Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

The British Subculture Photographers


Working photographers on risking life, limb and beer-soaked kit to document British subcultures

Dean Chalkley

In The Pits

“I grew up in Southend, and there was a banger racing track nearby. I had the idea of revisiting it to see if it had changed. And to my wonderment, it hadn’t.

“I did take pictures of people racing, but I focused on the pits – people smashing the hell out of these cars so they’ll race again.

“I didn’t get run over, but you do need to have your wits about you. In a way, it’s a noble end for the cars. What better way to go than being driven headlong into another car?”

Chalkley’s banger film will be on The New British iPad app; facebook.com/thenewbritishmag


Jay Brooks

Here Come The Teds

“Teddy Boys were the first proper subculture. I met one guy who was nearly 80 and still had a quiff. He said, ‘I was a Teddy Boy at 13 and I’ll be a Teddy Boy until I die.’

“It’s a working man’s thing, but they’re expensive to make, those suits. The Teds travel, and I’m sure they spend a lot on rare records, so that’s a lot of your money gone.

“Photographing them was like going into battle. There was beer everywhere and I had quite a few elbows in the face on the dancefloor. Every 10 or 15 minutes we’d retreat to the bar, take a look at what we’d got, wipe beer off the camera and go back in again.”

Jay Brooks has a forthcoming exhibition and book later this year; see jaybrooks.net for updates


Andrew Shaylor

Hells Angels

“I’ve always had a fascination with people who live off the straight and narrow. I suppose it’s a reflection of me, really. I’m this middle-class country boy who’s had a supposedly normal life, so I’m fascinated by people who choose to live a different way. I thought of Hells Angels as the hardest club to get into. How did I infiltrate it? You’d have to ask them. I assume a bit of luck.

“Trouble is, anything that’s slightly out of the norm these days is in great danger of becoming fashionable, as the marketing men get hold of it.”

Andrew Shaylor’s new book Rockin’: The Rockabilly Scene is out now; shaylorphoto.com


Bob Mazzer


“I’ve lived with a camera around my neck since the late Sixties. When I was standing on the Tube every day, it became part of my life that I photographed. Back then, it was a weird, grubby place, and people used to pee on the platforms.

“People describe the pictures as moving and intimate, which is how I felt doing it. I felt connected to all these people, like the unofficial Tube photographer.

“I’ve never had contact from TFL. I think they look at these pictures in horror. They don’t want to promote a place where people show their arses on trains, but that’s what you get with my photos.”

‘Underground’ is at the Howard Griffin Gallery until 15 July; howardgriffingallery.com


(Images: Dean Chalkley/Jay Brooks/Andrew Shaylor/Bob Mazzer)



The World's Most Iconic Photos


How We All Became Photojournalists


Finalists of National Geographic traveller photography


Beautiful Snake Photography


Oasis Photographers Share Their Memories


iPhone Photography Awards 2014



Obama just danced to Hotline Bling with Usher

Still officially the coolest President of all time

24 Oct 2016

Watch this huntsman spider kill a mouse and never sleep again

Of course it happened in Australia

by David Cornish
24 Oct 2016

The new bike lock that will literally makes thieves sick

The SkunkLock sprays a vomit-inducing chemical when cut

by Tom Fordy
21 Oct 2016

Watch Donald Trump meet Saint & Greavsie to do the Rumbelows Cup draw

Did this really happen?

21 Oct 2016

Baby Jesus statue in Canada criticised after 'shocking' restoration

A holy cock up

by Tom Fordy
21 Oct 2016

This man tried to shoplift a venetian blind stuffed down his trousers

Fair play

20 Oct 2016

Great men tells us about the greatest beer they ever had

Irvine Welsh, Idris Elba, Frank Turner, Ken Loach & more

20 Oct 2016

This letter from George Bush to Bill Clinton shows Trump what class is

From one President to another

by Dave Fawbert
20 Oct 2016

Charlie Brooker on nostalgia, social media and Black Mirror

The Black Mirror creator has his say on the filmmaker's criticism of modern TV

20 Oct 2016

An ode to Kumbuka, the gorilla who escaped and downed 5l of squash

Let's take a moment to savour ZSL London's great primate escape, the hero we all want to be

by Tristan Cross
20 Oct 2016