About Bill Stephenson
Bill is currently focusing on publishing his social documentary work, which dates back to the 1980s. Bill also welcomes assignments from magazines, newspapers, book publishers, television, film, PR, advertising agencies, new media and is always interested in collaborating with freelance journalists and writers on commissioned projects.
In association with author and psychologist Prof Geoffrey Beattie, he has illustrated ‘On The Ropes: Boxing As A Way Of Life’ (20 photographs), published by Victor Golanancz in 1996 and ‘Hardlines: Voices From Deep Within A Recession’ (60 photographs), published by Manchester University Press in 1998, plus bookcovers ‘England After Dark’ and ‘The Cornerboys’. Numerous TV publications include the Property Ladder, Selling Houses and House Doctor series books and DVD images for the acclaimed David Starkey series ‘Elizabeth’. In collaboration with author Su Harvey, he produced 270 illustrations for ‘Body Speak’, the international best selling dog training book published by Interpet in 2007.
In early 2009 photographs from his Honduras HIV/AIDS Project were used exclusively by the American Foundation For Aids Research in New York to promote their work. The DVD was narrated by the late Elizabeth Taylor and Edward Kennedy. Recent assignments include updating and rebranding the property and lifestyle images for the Youth Hostel Association (England & Wales) Ltd and refreshing print and web imagery for Learndirect and the Department of Work and Pensions. Bill has also supplied the publicity stills for over 138 TV programmes and feature films.
He welcomes assignments from magazines, newspapers, book publishers, television, film, PR, advertising agencies, new media and is always interested in collaborating with freelance journalists and writers on commissioned projects.
Bill studied for a Graduate Diploma in Conservation Studies (Historic Objects) from The University of Lincoln in 2015. He is interested in the conservation of photographic materials and plans to volunteer when time allows to work with the Churches Conservation Trust. He is also an enthusiastic collector and student of JMW Turners mezzotint etchings from his series the ‘Liber Studiorum’.
He currently lives in the Peak District with Jane and daughter Hannah.
The social documentary work contained in this website and a change in photographic direction originated after a tutorial with photographer and teacher Paul Hill in 1981. He was a regular visiting lecturer to the Fine Art Department at Sheffield City Polytechnic and was familiar with my fine art influenced photography at that time. During a particular tutorial he appeared to be exasperated with my progress and claimed I was only doing better what I could do already.
I was upset and disappointed with this reaction to my work, so we talked about my past experiences and in particular my summer job as a photographer at Butlins Holiday Camp in Skegness in 1977. I explained that it was a fairly difficult job photographing hundreds of people each day and in particular working in the vast dance halls at night full of inebriated and often abusive holiday makers. Any positives from this experience was that I had little or no inhibition in approaching and photographing people in public.
We also talked of my interest in social history and my need to ‘tell people what I have seen’. I was always aware that a contemporary image today will take on a historic value in time and will be continually reinterpreted at points in the future. However, my concerns at the time were, do I have the maturity, right and authority to do so? He simply said, “just do it” and don’t care what anyone thinks of you or your work.
He suggested that if I had the ability to use a camera in public places without feeling inhibited and tell a story I might be able to produce something worthwhile. It was from this point I decided to start photographing social groups, communities of people and become a photo-journalist.
“My favourite thing is to go where I’ve never been” Diane Arbus.
I invite anyone who may be able to add more information to any of these websites to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will consider adding their contribution.