Bill Smith: ‘Here’s a photo of me working at Norwich Cathedral this summer, suitably masked and hard-hatted.’
“In the unlikely event of you wanting to show more of me, here’s one my wife took a couple of years ago, saying “This will do for the obit”
This just in to the Press Photo History project from Bill Smith completing 41 years continuous employment as a press photographer on the UK newspaper Eastern Daily Press.
Hello Will, After training at the Guildford School of Photography I worked as a photographer in the regional press from 1973. That year I joined the North Herts Gazette series of newspapers, based in Hitchin, with offices in Letchworth and Stevenage. In 1988 I moved to the Eastern Daily Press, based in Norwich and Ipswich, and with district offices throughout Norfolk and Suffolk. I worked there until the end of 2014, completing 41 years continuous employment as a press photographer. I was Kodak Regional Press Photographer of the Year in 1992, and won various Eastern Region photography awards over the years. For the last seven years I have continued to work part-time on a freelance basis.
The EDP was the prestigious flagship of Eastern Counties Newspapers (ECN) which became Archant soon after the millennium.
Sadly Archant was the subject of a pre-pack administration in 2020, and although it was reborn thanks to an injection of venture capital its assets are much diminished.
Please find attached lists of the photographers (below PDF link) I can remember working with over this long period, many of whom I admired and some of whom I am still in touch with.
I’ll see whether they can come up with any more I may have forgotten.
If you would like to add any names or your own memory of working at the EDP or contact Bill email me at [email protected]
Send a press photo work memory to the Press Photo History Project please call me or email me at [email protected]
We provide a copyright search service connecting image license requests with image owners through our network of contacts at newspaper archives and commercial photo libraries.
We are mapping the lives and whereabouts of press photo agencies and newspaper photographers based in and around Fleet Street and the UK from 1904 - 1995, with a long term plan to map all press photo agencies throughout the world.
Why is it important?
At the turn of the 20th century, there was vast growth in press agencies and photographers due to the massive thirst for images in newspapers. Many are still in existence but others have been sold, absorbed or simply disappeared, effectively leaving gaps in the history of this industry… many agency offices were bombed during the WWII London Blitz resulting negative and print files being water damage from the hoses quenching the fires …most archives were in the building basements.
The Press Photo History Project is building a ‘family tree’, which is helping to find the original owners of content. Eventually this would also provide an educational resource centred on the history of press photography. Starting with the Mapping of Fleet Street, this aims to include an index to photo agencies working in and around the ‘street’ and photographers memories of working lives.