Thanet teen photographer Sterling Chandler in shoot for British GQ Men of The Year Awards

The GQ awards image taken by Sterling Chandler (shown right)

Thanet’s teenage music and fashion photographer Sterling Chandler has been involved in a new shoot with activist Patrick Hutchinson.

The images caught by the Chatham & Clarendon sixth former, from Broadstairs, are from the British GQ Men of The Year Awards hosted by Jack Whitehall in association with Hugo Boss.

Patrick Hutchinson was presented the GQ Men of The Year ‘Humanitarian Award’ after he was photographed holding a counter-protester on his shoulder to keep him safe from harm during this summer’s Black Lives Matter rallies in London.

His actions made front-page news around the world and showed a glimmer of hope in the equality campaign.

Patrick told GQ Magazine: “It’s easy to sit by and say to any individual to be the bigger person and not to react and not let things escalate, but when you’re on the other end of racism and oppression it’s very difficult.”

Terry Hall photo by Sterling Chandler

Aged just 17, Sterling  has already worked with major artists and record labels from Ska legends The Specials to upcoming artist Che Lingo and from independent labels PIAS to one of the largest music companies Universal Music.

Sterling is also an ambassador for People Dem Collective which champions engagement and inclusion for Black, Brown and Diaspora communities – especially in the media world.. He became involved with GQ after Margate-based director Tom Dream and People Dem Collective spotted some of his amazing work, including images of The Specials from their gig in Margate in May 2019.

Sterling said: “Tom Dream and People Dem Collective had seen some of my fashion and music photography, in particular of The Specials, and approached me to be the photographer for their ‘Black Dreams Matter’ project in collaboration with musician Che Lingo earlier in the summer.

The Specials by Sterling Chandler

“When The Specials played the Margate Winter Gardens in May 2019, I’d been interested in social media for years and had been supporting a few friends with it and asked if they needed any help. They said yes and let’s see how it goes and touch wood, it’s been going well ever since.

“Along the way they saw some of the photos I’d taken, so when I asked if I could attend the Margate show and be in the pit for the first few numbers. They were and continue to be really supportive and I’m hugely grateful for that.”

Recently Sterling was the assistant director and behind the scenes photographer for a mini film series for Dazed Magazine and Gucci.

Knotted Gold image by Sterling Chandler

The film, named Knotted Gold, was directed by Tom Dream and features British singer and poet Arlo Parks. It is part of Absolute Beginners, a short film series which sees nine creative talents do something they’ve never done before – get in the director’s seat.

And there will be more from Sterling soon with some ‘exciting projects’ lined up for December.