Godfather of Heathrow – Dennis Stone

Airports are fantastic places. From inside, they look noting more than small shopping malls where you’d go to find yourself a new shirt for a family member’s birthday meal. But from the outside, a modern airport looks like it could be mistaken for a small town. Heathrow is one of those wonders, where literally thousands of people pass through each year. With so many people going through its doors,  Heathrow needs people to run it. There are hundreds of jobs that need doing to keep something like Heathrow running; from cleaners to shop assistants to air traffic controllers, but none is more unique than the resident photographer. And this is where Dennis Stone comes in.

Dennis Stone started his career as a post delivery boy, which developed into becoming a printer. When they were advertising for a resident photographer, Dennis, who still works there part time three days a week asked if he could fill that role. A good job too as some of Denis’ photos are the most iconic to come out of Heathrow Airport’s press.

There were times Dennis said in a YouTube interview when celebrities used to call him to ask if they’ll be there so he could capture a photo of them leaving the country. It’s even been reported that Dennis Stone is on Joan Collins’ Christmas card list. What an achievement!

Most of Dennis Stone’s work featured was captured on an old Rolleiflex cameras which definitely gives his work a raw, artistic edge. His images are unique. So much so that Heathrow Airport put on an exhibition to showcase some of his best work, and circulated 5,000 copies of his book “Life At The Airport” to lucky Heathrow Airport travellers.

Dennis Stone comments: “I feel very fortunate to have worked at Heathrow for the past 64 years carrying out a job I see less as work and more as a passion. I have made many good friends here and been privy to a world that has allowed me to capture unique moments and events. I am often asked about my job and the people I have met along the way, so it is an honour that my stories and photographs are to be preserved and shared with passengers.”

Dennis Stone throughout his whopping 64 years of service to Heathrow has captured megastars including Frank Sinatra, Princess Diana, the Beatles and as Dennis puts it, the Queen’s uncontrollable Corgis. Great job Dennis, you’re an inspiration to any photojournalist out there. Amazing.

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