PODCAST: A Photographic Life, Episode 44: Plus Photographer David Levenson

In episode 44 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed considering photo education within universities and transferable skills all photographers have but may not have considered as relevant to other films of visual communication. 

Plus this week photographer David Levenson takes on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no longer than 5 minutes in length in which he answer’s the question ‘What Does Photography Mean to You?’

You can read more about Grant’s views on photographic education here https://unitednationsofphotography.com/2016/04/20/im-a-photographer-let-me-in-opening-the-door-to-photo-education/

You can read the article Grant mentions in this week’s podcast concerning the future of photography here https://unitednationsofphotography.com/2019/02/03/where-next-for-photography-and-the-photographer/

Based in London, David has been a photographer since he left school, learning his craft at a Fleet Street press agency. He covered news stories around London, including the Iranian Embassy siege, the Brixton riots and the early days of Lady Diana. Throughout the 1980’s he photographed Princess Diana and the Royal Family, visiting over fifty countries and producing sixteen illustrated books on their travels. His work is published every week by leading magazines, newspapers and websites around the world including Time, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, Paris Match, The Guardian, The Times, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Daily Express, LA Times, New York Times, New Yorker, The Spectator, New Statesman, La Vanguardia, Irish Times, Huffington Post, Sunday Times and the Observer. David’s work is held in MOMA, New York, the Tate Gallery, London and the National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. http://davidlevenson.com

You can also access and subscribe to these podcasts at SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/unofphoto on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/a-photographic-life/id1380344701 on Player FM https://player.fm/series/a-photographic-life and Podbean www.podbean.com/podcast-detail/i6uqx-6d9ad/A-Photographic-Life-Podcast

Grant Scott is the founder/curator of United Nations of Photography, a Senior Lecturer in Professional Photography at the University of Gloucestershire, a working photographer, and the author of Professional Photography: The New Global Landscape Explained (Focal Press 2014) and The Essential Student Guide to Professional Photography (Focal Press 2015). His next book New Ways of Seeing: The Democratic Language of Photography will be published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2019. He is currently work on his next documentary film project Woke Up This Morning: The Rock n’ Roll Thunder of Ray Lowry www.wokeupthismorningfilm.com.

His documentary film, Do Not Bend: The Photographic Life of Bill Jay has been screened across the UK and the US in 2018 and will be screened in the US and Canada in 2019.

© Grant Scott 2019



  1. I was 20 when I first became an art director. By the time I was 22/23 I was regularly commissioning photography. Often from people who were at the top of their game and probably earning more in a week than I did in a year.

    At that point, I think it would have been inappropriate and completely absurd for me attempt to critique their work.

    The photographers who came to see me wanted to know only one thing. Was I going to commission them or not? If my answer was “sorry but no” their interest usually ended there.

  2. Like you Grant, I was an art director once myself.

    But my understanding of that role is a very different one to yours. I never felt the need to comment on or critique the portfolios of the photographers that came to see me. That wasn’t my skill and that wasn’t what I was being paid to do anyway. Plus it wasn’t, I’m sure, what the photographers that came to see be wanted.

    For me, seeing photographers was a real chore because nine out of ten of them would not be right for the specific job but, conversely, nine out of ten of them would think they were.

    1. For me it was a pleasure and within an editorial context definitely part of my role. Again we disagree! The rich reality of discussion!

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