About the Photo Team

Our friendly, enthusiastic and skillful team of lecturers and technicians will make you feel welcome and confident in reaching your full potential in your journey to become a professional photographer. Our dedicated lecturers and technicians are practicing photographers in a variety of genres within the industry giving them a good understanding on our student's needs and the demands of the photographic environment in today's society.

To view the full course information, entry requirements, how to apply and fees & funding please visit The University of Bolton website here.

Rachel McHaffie

Photography Lecturer / Photography Course Leader

Rachel joined the team at the University of Bolton as a lecturer in photography in September 2018. 

Rachel has been a freelance photographer since 1994. Rachel McHaffie is one of the very few photographers whose professional career has been devoted exclusively to the documentation of the dance revolution. 

Rachel’s career in dance music photography began at the now infamous Hacienda nightclub where she was staff photographer in the mid1990’s. Following the Hacienda, Rachel went on to work for many magazines– including DJ and Ministry – and she has explored and captured the global club landscape from Vegas celebrating her tenth year in club photography, having documented some of the most significant parties, people, music and memories in the last decade of such music genre.

Specialisms: Editorial, Fashion and Music Industry. 

Laura Robertson

Photography Lecturer

Laura Robertson isa writer, critic and editor based in Liverpool. A reviewer of contemporary artsand culture for international magazines (including Frieze, Hyperallergic,ArtMonthly, ArtReview, a-n), and broadcast (BBC Four Front Row), she is alsoco-founder and contributing editor at The Double Negative online magazine; anMA Writingstudent at the Royal College of Art; critical writer-in-residence at Open EyeGallery; and a former director of The Royal Standard Gallery &Studios. 

Shehas edited and contributed writing to two new books in 2019:‘Present Tense’,which comments on current tensions in the fields of art and culture; and ‘NOIT— 5: bodies as in buildings’, made on residency at Flat Time House.

Specialisms:Art critic and writer.

David Digby

Photography Lecturer / Admissions Coordinator

David Digby worked as a freelance photographer and graphic designer for over 20 years.

Until recently, David ran his own photography and design studio in North Yorkshire, working for local and large multinational companies in the retail and brewing sector. 

David has completed personal exhibitions gaining Arts Council and Heritage Lottery funding for his 2017 project based around community cohesion which was exhibited around the wider Yorkshire area.

Specialisms:  Studio portraiture, product photography, wedding photography.

Dr. Steven Speed

Photography Lecturer / Digital Content Creation Course Leader

Steven Speed has a background in photojournalism and digital media. He has worked as a magazine editor and won several national awards. His most recent projects involve documentary practices and has a particular interest in social movements. Alongside this he does advocacy work with campaigning organisations and green NGOs.

 Steven has just completed his PhD at University of Manchester and is looking to build on the research he has done there whilst at The University of Bolton.  

Here at Bolton, he is teaching on the BA (hons) Photojournalism and Documentary Photography course and is the course leader of BA (hons) Digital Content Creation. He joined The University of Bolton in 2022, but has worked in academia for over 20 years and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In that time, he has worked as a course leader, programme leader, and Head of School. In his last post at Staffordshire University, he was course leader of BA (hons) Photojournalism, BA (hons) Digital Content Creation, & BA (hons) Journalism and Digital Media. Whilst there he also supervised PhD students and is looking to take on new research students at Bolton who are interested in working with documentary practices and visual anthropology. 

His own research was part of Staffordshire Universities portfolio that was rated internationally excellent and world leading during the 2021 REF that included his documentary project – www.thebattleofbartonmoss.com.

Specialisms: Portraiture, social documentary, anthropology, and journalism.

Mario Popham

Photography Lecturer / Guest Speaker Coordinator

Mario Popham is a photographer, curator and educator of Japanese and English descent currently based in Manchester, UK. He graduated from the Manchester School of Art in 2007 and has since continued to work on personal projects and commissions. His interests lie in man’s paradoxical relationship to the natural environment and how this finds expression within the post-industrial areas of Britain, with particular focus on the northern regions of the country.

His work has been exhibited in the UK and abroad. He is currently developing long-term projects in both the UK and Italy that explore place in the context of industrial legacy, nature and community.

In his role as curator at Waterside, Trafford, he worked towards establishing a dedicated photography program for the Greater Manchester area. The graduate showcase program, First Light, launched as an exhibition at Castlefield New Art Spaces, Warrington in May 2021. 

You can view his work here.

Specialisms: Landscape, documentary photography, largeformat camera work.

Roxana Allison

Photography Technician

Roxana Allison focuses her practice on personal projects and commissions revolving around themes of cultural identity, place and belonging through portraiture and documentary photography. She holds a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and has taken part in several photo exhibitions predominantly in the United Kingdom. 

Roxana is one of 24 female photographers taking part in the Trace Mentorship Programme 2022-2023, a national programme supporting women in photography over the age of 35 run by Haley Morris-Cafiero, Sian Bonnell and Sebah Chaudhry.

She recently completed an MA in Photography at The University of Bolton. Roxana joined the Photography technicians team in January 2015.

View her work here and follow her here.

Specialisms: Portraiture, documentary photography, fine art, website building.

Alan J. Wilkinson

Photography Lecturer

Alan J. Wilkinson is a Manchester born Photographer, educator and activist.

He has worked in traditional educational settings for over 20 years and has previously run photography workshops through The Impressions Gallery, Redeye and The Photography Network, all the while maintaining his own workshop, Blackshed.

Alan exhibits both nationally and internationally, shows include Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool; Manchester City Art Gallery; Lighthouse, Wolverhampton; Dagmar de Pooter Gallery, Antwerp and the 34th salon Chateau de Saint-Ouen, Paris.

Past published works include Driving Blind (Dewi Lewis 2005) and English Candies. (Viewpoint Gallery 1995).

View his work here.

Specialisms: Social documentary, fine art, and portraiture, analogue and digital photography techniques, book publishing.

Tom McMahon

Photography Technician

Tom McMahon recently graduated from the BA Photography Degree at The University of Bolton. He is a photographer based in West Lancashire who focuses on art through photography. Tom primarily shoots digitally but has a love for film and darkroom techniques. 

Specialisms: Fine art photography, experimental techniques and alternative processes, wedding photography.

Tyrone Anderson

Photography Technician

Tyrone Anderson was born and continues to be based in Bolton. He has been a photographer for over 30 years and a technician at the University of Bolton since 2006 where he studied and gained a BA(Hons) and a MA in Photography. His main interests lie primarily in portraiture and long-term personal projects. His practice uses a combination of analogue and digital processes and his current work employs a hybrid cyanotype process. 

Tyrone is currently completing a Teacher's Training course at The University of Bolton.

View his work here.

Specialisms: Studio, large format, portraiture, alternative processes, analogue, fine art.


Ask us a question at photo@bolton.ac.uk

To view the full course information, entry requirements, how to apply, fees & funding please visit The University of Bolton website here.

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