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Aspiring photographer Peter Stewart-Sykes: planning his ‘picture-perfect’ future

Peter sat confidently behind a double espresso, wrapped in a brown brushed wool checked scarf. Beside him sat an immense book on Sugimoto a photographer that he admires, “His work is often overlooked but it’s amazing”. The sheer size of the book acted as a metaphor for his interest in Photography.

At the tender age of eighteen, Peter Stewart-Sykes already has a clear idea of what he wants to do with the rest of his life, which is ‘to survive making work for the photographic industry’. 

The creative industries have become one of the most competitive areas, with a career in photography becoming increasingly difficult to find. It is therefore unusual to come across someone of such a young age who knows exactly what they want to do with their lives.

This is what makes Peter so different.

He comes from a small Dorset town, where opportunity is fairly limited. However, three months ago, he made the huge decision to attend university in London, in order to fulfil his dreams of becoming a photographer. He’s currently enrolled at London College of Communications (LCC), in South London studying what he loves. He feels that he has “definitely made the right decision” in regard to the choice of university.

Those who are close to him find him to be an “interesting character” with an “overly intriguing outlook on the world”. Ezme, a close friend of his, describes him as “an interesting person with a strong-willed character”.

Peter is no ordinary teenager.

His interest and determination cannot be singled down to his own efforts with his parents playing an important role in their son’s educational position. At the age of fifteen, Peter’s interest was sparked with strong influence from his parents to make a career out of it.

 “From an early age our parents made an effort to steer us [Ed: Peter and his two siblings] into appreciating culture”.

He and his sister had adopted the same appreciation for the arts, displaying very comparable interests and they had become “very similar” which contributed to their close relationship. He is one of triplets but has always been distant from his brother “who does his own thing” and focuses on Physics; which appears to be something of which Peter sees as a foreign concept.

Surprisingly, Peter had stated that since being in the city he “hasn’t experienced homesickness” but admitted “I miss my mum”.

Of course, he hasn’t been completely unaffected by the negative factors of living away from home let alone in London, he has admited “I like London but I’d quite like to see it all burn at the same time”.  Obviously, he has been drawn in by the claws of London for the tremendous amount of opportunity that is on offer. However, the commuting aspect of London is one of the reasons why he would like to see it burn because “it’s tiring, it really takes it out of you”. He doesn’t regard fellow commuters very highly as “people are terrible, terrible”.

Jade Adams
Jade Adams
Journalism student focusing on patch news and reviews from Southwark and Lambeth