A rising photography star, Hawkesworth has quickly built a reputation for his lo-fi, documentary style approach that has seen him shoot campaigns for Alexander McQueen, JW Anderson and Marni, and editorials for American and British Vogue and Love magazine. For JW Anderson’s Spring/Summer 2015 campaign — reminiscent of '50s horror films — Hawkesworth went to Suffolk where he cast a brother and sister on the beach, dressed them, and sent them into the sea. “No hair and makeup, nothing,” he said.
Hawkesworth’s career had an unlikely beginning when he started taking pictures of reconstructed crime scenes while studying forensics. It was documenting the scenes and an interest in unnoticed characters that led him into photography. Fascinated by the beauty found in the minutiae of everyday life, Hawkesworth began photographing characters and scenes including a Preston bus station.
By 2012, Hawkesworth’s series documenting teenagers on solo train trips around the UK had caught the eye of French stylist Benjamin Bruno . Their meeting led to Hawkesworth’s first big fashion story, for Man About Town magazine, and an intro to JW Anderson, for whom he shot the following year.
The images so impressed Anderson that after he was appointed creative director of Loewe, the designer returned to Hawkesworth for the brand’s campaigns. Hawkesworth has always adopted an off key approach that emphasises the oddities of everyday life. The photographer insists on shooting exclusively in film, using daylight, and develops the pictures himself.
In May 2019, Hawkesworth held an exhibition titled "A Short Pleasurable Journey, Part Two," in London, which consisted of 86 photographs and one film he made in the Romanian village of Floresti over the course of three weeks. In July 2019, Hawkesworth lensed Kate Moss for the Autumn/Winter 2019 Alexander McQueen campaign.