s trademarks is using nudity in his photography for maximum effect.
He explained: “I did a lot of stuff on gender studies while at uni. Nude photography is really interesting because it touches on sexuality far more than a regular picture.
“Some people are very comfortable doing nudes and some people aren’t.”
Ed said: “One model we shot works for Storm. She was very happy as long as her face wasn’t in it. Ironically she does this professionally, but didn’t want her circle of friends to see it.
“The gender of the photographer can have an impact on the model and the images that are created.
“My stuff is more exhibitionist, the model is present and looking at you directly.
“Especially with fashion photographers like Terry Richardson and some of the bad press he’s got, you’ve got to be really professional and upfront, making people feel as comfortable as possible.”
While still at Durham Ed shot for American Apparel, taking the rolling images which feature on their website – but he considers working for streetcar brands Dubious and Dr Banana to be highlights.
He said: “I also shot for my friend’s company who make bespoke hand made jewellery.
“We did this thing called body shaping, shooting semi-nudes in low lights and placing the jewellery in certain parts.
“I’m excited for it to come out because it’s some of the best work I’ve done to date.”
Back in his Durham days, Ed worked for the notorious Nova night, helping out by running their marketing.
He said: “We used to do a thing called Nova girl where we would spray paint on girl’s back and take a sexy photo.
“Each night there would be a new Nova girl, and people would be asking who the new girl was going to be. It became a sort of guessing game.”
Now Ed works for a creative startup hub called MeWe360 in Golden Square during the day, and spends all his free time as a photographer.
He said: “For the moment I’m happy juggling it. Every weekend is booked up with projects.”
Ed is keen to give his advice to anyone considering a more creative path after graduating.
He said: “The expectation is that you become an accountant or a lawyer, but the whole industry has changed a lot since our parents’ generation. There is more opportunity for people within a creative space.
“Try and do what feels right, don’t let your judgement be clouded by people’s expectations.”