Much revered photography tutor Ron Smith hit the milestone age of 100 at the start of June, receiving the best wishes of countless students who benefitted from the training he delivered while working at the new Holland Park School, London’s first purpose-built comprehensive, between 1958 and 1983.

It was the first school in the country to have a dedicated photography department, and one of Ron’s pupil’s happened to be Peter Dazeley BEM FRPS, who progressed to become a highly successful fine art and advertising photographer.

“Ron was a fantastic teacher and mentor,” says Peter. “Without him and his support I don’t think I would have had a career in photography, I could well have taken off on a different path in life. He was the guiding light for me in a difficult, dyslexic, school experience, and started me on my career at 15, as a photographer, which has given me a wonderful life as a creative. During his career he was such a wonderful role model for photographers everywhere with his enthusiasm for photography and giving back.”

In 1976 Ron was awarded the Hood Medal by the RPS for his services to photographic education. He was in good company as the previous year the renowned nature photographer Heather Angel won it and in the following years it was won by Jacques Cousteau, Lord Snowdon, Sir David Attenborough and Harold Evans. Ron was even awarded it again, thirty years later in 2006!

Also a long time stalwart member of Crewe Photographic Society, Ron’s special birthday was a matter of celebration for a wide circle of friends and admirers.


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