In his latest project, photographer Henrique Plantikow spent time with a group of kids he simply named “Bones and Company.” Inspired by the youth culture in his current base of New Hampshire, Henrique was able to spontaneously capture a true and often grim take on modern youth. Recently, we had a chance to ask the up-and-coming photographer a couple of questions.
You’re hanging with the street kids in your latest project, “Bones and Company.” How did you come up with the idea?
It wasn’t planned. I was walking around one day and met Bones, and I started hanging out with him and his friends.
Your subjects seem to feel completely natural in your pictures. They don’t seem awkward or posed at all, which can sometimes happen with street photography.
I agree that ‘street photography’ can seem posed—that’s why I’ve come to dislike labels. My goal was never to create street photography. The photography came second. I was just hanging out and getting to know some of them.
What qualities do you look for in choosing your subjects, either people or inanimate things?
I like subjects that have an unspoken quality. You know it when you see it in seconds. It’s just a matter of getting them to open up.
Are there any challenges to working with non-professional subjects?
For me, the challenge working with non-professionals, especially people that live very freely, is that they see time very differently. They are in no rush, so you have to be very patient. If they say they’ll meet you in ten minutes, you can actually end up waiting for hours.
There are a couple of kids wearing cross necklaces, as well as a Jesus crucifixion pose in one of the pictures. Did you intend for a minor religious theme to come up in your photos?
Growing up in Brazil, religious imagery was very much a part of my landscape. I lived with my grandmother for a while when I was very young — and she is the most Christian person I have ever met. Crucifixes, statues of bleeding saints, and religious stories were the only art we had on the walls.
Do you have any desire to go back to Brazil and maybe create a project there?
Yes, as a matter fact I was thinking about that last week. It would be amazing to revisit.
At the end of the day, what do you intend your audience to experience?
I make photos that I enjoy looking at, so the fact that I’m starting to gain an audience is new.
What’s your biggest obsession nowadays?
I wouldn’t go as far as calling it an obsession, but recently I made a point to watch every single Pedro Almodovar film. I’ve watched so many of his films recently, that they all start blending in together and it seems like one big continuous film.