Casey Orr: Saturday Girl

“I only photographed on Saturday afternoons, a time when people are out to meet friends, shop, hang out, to look and be looked at … there is still a freedom associated with Saturday. Saturday sparks with potential.”

Casey Orr’s introduction to her new publication aptly sets the scene. This is a collection of celebratory, optimistic portraits of young women (within all the breadth that this term encompasses) whom Orr met on the streets of 15 UK cities and subsequently photographed in pop-up studios. It features a selection of the best from some 600 portraits taken between 2013 and 2019, before few of us had heard of coronavirus, and the freedom of a Saturday, for many, was a given.

The book is arranged in sections by city, with the majority of the photographs being full page bleeds of one sitter. This layout affords each photograph ample time, respect and consideration. Individual freckles, hairs, pores, piercings are all visible. Some of Orr’s subjects are confident and bold. Two friends in Birmingham, arms around each other, wearing cropped white tops and black jeans, are natural behind the lens and gaze out clear-eyed. Others appear much less comfortable. In one photograph made in Manchester, for instance, the sitter, dressed in Victorian Steampunk clothing, with short blonde hair pinned away from her face, carries a tension in her jaw. Her lips are pressed together and in her clenched fists, the very pink tip of one finger stands out against the rest of her fair skin …

Read the review in full here.

Review commissioned and published by Photomonitor, 2022.

Saturday Girl was published by Bluecoat Press, 2022.