Inspired by the independent spirit of Gen Z youth, Freshman chronicles the life of Atticus Klasek Stannard, an American teenager and high school student living in New York City.
Arriving from Arizona in 2018, I met Atticus shortly after photographing his diverse group of friends who attend the same specialized high school in Manhattan which prepares students for careers in fashion and design. Upon meeting the young aspiring designer, I found him to be a genuinely kind and humble individual with great enthusiasm for creating streetwear looks that fearlessly challenged mainstream fashion norms.
Not long after a few meet ups and Instagram messages, Atticus and I learned that we had a lot in common. We share a mutual appreciation for photography, skateboarding, thrift clothes shopping and Chinese food. Just like that, I made a new friend despite being more than twice his age.
As our relationship grew closer, I began documenting Atticus everywhere he went. My camera followed him to the skatepark, around his Chinatown neighborhood and into his apartment as he navigated the city as a free and young adult.
Curiosity about his former suburban life eventually led me to travel to Phoenix, Arizona last summer where I photographed him in the desert, skateboarding, swimming and being back home with family and friends.
Imbued with honest, tender fleeting moments of youth, this ongoing documentary project explores Atticus’ colorful and dynamic teenage life during a time of growth and change in environments of extreme contrast.