Candid photographs of a self-made subculture in a small Irish town


Megan Doherty, a self driven photographer based in Derry, has made it her mission to document the stranded youth in a small town located in the North-West of Ireland.

Through years of frustrated evenings walking the streets with her friends, Doherty turned to a digital camera as an act of self medication, a process to counterbalance the sense of claustrophobic boredom that weighed heavily.

“Days in Derry are long. There’s not a whole lot to do except hang out, wasting time,” Doherty once said in an interview with Feature Shoot.“Getting lost is a way to make life a little more appealing,” she added. “Reality doesn’t compare to the world that can exist in your head.”

The more she allowed her inspiration to run wild with the camera, depicting everyday life in Derry with her friends, the more her ability to play with light began to form her own artistic photographic style. Just as her desire for more led her to photography, that same drive developed in the equipment she used. Switching to film, Doherty now shoots on 35mm, medium format or Polaroid and her methods are ever changing.

“I’m just in love with being young. I love the culture that comes with it – a culture completely based on freedom.”— Megan Doherty.

“I like to work with available light and create moments within real time,” she added in a separate interview with Lomography. “My photographic style is something that developed naturally for me. I think when you have a very specific vision of what you want, you can’t get away from it whether the image is staged, documented or a combination of both, your vision takes over and an aesthetic develops.”

She continued: “In my case, film is a big influence for me, the visuals (cinematography, light, colour, texture) combined with the disconnect from reality have made a huge impact on me and my work.”

With an arsenal of film backed from her youth, Doherty was able to orchestrate her collection entitled Stoned in Melanchol. The showing of this work signalled the end of one period of the photographer’s life and the bright beginning of another. A deeply personal insight to the daily routine of a subculture of youth desperate to find more, desperate to thrive.

(All images via Megan Doherty)