Biography for Bill Orchard (1940)

Bill Orchard was born 1940 in Walton on the Naze, Essex. He was only in his early 20s when he became a major part of the British Pop scene albeit behind the lens of a camera. During the swinging 1960s and 1970’s, all the bands and pop singers wanted to be seen out with photographers. There was a tremendous buzz around musicians and London was ‘hip’, so it made his job both fun and a little easier than it might be today.

Orchard worked for major publications like Today, The Telegraph, The Mail, and The Mirror, and for TV companies especially as the weekly photographer for Ready Steady Go. He had the privilege of touring alongside many A list bands including two years with The Beatles, and regularly with The Rolling Stones.

Bill started his career in photography in 1957, after winning first prize in a photography magazine competition. It was not long after he was fortunate enough to be taken on by Bishops Studio in Fleet Street as an assistant. At the tender age of seventeen he began to take cover pictures for the women’s magazines and was reckoned to be the youngest person to do this at the time. He later went freelance and started working with the photographer Brian Worth and in 1960 Bill worked with Brian on the very first publicity pictures for Coronation Street for Granada Television. In 1977, Orchard was invited to Buckingham palace to photograph Her Majesty the Queen and all her ministers to commemorate her Silver Jubilee.

Now 50 years on Bill Orchard’s pictures have been published in numerous well known magazines around the world. His photographs have been hung at The Hague, at The World Press Photos and recently at the National Portrait Gallery, London.