Sefton Samuels is one of Britain’s most iconic photographers, but the path there has weaved via the old mills of Yorkshire and seedy jazz clubs around the North West of England.
Sefton was born in Manchester in 1931. He left Manchester Grammar School at 16, trained in textiles and went to work in mills around Yorkshire. But a camera was never far from his hand. Nor was a pair of drum sticks. An accomplished jazz drummer, Sefton at one point turned semi-professional playing alongside the likes of Karl Denver.
In 1960, Sefton was named the Manchester Evening News amateur photographer of the year – and headed back to his native city as it began to swing. It was during the sixties on the gritty streets of Manchester that he developed his trademark style of poignant photojournalism edged with a black northern humour. He became a supplier of photos for national newspapers, BBC and Granada TV – and ran the Sefton Photo Library until the early 1990s. He still lives in Manchester.
Seventy pictures in the National Portrait Gallery.
Ten photos in the Victoria and Albert Museum’s National Collection of the Art of Photography.
Member of the Distinctions panel for the Royal Photographic Society, and exhibited at the RPS’ International Print Exhibition.