Wednesday 8 September 2021

Pictures Stories - Explore the history of the groundbreaking magazine that shaped British culture


Explore the history of the groundbreaking magazine that shaped British culture 
Picture Post and the photography of ordinary life
UK screenings of Picture Stories taking place from 15th September and available on Digital Download from 27th September
Ship Of Life Films are delighted to announce the release of their new documentary, Picture Stories, about the life and legacy of Picture Post, the revolutionary magazine which shaped perceptions of British life during and after the Second World War.
Ahead of its UK theatrical release on the 24th September, the documentary will also have special screenings at the Royal Photographic Society in Bristol on 15th September, and the Photography Show (NEC Birmingham) on 18th September. Following the UK theatrical release, Picture Stories will be released on digital download on 27th September.
Britain’s best-selling magazine during the Second World War, and hugely influential for years after, Picture Post revolutionised the picture magazine, showing Britain to the British in a fundamentally new way.
Using the freedom of new camera technology, Picture Post’s photographers portrayed the lives of ordinary people, at home, on the street, unposed - in a way they had never been seen before.
Through its powerful, socially committed picture stories, Picture Post helped to transform post-war Britain, and change the face of British photography.

The story of this iconic magazine is told by its photographers, writers and editors. Leading contemporary photographers reflect on Picture Post’s extraordinary images and influence.
Commenting on the release, film director Rob West stated; "Picture Post is arguably the most important magazine in British social history. It was born under the threat of War, and survived and flourished under the intense bombardment of the Blitz. Extraordinarily, during the height of World War II, Picture Post was looking ahead to post-War life and to the possibility of fundamental social reform.
Picture Post had a huge impact on national awareness of social conditions in Britain and of the need for a comprehensive welfare state and a national health service. It brought cutting-edge photography, and the picture story, to a mass audience. It changed people’s understanding of their own country by showing, vividly, what British life was really like.
I wanted to bring the extraordinary story of Picture Post and its photographers to modern audiences. Many of things we take for granted in photography, and our understanding of photographs and picture layout, started with Picture Post. Many of our ideas about British society were forged by Picture Post and its unique group of creators."
UK screenings of Picture Stories will take place from 15th September and will be available on Digital Download from 27th September. More info can be found at

#picturestoriesfilm #picturepost


Picture Post magazine was founded in 1938 by photojournalist and social campaigner, Stefan Lorant, friend to Winston Churchill and Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany.
The magazine was an immediate success, selling nearly 2m copies a week within only two months, and went on to be Britain’s best-selling weekly magazine during the Second World War.
Telling stories through a combination of pictures and text enabled Picture Post to be powerfully effective in highlighting important issues of the day and influencing public attitudes and opinions.
Leading Photographers & Editor of Picture Post

Born in Goole, E Riding of Yorkshire, in October 1900. Moved from Yorkshire to work in phone service in London, married in Camberwell in 1929 and then moved to Bristol to work on a local paper. Then Leicester where he worked on the Leicester Evening News.  He moved back to London and worked on the Weekly Illustrated before being headhunted by Picture Post and then lived in Banstead. In retirement, he moved to Hove.

Born and raised in Elephant and Castle.

Getty Images Hulton Archive:
"If one photographer sums up the spirit and sheer brilliance of the seminal British newsweekly Picture Post, it is Bert Hardy (1913-1995). Alongside Bill Brandt and Don McCullin, former Victoria & Albert curator Mark Haworth-Booth regarded Hardy as one of the three greatest British photojournalists from the genre’s Golden Age. Indeed, Hardy stands alongside Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa and Werner Bischoff as the giants of 20th-century photography.

London born and entirely self-taught, Hardy was one of the UK’s first professionals to embrace the 35mm Leica in favor of a traditional large-format press camera. The smaller camera and faster film suited his instinctual shooting style and allowed him to consistently create something unique even in high-pressure situations. His confidence and courage enabled him to produce some of the most memorable images of the Blitz and postwar England and Europe. An inspiration to a generation of photojournalists, Hardy was often greeted as warmly by his subjects as he was by his peers— so much so one dubbed him the ‘professional Cockney’."
"The British photographer known for her trailblazing series documenting the joys and challenges in the lives of everyday women" British Journal of Photography.
Born 1930, died this year, lived Sussex, married to Thurtson Hopkins, awarded an OBE in 1999.

Famous for the Picture Post feature "Mothers Day Off", covered in Picture Stories documentary
Born 1913 and lived in south London before moving to East Sussex, was married to follow Picture Post photographer Grace Robertson. With the closure of Picture Post in 1957, Hopkins conducted business as one of London's more successful advertising photographers in Chiswick before taking up teaching at the Guildford School of Art.
Born Manchester 1905, was editor of Picture Post from 1940 until 1950. One of his 3 wives was fellow Picture Post photographer Gerti Deutsch.