Teän Roberts is a photographer from the Isles of Scilly, who pictures herself growing into an eccentric science fiction writer who wears kimonos and has a lot of cats – I guess we’ll have to see how that plays out. For now, Tean catches up with us about her latest editorial BRACES which hones in on the ‘awkwardness’ of girlhood.
Tskenya: How did you get into photography?
Teän Roberts: I was always really creative & did lots of different things, but I had this amazing A-level photography teacher who I idolised in every way because she was so cool, and beautiful, and chill – initially I decided I would do photography because I wanted to be like her. It grew to be my biggest passion though. I totally love it. It makes me so happy when I’m shooting.
TSK: How do your previous experiences shape your creativity?
TR: Being surrounded by interesting, inspiring women. My mum brought me up by herself, but we always had a big network of awesome ladies around. There are always women in my work, or girls and girlhood. Girlhood is very inspiring to me – I think teenagers are so interesting and so overlooked, and they have such a hard time with all their hormones and trying to figure out who they should be. I think it took me a while to find myself and I think if I could have liked myself a bit more I would have had an easier time.
TSK: Your editorial embraces all things youth and girly. How did the mood board come together?
TR: My good friend and long time stylist collaborator Harriet Byczok and I are in love with teenagers and teen style and coming of age movies. We felt like braces are synonymous with coming of age, and they are something that are traditionally so awkward – we wanted to take that awkwardness and celebrate it and show it as beautiful.
TSK: What did you want the editorial to say to its viewers?
TR: I think I would like it to say that there is beauty in awkwardness, and that you shouldn’t feel bad if you’re going through an awkward phase. The girls in the story are also very close, so I think it speaks of female solidarity and friendship as well as beauty in the awkward.
TSK: What would you have said to your younger self? Any advice or thoughts of womanhood that you would like to share?
TR: To my younger self I would say: Try to focus on your integrity, and don’t worry about getting ahead because that will come at its own time. Make sure you are always having as much fun and adventure as possible. And read more because then you will have the knowledge to back yourself up – knowledge is power. Oh and check your privilege: just because something isn’t a problem for you personally doesn’t mean it isn’t a real problem that you should try and help to get solved.
When it comes to womanhood I would like to share the idea of Shine Theory from the amazing women at CYG – that women should not compete with other women, they should help each other. Don’t feel jealous of that other amazing girl, make her your friend, not your enemy because you can be shiny and great together. If we help each other we can do anything, but if we compete and fight each other where are we going to find the energy to fight the patriarchy?
Check out her exclusive editorial BRACES.
Photography: Teän Roberts
Styling: Harriet Caroline Byczok
Makeup: Rose Angus
Hair: Terri Capon
Models: Isabel @ PRM, Klaudia @ Lenis, Pollie @ MK.