In our Pre-Fall 2012, The Just Kids Issue, David Bailey looks back at his youth, with a portfolio of family photographs capturing life growing up in London’s East End.
Click images to enlarge.
From portraits of Jean Shrimpton in his mum’s hallway, to pictures of the Kray’s casino taken just before it was set on fire, the images paint a vibrant picture of the legendary photographer’s early life, and coincide with his summer exhibition, East End, at the Royal Docks. Bailey’s worked with Terry Jones since he art directed British Vogue in the 70s, and he shot his first cover for i-D in 1984. Over morning coffee, in The Just Kids Issue, the two discuss Bailey’s upbringing in London in a time of sexual revolution and East End gangs.
“To me, this looks better than most fashion pictures today. My mum was probably quite young in this photo. She was only 23 when she got pregnant with me. That’s how you got married in the East End. You got someone pregnant and then you had to get married.”
“This photo of Jean [Shrimpton] was taken in my mum’s hallway in 1961 or 62. I like the fact that there are all these locks on the door behind her, when we had nothing to steal. It’s a bit like Bob Dylan having a thousand telephones which just don’t ring. Having all these locks that just don’t lock…”
“I vaguely remember going to a photo studio in Stratford to have this taken. I remember because the shop front is still there today. It must have been a little cinema or theatre that they turned into a small photographic studio. It’s funny back then they didn’t have you looking at the camera. They always wanted you to look away.”