This is a weekly series where we feature our incredibly talented Adolescent members and their work! Sign up here to join the Adolescent Membership and be part of the @ family!
Hi, Adolescent fam! This Thursday, our Member Crush is Tyler Hooks—a fashion and portrait photographer from the rolling hills of West Virginia. She began to photograph her rural community and fell in love with storytelling through wardrobe, and her photos are made to strengthen the relationship people have with themselves and the Earth. By combining man-made materials with natural elements, her photos play with tension and balance. For her feature, we asked Tyler about West Virginia, defining home, and being inspired by the ‘60s.
Adolescent Content: Tell us a little bit about yourself! Where are you from? How old are you? How are you spending your time these days?
Tyler Hooks: Hello! My name is Tyler Hooks, and I’m a 23-year-old female photographer and creative from the rolling hills of West Virginia. Lately I’ve been spending my days exploring the outdoors, drinking lots of tea, hanging out with my pets, and finally taking up painting again.
Adolescent: How did 2020 change your work and style?
Tyler: The pandemic has given me the chance to reconnect with my hometown and nature in a way I never have. I find myself exploring photography with one question in mind: what is home? Is it the grass I walk on and the trees around me? Is it where my family is? Maybe just a familiar location? Or a feeling? [Working on] photography has become therapeutic for me in these uncertain times. It’s a way to connect with others and capture the things I find comfort in.
Adolescent: Can you tell me about your shooting process, from coming up with a concept to editing the photos?
Tyler: Most of my ideas come from driving around backroads and spotting locations. I find that I’m drawn to unique forms and textures. I’ve always been really inspired by Eva Hesse, Richard Serra, Vija Celmins, and the other minimalist artists of the ‘60s. When it comes to editing, I love soft, warm, muted tones that enhance a calming sense of realism.
Adolescent: How does being in West Virginia affect your work?
Tyler: When people think of West Virginia, they think of all the classic stereotypes and never that it’s fashionable. Growing up, I felt so disconnected from the fashion industry that I wanted to find a way to link the two—to bring fashion to WV and show the world the natural beauty of WV. I was never much of a technical photographer, so I taught myself how to master natural light and shoot outdoors. I found beauty in photographing natural hair and faces with no makeup. To this day, I still love to style shoots with clothes from Goodwill.
Adolescent: What’s it been like being an Adolescent Member?
Tyler: Being a part of Adolescent has been a wonderful way for me to connect with other creatives in the industry, no matter where they are located. I’ve met so many inspiring young people!