Music by VICE

Devon Little's Intimate Polaroid Portraits of Musicians

Devon Little is documenting the city's sonic innovators one Polaroid at a time.

by Devon Little
May 26 2015, 4:00am

Nue

We recently met Toronto-based photographer Devon Little while he was assisting one of our favorite photographers on a shoot in the middle of a Markham, Ontario, fairground. We checked out his website and turns out this guy takes some pretty sweet photos as well as being really good at holding a flash. One series that caught our eye was a bunch of Polaroids featuring some rising stars who have passed through Toronto*. Here's what he had to say about them.

Music has always been a consuming passion of mine. I grew up playing instruments, collecting albums and studying different musical subcultures. I moved to Toronto from Barrie two years ago to be closer to the music scene. I bounced around between colleges; I briefly studied music production and then decided to try out photography school. I've been casually taking photos since I was about nine or ten after my father, an avid amateur, introduced me to his camera gear. Last spring I dropped out of photography school and was dealing with the anxiety of my decision, I didn't know many people in the city and I was living downtown and washing dishes to pay rent. After I left photography school, I had to give myself my own assignments. No one else was going to, no one knew me and I didn't have a lot of photographs that I was proud to show.

I got this Polaroid camera shortly after, on my 23rd birthday. I started bringing it to every shoot. Most of my inspiration comes from the Toronto music scene. Sean Leon was the first artist that got me really excited about music in Toronto. He immediately struck me as a polarizing young artist and I was eager to document his star in the making. I reached out to him to arrange a photo shoot and I brought my Polaroid camera. I soon became aware of even more young artists making waves in the city such as bizZarh, Harrison, Keita Juma, and Clairmont. The Second. I didn't see anyone else really taking photos of all these artists so I took it upon myself and reached out to any artist who I thought was interesting. I had my Polaroid camera with me on every shoot, I always shoot a mix of digital and Polaroids. The Polaroids have such a timeless aesthetic though, and they're almost like trading cards. My work eventually caught the eye of Ben Cook from Fucked Up and he gave me the opportunity to shoot for his Young Guv project and Toronto Hardcore OG's, No Warning. Travi$ Scott and Wiki from Ratking even let me take their photo.

I'm not from Toronto, so I had no real network in the city. All of these portraits are the result of me reaching out and introducing myself to any artist or musician that I thought was cool and asking to take their photo.

If you're in Toronto, make sure to grab a copy of his Selected Portraits at Working Title.

UPDATE 5/26: An earlier version of this article mistakenly implied that all the musicians Little photographed were from Toronto. Travi$ Scott is from Houston, and Wiki is from New York.

Clairmont the Second

Elissa Mielke

Elliott Vincent Jones

Harrison

Nue

Oliver El Khatib

Prince Innocence

Charli Champ

Sean Leon

Michael Rault

Wiki

No Warning

Young Guv

PARTY

Travi$ Scott