At just 18-years-old, Conor Clinch is an emerging talent and one to watch.  Conor has built an extensive portfolio of clients including Topman, Hunger magazine and in addition to being mentored by iconic photographer Rankin on Sky 1’s The One’s To Watch. I caught up with Conor to talk about his influences and the inspiration behind his exhibit Fresh, an exploration of lad culture.

Where did your interest in photography begin?

I grew interested in photography at the age of 14. I bought my first camera online before I knew how to use it. I began experimenting and learned from my mistakes.

What challenges have you faced as a photographer being so young?

The fashion circle in Dublin is quite tight-knit and a lot of people say it’s very difficult to break into. I know quite a few people who began farther afield and left Ireland to pursue a career in fashion. I think that Dublin is a great starting ground as a young photographer, however like anywhere I found it very difficult to break into it as a teenager. A crucial part about starting young is keeping your head on your shoulders and taking every bit of criticism in your stride. You need to prove yourself so it’s important to be mature and professional but don’t be afraid to try new things.

What influences and inspires you?

At the moment I’m very inspired by the north side of Dublin. There’s a unique culture here that often goes unnoticed so recently I’ve been working on incorporating it into some personal projects. I look to the works of Alasdair Mclellan, Walter Pfeiffer and Boo George for inspiration.

How would you describe your aesthetic as a photographer?

I’d like to think of my work as quite honest and raw. I’m starting to take things down a notch with my personal work but still challenge myself on a technical level.

Rankin said about you,“Rarely does a very talented young photographer stop me in my tracks. Conor Clinch is one of those rarities.” What does this sort of recognition mean to you?

It was such an honor to hear those words from an iconic photographer like Rankin, it keeps you really determined.

How has appearing on The Ones To Watch on Sky 1 changed things for you?

After The Ones To Watch I came back to Dublin to sit my final year exams. Since, I’ve been working full-time in Dublin which is amazing! I’m planning to exhibit Fresh in Dublin this September and then making the move to London at the end of the month. I’m looking forward to opening new chapters abroad and start working on some new ideas.

Tell us about the inspiration behind Fresh.
Fresh is based around the concept of how lads perceive fashion. The idea derived from lad culture here in Dublin and how they take pride in what they wear. Whether it’s the huaraches craze or the latest barber cut, lads like to look good.

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

Lots of exciting new projects! I’m looking forward to making a start on some new ideas and challenging myself in new areas of photography and film.

Follow him at @ConorClinch