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David Potts (photographer)

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Died  2012 -
Nationality  Australian
Name  David Potts

David Potts (photographer) David Potts National Portrait Gallery
Born  1926 -Sydney, Australia
Known for  Documentary Photography

David Potts (1926–2012) was an Australian photographer born in 1926.


David Potts (photographer) David Potts National Portrait Gallery

David Potts

Was an Australian documentary photographer born in Sydney (1926). Over his lifetime Potts worked with various fashion and commercial photographers, he later left Australia in the 1950s to go to London where he worked as a photojournalist. Potts' photography work differed from that of other documentary photographers as his work displayed a lot of feeling and emotion which was thought to be unusual at that particular time in photography. David Potts later died in 2012.


After finishing high school in 1944 Potts went on to do service with the Royal Australian Air Force. It was after then he formed his interest in photography. Potts then went under more training to further his techniques in the field of photography in 1945 during the Repatriation Scheme. Potts later went on to work for the commercial illustration studio of Russell Roberts Pty Ltd, working with numerous photographers such as Laurie Le Guay, John Nisbeft and many more. Often Potts would go out and capture photos of the Sydney scene with David Moore. Later in the year of 1950 Potts left Sydney to go and work in the field of Photojournalism in London. Potts went on to work on various professional work throughout London, Israel and Cyprus whilst working with Life Magazine, The Observer and Picture Post.

In 1955 Potts later returned to Sydney whilst still continuing work for Life Magazine as well as continuing on with his own work he did also form a group which was called "The Six Photographers" which included many other various photographers. They held a brief exhibition in Sydney where they reasserted the importance of subject matter rather than the stylishness of fashion and advertising. Potts formed the group since mid 1954 to discuss and criticize each other's works. The statement accompanying their first and only exhibition stressed the need to make 'unstaged, spontaneous and personal recordings of observed things and human behavior', in opposition to the slickness of commercial work. Since 1960-65 Potts has owned and operated his own studio in Sydney and has continued to live in Sydney working on his own photograph, however Potts has been inactive in the professional industry of photography.

Photography career

Potts Started his career around 1945 under the repatriation scheme where he got more practical experience at The University of Sydney. He then worked with many famous photographer such as Laurie Le Guay and John Nisbett whilst working in Russel Roberts studio. It was around 1950 where he discovered his true passion for documentary photography and then moved to London to work on more professional projects with Life Magazine, The Observer and Picture Post.

Potts then became well known in London for being so comfortable photographing Cat shows to Politically Thrilling Israel, some of Potts most famous work were those of Judges of Cat Shows and various subjects strolling through lane ways in Cyrpus.

After returning to Sydney around 1955 Potts still worked on various projects with Life Magazine, but then later started working on his own work whilst operating his own studio in Sydney.

Photographic Style

As Potts established his lover for photography he first worked with Russel Roberts studio where he worked on various commercial photography projects, but it was soon discovered to him that this sort of style of photography was not of interest to him. It was with a friend where he discovered his love for documentary photography. David Potts would also often use contemporary style photography as a showcase for his work and wished for it to be featured in Life Magazine.


Nicosia, Cyprus, 1953, Black and White.


Piccadilly Circus, 1953, Colour.


Andrew Sibley, Sydney Painter


David Potts (photographer) Wikipedia

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