Ben Smith is a British photographer. In September 2015 he started a podcast called A Small Voice, the title taken from W. Eugene Smith’s well-known quote:
Photography is a small voice, at best, but sometimes – just sometimes – one photograph or a group of them can lure our senses into awareness. Much depends upon the viewer; in some, photographs can summon enough emotion to be a catalyst to thought.
Ben Smith would probably consider himself a small voice in photography, but in this podcast series he has exchanged his camera for a microphone and initially every week, then fortnight, he has given voice to a different photographer and has in the process created a unique collection of thoughtful aural photographic portraits.
Unsurprisingly, practitioners of photojournalism and documentary feature widely, but the series – currently at 95 episodes – covers a range of disciplines and Smith has interviewed all kinds of photographers in various stages of their careers.
What I like about these interviews is that they have an honesty and unpretentiousness to them: No doubt Smith puts a lot of work into researching and producing these but his interviewing style is such that it feels like two photographers are sitting around chatting about one’s work and life for an hour or so, and when listening it feels like I’m in the room with them. Kudos to Smith for this project and I wish him nothing but success with his entertaining and though-provoking photographic masterwork.
Some of my favourite interviews are with Matt Black, Christopher Anderson and Laura El Tantawy. The Year in Review 2018 is the latest episode and is a good introduction to the series as it contains snippets of interviews conducted throughout 2018.