Photographs Of The Happiness, Sadness, And Loneliness Of Youth

Photographs Of The Happiness, Sadness, And Loneliness Of Youth

Avatar of Mariana Rosas

By: Mariana Rosas

March 23, 2017

Photography Photographs Of The Happiness, Sadness, And Loneliness Of Youth
Avatar of Mariana Rosas

By: Mariana Rosas

March 23, 2017

Nights of insomnia and underwater kisses in a pool under the moonlight....
Barefoot, smoking in an empty parking lot while purple tones paint the twilight sky...
Tattoos, emotional and existential conflicts, melancholy tears intermingled with boosts of sudden happiness
Broken hearts, passionate loves, and rooms filled with posters of seventies' rock stars.

These moments of youth are among those that are captured by the lens of Marisa Chafetz, a 21-year-old girl living in New York and New Orleans. Despite her age, this photographer has already worked for several fashion, music, and lifestyle magazines like POND Magazine, Curated by Girls, Dazed, and the online blog of the famous clothing brand Urban Outfitters.

Marisa Chafetz youth photographs girls-w636-h600

She started taking photographs when she was only 11 years old, what started out as a distraction from boredom became an addiction. 

Influenced by photographers like Nan Goldin and Ryan McGinley, Marisa is characterized by portraying her daily reality just as it is, without any masks. The images she captures with her Minolta camera are fragments of her life: road trips, friends laughing and sleeping under the southern sun, party nights, and  Sundays at home.

Marisa Chafetz youth photographs bed-w636-h600
Marisa Chafetz youth photographs pool-w636-h600
Marisa Chafetz youth photographs tiara-w636-h600

She believes photography is a way to transform reality and turn it into a fantastic reverie. Although she has tried working with other artistic disciplines, photography has always been her true passion.

Marisa Chafetz youth photographs puppies-w636-h600

Most of Marisa's photos are taken with analog and disposable cameras. Social media has been crucial for her career, since that's the way she has exhibited her work; however, she wants to go beyond fame and expand her horizons. As she has stated, she doesn't want to become a digital photographer, which is the reason why she thinks Instagram and Facebook aren't the right platforms to fully convey her vision. Nevertheless, she also thinks these are great places to get to know other artists thanks to the unimaginable reach they have.

Marisa Chafetz youth photographs alcohol-w636-h600
Marisa Chafetz youth photographs naked-w636-h600

Media has become the main tool for artists all over the world to share their work; nowadays it's the only way in which the audience can gain access to these pieces and share them with the world. Chafetz was once asked about how the youth culture theme has been exploited in the last decades, but she doesn't really see her work under that label. For her, it's simply a portrayal of an artist's life who just happens to be 21.

Marisa Chafetz youth photographs fire-w636-h600
Marisa Chafetz youth photographs water-w636-h600

Photography has the power of unifying people, things, and places. Although the settings or the cities might be unknown to us, Marisa Chafetz' images are so accessible that we can really get inside her world and the way she perceives it, since she captures universal emotions. She shows us a world of endless fun combined with loneliness and emotional voids: the ephemeral and colorful nuances of this stage in life. It's what Iggy Pop meant when he sang "I've got a lust for life."

Marisa Chafetz youth photographs couch-w636-h600
Marisa Chafetz youth photographs mirror-w636-h600


Youth is one of the wildest and most ferocious stages in life; it's the time when we experience emotions in an amplified way, sparking in us a variety of inner conflicts we don't really know how to handle. It's the time when we experience everything extremes and when the line between bad decisions and fun becomes blurred. 


Take a look at Marisa Chafetz' official website.

Translated by María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards