A Small Voice Podcast: Ben Smith’s Incursion into Photographers Thoughts


A Small Voice Podcast: Ben Smith’s Incursion into Photographers Thoughts

Author: Eve Laliberté

Some might be doubtful of the consistency behind self-taught multitaskers, but wearing multiple
hats can sometimes be the key to creating profoundly significant projects. Ben Smith is
photographer, editor, journalist and founder of A Small Voice, the second most listened-to
podcast on photography in the United States.

Having always dreamt of becoming a photographer and a journalist after studying in video and
radio production — a diploma which he says got him some skills that were kept dormant for
around 25 years — he finally found his lifesaver in 2015, when he discovered the extensive
realm of podcasts. Not even a year after listening to his first ever episode, he founded his own
show, aiming to put in the world the photography podcast he hadn’t been able to find.

Only four years later, Smith has realized more than 100 episodes featuring in-depth
conversations with established and innovative photographers from all around the world including
Simon Norfolk, Martin Parr, Todd Hido and Andrea Modica.

How has he managed to come such a long way in such a short time? The secret probably lies in
Smith’s ability to make space for deep, meaningful and intimate conversations to happen. With
face-to-face recorded episodes, generally ranging from one to two hours, we are slowly driven
into the heart of the issues and are never disappointed for being cut short on some angles.

It might seem paradoxical for a show about photography to take place through such an intangible
medium. But it works, probably mainly because the ideas discussed in A Small Voice go way
beyond images and aesthetics. They ignite reflexion on rather broad subjects ranging from the
creative process, to more philosophical and political questions regarding the place of information
and representation in the current era, for instance.

Through its deeply personal and inspiring approach, Smith’s podcast reinforces the idea that
artists opinion on current issues matters.