Evelyn Kutschera is a Swiss born photographer whose love of the British Subcultures, especially the Skinhead Scene resonates throughout her work and is starting to get her noticed by those “in the know” and beyond!
Growing up within a family of amateur photographers she was “exposed” to, and developed a strong eye for catching that perfect shot from an early age.
Fine tuning on an Art foundation course saw her travelling to England where she studied and graduated in Photo Journalism and Documentary Photography. Whilst in England she began to really immerse herself in the Skinhead Subculture. Starting with what she described as her “Skinhead Project” around 2010, Evelyn had gone on to build up a portfolio of stunning photos and a network of contacts that brought her more and more attention, including a recent photo shoot for Merc!
We were delighted to catch up with the girl behind the lens and talk photography, music and style...
What influenced Evelyn Kutschera to first pick up a camera?
There were always cameras in our household growing up. my grandfather was an amateur photographer and my family always took loads of pics of my brother and i growing up, on holidays and other special occasions. I have a whole box full of slides that my grandfather took, some great shots of my nan, looking super stylish.So yeah, there have always been cameras around and i started taking photos early on, however, I never considered it as a career until i was in my late teens. I did an apprenticeship in an advertising agency because I wanted to study journalism but soon had to realise that I couldn’t write one decent sentence, but am actually not too bad at taking photos.
When did you realise you had an eye for photography?
During my indie rock phase, I'd always take a digital point and shoot with me to gigs and my friends and the bands seemed to like my photos a lot.
What first attracted you to capturing images from the British Subculture?
Since I am part of the skinhead scene myself, it was obvious to capture my friends and the scene photographically. I started my skinhead project in 2010 while studying in England, as I was at the "source" of the subculture, so to speak. It developed from there and it is growing to be quite a big project. I am hoping to photograph the scene worldwide. I already made some great connections, it is mostly down to funding and time now.
Photography is also a way for me to meet new people within the scene. I have met so many interesting and nice new friends from many different countries.
Your work has seen you shoot Mods, Skinheads and Punks, you have a particular favourite style or look?
My favourite look is the traditional skinhead look from the 60's because it is closest to my heart but honestly, anyone who stands out a bit from the mainstream crowd with their style has already scored points with me.
Do you class yourself as having a particular style?
Yes and no. mostly I dress myself in the typical skinhead manner but i don't look it at so strictly, if I want to wear baggy trousers and a hoodie, i will. fashion is supposed to be fun.
Tell us about the fashion and music scene in your native Switzerland?
I wouldn't know about the fashion scene here (i think it's lagging a bit haha - don't write that). In terms of music, I can only speak for the scene I am in, and there are a few great local oi and punk bands around.
How is merc viewed in Switzerland?
I can't speak for the whole of Switzerland but within my scene Merc is a well-established and loved subculture brand.
How did your recent merc shoot come about?
Merc contacted me and asked if they could send over some clothes for me to shoot. I organized my crew and models and scouted for locations.
Your Instagram is well worth a follow for anyone with more than a passing interest in Subculture and Style, and certainly shows you travel for your work, what have been your favourite places to shoot in?
My favourite place in the world is London, therefore my obvious answer would be London. The capital offers tons of great locations to shoot in and so much inspiration in terms of art and style.
Are there any places on your wish list to visit and capture on film ?
There are loads of places i would love to visit to shoot for my project. High up on the list are Japan, Russia, Singapore as well as Columbia, Chile and Mexico.
How do you set the mood for your shoots?
Since I shoot on film and lots of the time I am using a tripod, the biggest part of the shoot is actually just me setting up and finding the perfect location and angle. While I do that I chat to my subject and that usually relaxes them a bit. It also helps, that they can't see the photos. They just have to trust the process.
Do you ever use music and if so what are your go to tunes to get the look just right?
It depends on the location and what I am shooting but for the merc shoot we had music on set. It was a nice little mix of early reggae and a bit of oi and punk.
Who would you most like to photograph?
I would love to shoot with Kate Moss. Because she's Kate Moss, man. But honestly, I just love photographing interesting characters, faces and personalities.
What advice would you have for anyone interested in capturing the subcultures?
With any project, I suggest do your research, get a feel for the subculture, get to know the people and just go for it. Most people are happy to get their picture taken and tell you about what they are passionate about.
What’s next for you ?
Currently I am looking into moving to london and i am hoping to publish my skinhead project, so if anyone knows a publisher ;) I will definitely continue my personal projects
Where do you hope to see your photography take you?
I am hoping to make a decent living of photography, get work for some cool brands and magazines. Shoot some amazing bands and more interesting new people. and obviously keep documenting the different subculture scenes.
Evelyn’s Quick Fire 5’s!!
5 Favourite Bands
Hard Skin, Arctic Monkeys, Babyshambles, The Specials, Madness
5 Favourite Items of Clothing
Polo Shirt, Harrington, Hoodie, Denim mini skirt, Adidas Sambas
5 Favourite Style Icons / eras
Traditional 60's Skinheads, 80's Football Casuals, 90's grunge and heroine chic, 90's skate wear, early 2000's indie rock fashion
5 Favourite Places in the world
London, Liguria - Italy, Switzerland, Isla Mujeres - Mexico, Nottingham
Words by Richie Kyle
Photos by Evelyn Kutschera