Walter Waygood began his photographic career using an old fashioned large format mahogany and brass Gandolfi camera. His work was inspired by the German portrait documentary photographer August Sander and the American Photographers of the 1930’s Farm Security Administration. On a local level he was inspired by the landscape and people of his home environment Blaenafon, South Wales. Photography was used to provide a commentary of working class life during the 1970‘s. His interest in photography as  a form of social commentary led him to make more political statements through his pictures during the miners strike of the 1980’s.

Working as a Community Artist in the South Wales Valleys utilising the social, political and educational potential of photography, he continued to photograph his local environment of Merthyr Tydfil fascinated by the artefacts of vernacular culture. Recently returning to his spiritual home of South Wales after a 20 year exile of lecturing in Southern England, Waygood has taken up his camera once more to capture and celebrate Merthyr life as it is now in the process of regeneration. The images taken transcend local boundaries and are archetypal statements that represent human life set within a historical period. The Family of Santa Claus documentary came out of a larger project sponsored by national companies in the early 1980’s. He continues to photograph this major iconic character of western culture.


Academic / Career History

BA (HONS) & MA in Fine Art

Community Artist

Documentary Photographer

College Lecturer

Archived by the National Library of Wales and the British National Library

“Walter Waygood is a really outstanding ambassador and practitioner of photography. Born in South Wales. In the 1980’s he worked extensively as a community artist, later producing some stunning and groundbreaking black and white bill board images, addressing the social and political changes in the Valleys at that time.”