With jobs for Burberry Brit and Pull & Bear already under his belt, 18-year-old photographer Brooklyn Beckham is keen to prove that he’s so much more than the offspring of two famous parents. Although it was thought that the Beckham’s first-born kid would head into football like his dad, Brooklyn opted to spend time focusing on his creative flare instead.
With the exception of his Instagram account (which has a cool 10 million + following) and the odd magazine shoot, Brooklyn doesn’t seem to be a lover of the spotlight. Instead, he’s spent the past year working on What I See (Penguin, £16,99), his debut photography book. Much like the title suggests, the book unfurls like a series of vignettes of Brooklyn’s life from a family holiday in Iceland to a charity trip to Kenya, with a Coney Island day trip slipping in there, too.
But while most photographers seem hellbent on making sure their presentation is polished and their skill infallible, Brooklyn has the endearing and likable trait of admitting that some of his photography may be out of focus or have a slightly raw touch to it. In What I See, these photos (still intriguing) make the cut anyway.
That loyal Instagram following will surely set him up for some killer success when the book drops later this week. Not only that, but to celebrate its release, the legendary Christie’s in London is teaming up with Polo Ralph Lauren to host his debut exhibition.
To learn more about his love for life behind the lens, Highsnobiety caught up with Brooklyn to discuss his home city, the influence of his parents and the streetwear brands he'd like to work with.
Where do you think your creative streak stems from?
I think from both of my parents. My mum is a really visual person and my dad loves photography and contemporary art.
What do you shoot with?
A Leica and a Hasselblad.
Photographers have a responsibility to show places and people that others may never encounter. What influences your subjects?
I photograph moments, people and places that capture my imagination. I always have my camera on, ready for anything.
What’s the best thing about living in your city?
There is always something interesting happening, and there’s such a mix of landscapes. Also, the people in London are so individual!
You’re just about to release your first photography book, What I See; it's quite an archaic thing to do. What do you like about photography having a physical manifestation, as well as showcasing your work on, say, Instagram?
I love books. While I embrace social media – and that has been my main platform – there’s nothing nicer than holding and looking at a physical book.
What photographers have influenced you?
Steven Meisel, David Sims, Bruce Weber and Alasdair Mclellan.
You’ve shot for Burberry before, and have a keen interest in streetwear. Are there any fashion brands you’re hoping to work with?
Oh, I don’t know. I guess Converse – or Supreme.
You’re still studying photography. Do you think an education is necessary for artists?
Absolutely. There’s so much to learn. I also do a lot of interning and assisting [photographers], and I’m hoping that the experience [as well as] studying will help prepare me for when I’m working.
Do you have a valuable piece of advice for anyone wanting to get into photography?
Always have your camera on you, and photograph what you see!
What I See by Brooklyn Beckham is published on June 29 by Penguin Random House UK in hardback, priced £16.99.
The book, which contains 300 images, will be launched with an exhibition in partnership with Polo Ralph Lauren at Christie's 103 New Bond Street, London, on June 27. The exhibition will run until July 7 before moving to Los Angeles in August.
To celebrate publication Brooklyn will be meeting fans at 3 book signings; Manchester on June 30, Liverpool on July 1 and London on July 2.