In the early seventies, Joseph Szabo taught art and photography at Malverne High School on Long Island. Simultaneously, he continued his own photographic education, taking a course on “how to photograph people and strangers” and thus decided to begin photographing his students on the school grounds, at parties or on the beach, which helped break down the barrier between pupil and instructor. With the series Almost Grown, Joseph Szabo celebrated teenage hood as ‘the years of restless desire and blossoming sexuality; the world of high school, parking lots, and street corners; and the uniquely American culture in which all of us have grown up.’ In the summer of 1978, he attended a Rolling Stones gig with two students and preferred to lay his camera upon the crowds rather than the stage as he believed they best mirrored their idols with their defiant confidence and nonchalant nobility. Although most of his images are set in the 1970s and 1980s, the American photographer not only captured a single moment but the universality of teenage life with its angst, experimentations, carelessness and innocence. Supported by Bruce Weber, Joseph Szabo strongly inspired Grace Coddington and Sofia Coppola who turned to his prints into a visual reference for her adaptation of The Virgin Suicides.