About Craig Wathall

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Craig Wathall is a Sheffield based award-winning photojournalist with offices in Sheffield, London and Cambridge. He is an international street photographer born in 1962 from working class roots.  He has a remarkable history. Distracted from schoolwork by rock music, playing drums and photography he failed at school. Leaving school at 16 in 1978 without any formal qualifications he followed a much loathed craft apprenticeship in engineering. Whilst at the EITB Petre Street engineering training centre he became friends with Pete Willis the guitarist from Def Leppard. It was something Pete said that inspired and motivated him. He said,


“ Craig you can do whatever you want to there are no glass ceilings  it’s only what you think that will hold you back ”


Reflecting on this and feeling snared into steel and mining employment and brimmed with frustration and  malcontent  he fibbed to  Rotherham College in order to take 3 "A" levels in Economics, Sociology and Psychology  and 5 additional O levels in 1 year. Passing all subjects with good grades in 1985. Craig says with a wry smile


“I had never read a book at that point but was determined. I did 46 hours of class contact a week, I did  the year one of the subjects in the day time and  the year 2 of the courses in evening classes 5 nights a week. I only came clean to what I done after my last A level exams were over” I walked in to  Mr Happs’ room and told him, he was astonished”


He graduated from University in 1988 in Sociology and Economics, and subsequently qualified in nursing from a London University in 1992. Leaving the NHS a year later he became branch manager, then operations manager for a leading London Nursing Agency. In 1996 he left London to study MA Law, a qualifying law degree at Sheffield University.  In 2010 he studied Social Work at M.A. level.

Studies  in local history and politics at Kings College Oxford have  changed his perspective yet again.  He says:

“ I kind of found my self at Oxford, throughout my career  journey, from the earliest memory, I have been a photographer, as a child, as a student, as a husband and father and a business man, nurse or social worker bubbling beneath the surface I have taken pictures”

Educated in Photography and Photojournalism at Norton College Sheffield he gained distinctions in all subjects  this  has steered him to develop his lifelong obsession of photography further than he ever thought possible and contributes to national local media. Obsessed with decisive moment photography he spends his days photographing cities and urban decay, documenting social injustice his photography comes from a   combination of his values originating in   Sociology, Law, Social work and experience of 30 years shooting film and digital. 

Having just completed a teaching qualification   he is a  visiting Lecturer in photography at several colleges and habitually shoots street photography worldwide, Recent work can be seen in  galleries from  New York, Mexico, Africa, and the UK. Shooting  digitally and in 35mm and Medium Format Film.

Although as a  Freelance photographer  he  is available for short or on-going assignments, the passion is not commercially driven and often work will be completed for the love of the work.


His  preference is photographing gigs or events  in a documentary style, in black and white or colour  with available light.


Cameras and Gear

  • Nikon d3s  x2
  • Nikon d3 x2
  • Leica M9 Digital
  • Nikon d800 36 mp (awesome camera)
  • Hasselblad Medium Format Film
  • Nikon F90 and F3 x 35mm film and Leica M6 film
  • Adobe CS5 and LR 4