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In “Hanging Out,” Alessandra Sanguinetti Captures Teenagers In Their Natural Environments

Posted by on February 7, 2018 | Student Photography

For “Hanging Out,” a series that appeared in the December 2017 issue of The California Sunday Magazine, Alessandra Sanguinetti traveled around California, photographing teen cliques being themselves.

Sanguinetti approached her subjects with confidence, thinking that she already knew what adolescence was like, having experienced it herself. “I was bracing for silly, noisy and arrogant knots of angst and insecurity,” she said. Instead, she was impressed by how thoughtful, kind and poised her subjects were. “I was reminded of how vulnerable and clear eyed you are in many ways at that age even though it doesn’t feel like that then.”

The series was shot for a special teenagers issue of the magazine, which reported on how teenagers in California and the American West are living in the world right now, and how they are beginning to change it. One of Sanguinetti’s images appeared on the cover.

See some images from “Hanging Out” below. For more of Sanguinetti’s work, visit her website.

All images © Alessandra Sanguinetti/Magnum Photos.

USA. San Jose, California. 2017. Vidushi Somani, 17, Peggy Wang, 17, Emily Leung, 16, Christina Chen, 17, Catherine Jin, 17. “Some are a little self-conscious and introverted; the others don’t care and will be super loud. I’m very blunt. I have a no-holds-barred kind of thing.”

USA. Petaluma, California. 2017. Jamie Reid, 16. “In my friend group, I’m the one that people come to for advice,” Jamie says. “I don’t know if they think I have all the answers or all the experience, but people say I’m able to help them. I’m happy to be that person.”

USA. McKinleyville, California. 2017. Megan Witte, 17, and Jasmine Collins, 17. When Megan and her friends need a break — from school, from life — they go for a hike in the woods. “We’ll walk and make jokes, then go into a period of silence,” she says. “It’s a way to appreciate the beauty and serenity of a singular place.”

USA. Long Beach, California. 2017. Toni Bravo, 17, and Adrianna Luna, 17. Toni’s and Adrianna’s sneakers. Toni and Adrianna have always connected over politics — even more so since the 2016 election. “Sometimes people are like, ‘Oh, you switched up on us,’” Adrianna says. “But really it’s like, ‘No. I just grew up.’”

USA. Long Beach, California. 2017. Toni Bravo, 17, Patrick Thompson, 17, and Adrianna Luna, 17.

USA. McKinleyville, California. 2017. Sonora Breault-Miller, 14, and Joanella Pedro, 15. “McKinleyville is small, kind of slow,” Sonora says. “There’s nowhere really dedicated to people, and it’s pretty easy to get bored.”

USA. Napa, California. 2017. Bella Lozada, 18, and Pablo Toscano, 17. Bella and Pablo have been going out for almost a year. “I’m shy, and I like to be around people who are loud and weird,” Bella says. “It makes me feel comfortable, like I can be myself, too.”

USA. Long Beach, California. 2017. On weekends, Adrianna Luna (17), Raeven Dickerson (17), and their friends walk around The Pike, near the Long Beach port, and swap news about their latest fixations — Icelandic rap artists, sneaker art, thrift shopping.

USA. Long Beach, California. 2017. Patrick Thompson, 17.