PODCAST: A Photographic Life, Episode 286: Plus Photographer Bill Stephenson

In episode 286 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed reflecting on themes that those dealing with AI and photography are focusing on and the homogenisation of the photo book.

Plus this week, photographer Bill Stephenson 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?’

Bill Stephenson was born in 1955 in Birmingham, but spent his teenage school years growing up in Leeds. After studying for his A levels he wanted to work in a creative industry, and enrolled on the Furniture Design course at Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham. During the course he was required to complete a short photography block. As soon as he started creating images with a camera, he knew this was the career he had been looking for and resigned from the Furniture Design course. Unable to join the photography course as he was ineligible to receive a student grant he began working as a tyre fitter, van delivery driver and a photographer at Butlins Holiday Camp, Skegness in 1977. The following year he sent a small portfolio of photographs to the British Journal of Photography which was published. This led to an invitation from the Communication Arts, BA (Hons) Fine Art Degree course at Sheffield City Polytechnic to consider applying to join the course. He quickly developed a passion and commitment for photographing and recording communities of people who are often over looked, neglected, marginalised or considered unimportant. He has continued to work on commissioned social documentary photography projects alongside a successful commercial photography business before semi-retiring in 2021. He currently lives in Derbyshire, UK. https://billstephenson.co.uk

This podcast is also available on Spotify, Google and Apple podcasts as well as wherever you usually get your podcasts.

Dr. Grant Scott is the founder/curator of United Nations of Photography, a Senior Lecturer and Subject Co-ordinator: Photography at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, a working photographer, documentary filmmaker, BBC Radio contributor and the author of Professional Photography: The New Global Landscape Explained (Routledge 2014), The Essential Student Guide to Professional Photography (Routledge 2015), New Ways of Seeing: The Democratic Language of Photography (Routledge 2019). His film Do Not Bend: The Photographic Life of Bill Jay was first screened in 2018 www.donotbendfilm.com. He is the presenter of the A Photographic Life and In Search of Bill Jay podcasts.

Scott’s next book is Inside Vogue HouseOne building, seven magazines, sixty years of stories, Orphans Publishing, is on sale February 2024.

© Grant Scott 2023

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