Teenage Pre-occupation: David Stewart's photographic exploration of youth

London-based photographer David Stewart was nominated 16 times for the annual Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize before he finally scooped the prestigious £12,000 accolade in 2015, a prize that celebrates and promotes the very best in contemporary portrait photography from around the world. The winning portrait, Five Girls, was plucked from his Teenage Pre-occupation series; a beautiful body of work that explores youth in all its wonderful confusion and glory.

Stewart said: “Being surrounded by teenagers (my sons, daughter and their friends) made me aware of some interesting things about them which may be of the time and current culture. The work is a document of teenage preoccupations at this time. The world is changing around us very fast at the moment and it is a good time to photograph it.

"The subjects are insecure, looking for something to follow or not, to fit in or not, weighed down by technology, anti-social networkers, obsessed with what other people are doing. When photographed, all these things become clearer. I am presenting observations from the outside. The teenagers in the pictures think they are just getting on with their normal lives."

Available in a book, Teenage Pre-occupation is published by the independent Browns Editions. You can also watch a video about the series here.