The picture makes the story: Stephen Shakeshaft’s story

Stephen shakeshaft exhibition

Stunning picture, isn’t it? It’s by the former picture editor of the Liverpool Daily Post and Liverpool ECHO, Stephen Shakeshaft.

And it’s one of several dozen on display at an exhibition of Stephen’s photographs currently on display at the National Conservation Centre in Liverpool until early next year.

I spent a couple of really enjoyable hours in there yesterday. I worked with Stephen, briefly, while on the Liverpool Daily Post and he does hold legend status in those parts – and the exhibition shows why.

I’ve sometimes felt there is a bit of snobbery around press photography. Because press photographers take so many pictures, and have so much of their work on show every day, I sometimes get the feeling those with an artistic eye don’t take it as seriously as, say, someone who has spent months building up to one shot.

And that is why perhaps the most fascinating part of Stephen’s exhibition is a video interview in which Stephen talks about some of the photos on display.

His way of looking at many of the photos is that they become a historical record the moment they are taken – and Liverpool is lucky to have had someone like Stephen to chronicle the way it has changed over the years.

Some of the images which date back only 30 years seem to go back so much further, and that’s probably because the city has changed so much in the meantime.

There’s a brilliant smattering of celebrity alongside natural shots of people go about life in their communities. By telling the story behind each photo, Stephen paints a brilliant picture of what it meant to be out and about with his camera.

If you get chance, go and see the exhibition – you won’t regret it.

Stephen Shakeshaft: Liverpool People at the National Conservation Centre until January 24 2010 features about 70 photographs including unpublished gems alongside award-winning images amassed since the 1960s over decades of great social change.In this new exhibition, Stephen also reveals some of the secrets of his personal archive, displaying his talent for immortalising ordinary fleeting moments and reflecting the personalities of his subjects. Click here for more information

One comment

  1. I’m doing a piece in my coursework on Stephens work..is there any chance i can get some background info to do a factfile on stephen? ie. where he was born, when he was born, how long he worked at liverpool daily post and daily echo e.t.c

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