A simple question but its simplicity of language is deceptive. I have discovered that the reality of such an enquiry is that it forces the photographer to whom it has been addressed to question the very essence of their relationship with a medium that provides them with a creative outlet that is a visual representation of what they think, believe, experience, and wish to convey. It also introduces reflections concerning income versus intent, success versus failure and recognition versus anonymity. It is a question that goes deep.

My decision to approach photographers and ask them to answer such a question was based upon a personal desire to explore my relationship with the medium of photography and visual storytelling. It seemed to be omnipresent throughout my life but I had never questioned that reality. I had never considered what it meant to me. Where had it come from and how had I sustained my passion for photography? I decided that to help me answer my own questions I would reach out to photographers and those associated with photography to see if they could help me reach some understanding through their reflections and experience.

The responses were generous, illuminating and honest. Often raw in their passion, considered in their introspection. Most importantly, themes began to develop, themes of approach, intention and desire. The consistency of these themes surprised me but also reassured me that my understanding of photography had synchronicities with the people whose images I admired and was interested in.

Storytelling  is a constant foundation for many photographers as is the importance of collaboration. Many reveal a love/hate relationship with the medium, detailing the torment they often feel as part of their photographic process. Others felt the need to place their practice today into the context of their journey, reflecting on those photographers whose words and images informed their own understanding of the medium. Some are up-beat others more melancholic in their presentation, but all are passionate, informed and engaged. Their words force the listener to stop and take stock, they force self-questioning, reconsidering pre-conceived understanding. They make you think.

Every week we ask a photographer to describe what photography means to them in less than 5 minutes as a piece of audio. This is then included within the A Photographic Life podcast.

Every Wednesday at 6.00am BST we post a new episode of the A Photographic Life Podcast. Available to listen, download and subscribe at  or via or and more…

If you enjoy the podcast why not check out our A Photographic Life Podcast Plus. Created as a learning resource that places the power of learning into the hands of the learner. To suggest where you can go, what you can read, who you can discover and what you can question to further your own knowledge, experience and enjoyment of photography. It will be inspiring, informative and enjoyable! You can find out here: www.patreon.com/aphotographiclifepodcast

Here is a list in order of appearance of all of the photographers who have featured so far:

Ella Murtha
Nick Turpin
Ed Kashi
Al Brydon
Laura Beltrán Villamizar
Craig Aitkinson/Cafe Royal Books
Tom Stoddart
Kitt Woodland
Marc Vallée
Brian David Stevens
Jenny Lewis
Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert
Rob Hudson
Emma Blau
Burk Uzzle
Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen
Tom Oldham
Brian Duffy
Susan Meiselas
Stuart Franklin
Helen Trompeteler
Kenneth Jarecke
David Bailey
Danny North
Mary Ellen Mark
Michael Thompson
Dan Wood
Philip North Coombes
Jim Mortram
Christopher Anderson
Robert Darch
Michael Jackson
Margaret Mitchell
Amy Romer
Brian Griffin
Marc Wilson
David Levenson
Derek Ridgers
Craig Easton
Paolo Roversi
Rachel Boillot
John Sevigny
Alys Tomlinson
Colin Jones
Geoff Waring
Elliott Landy
Guia Besana
Katharine MacDaid
Iain McKell
Guy Martin
Dafydd Jones
Fleur Olby
Chris Floyd
Paul Trevor
Sunil Gupta
Amelia Troubridge
Ian Weldon
Laura El-Tantawy
Sadie Catt
Paul Russell
Colin Wilkinson/Bluecoat Press
John Angerson
Eduardo Soteras Jalil
Venetia Dearden
Robert Trachtenberg
Paul Weinberg
Elinor Carruci
Toby Binder
Trevor Brady
Chris Harrison
Julie Hrudova
A.D. Coleman