Game of Thrones is a remarkable television extravaganza. George R.R. Martin’s best-selling book series “A Song of Ice and Fire” is brought to the screen as HBO sinks its considerable storytelling teeth into the medieval fantasy epic. It’s the depiction of two powerful families — kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars and honest men — playing a deadly game for control of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, and to sit atop the Iron Throne.
Over the past few years, I’ve had the pleasure of portrait sittings with several members of the cast, Iain Glen, Julien Glover, Natalie Dormer and Ian McShane. See below my portraits along with video clips of each of the Actors in Character on the Television Series.
Iain Glen (Ser Jorah Mormont)
Iain Glen is a Scottish film, television, and stage actor. Iain is best known for his roles in the Resident Evil films and for portraying Ser Jorah Mormont in Game of Thrones. Writing to Iain a few months ago to arrange a Portrait sitting for my ‘Northerners‘ Exhibition. Iain accepted my invitation, and the session took place in London last month. Iain arrived on his Cycle at London Portrait Studio, Cycling being Iain’s favorite pass time. After a chat about Iain’s recent projects, I explained the style of images I wanted to achieve. “I like to learn about each person I photograph, so I do my homework, this helps to start a conversation and put the sitter at ease.“
Iain admired my recent Portrait Sitting with Sir Patrick Stewart and wanted his images to be lit in the same style. After setting up my equipment, we went to work, creating striking Frames, Iain took over posing without direction towards the end of the session, and we managed to capture a selection of spontaneous images which really stand out.
Julian Glover (Grand Maester Pycelle)
I had the esteemed honour of Photographing Veteran Actor Julian Glover at the London Portrait Studio. Julian who Trained at RADA has had a rich illustrious Stage, Film and Television Career. Staring in Star Wars the Empire Strikes Back, Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade, James Bond For Your Eyes Only and of course Game of Thrones to Name a Few. The Prospect of working with Experienced Actors is a real treat for a Portrait Photographer.
With so much character and experience, I wanted to bring this through in the Final Images. To begin with we sat down to discuss the session I was interested to learn about Julian and his work. At present Julian is Staring in the Scottsboro Boys a Powerful West End Musical the Story of a Group of Nine Black Teenagers, brought together by fate in a case that sparked the American Civil Rights Movement. Julian has also played a great deal of Villains in his time and through our conversation I decided to create two looks; a Simple Plain Thoughtful Character Portrait, then turn it around and capture a Portrait of the Villain’s Julian has Played.
Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell)
Actress Natalie Dormer, star of Game of Thrones, The Hunger Gamesand The Tudors sat for a portraitat the London Studio this several weeks ago. I wrote to Natalie inviting her to sit for my Expressive Portraits Project just over a year ago; it just goes to show how many letters and requests she receives. Natalie is exceptionally talented with an incredibly natural beauty. As a realist portrait photographer Natalie was a little apprehensive of my style. In the modern world people are obsessed with removing the detail through airbrushing.
My style is to preserve even line every mark every mole. I try to present my subjects as they really are, flaws and all, while allowing for moments of candidness and vulnerability. Less austere and more deliberate than a mug shot, my work often brings facial features into high relief, allowing expressiveness to recede and making the sitter seem somehow up-close and removed at the same time. Natalie indulged me, enabling me to capture a series of wonderful frames. Her apprehension turned to excitement when she viewed the final results which edified her unique and Natural Beauty.
Ian McShane is an English Actor, Director, Producer and Voice Artist. From Lovejoy to Deadwood and Pirates of the Caribbean, McShane is a Screen legend. From a lawless saloon owner to the sexiest of beastly British mobsters, award-winning actor Ian McShane has, time and time again, captured the public’s attention by playing bad guys, scoundrels and thieves. “The devil has the best tunes!” he has said with a gleam in his eye. McShane was named “TV’s Sexiest Villain” by People Magazine, and was one of GQ’s “Men of the Year,” which described his portrayal of Deadwood’s Al Swearengenas “infectious” and “irresistible.” McShane haling from Blackburn, was a must for my Northerners Portrait Exhibition. I wrote to Ian’s agency and touched lucky as he was in London promoting his new Film Cuban Fury.
Arriving at Bleeding Heart Yard Photography Studios, Ian had the energy and drive of a man half his age, it’s very easy to forget that he is 71. Before the session I had a good chat with Ian he mentioned he had to skip his last term at RADA to make a movie “The Wild And The Willing”. “They told me, ‘If you do this film, you might not get your certificate.’ What, I need a bit of paper on the wall telling me I’m an actor?” Still, they gave it to him in the end. “Signed by John Gielgud! I spoke to him about it much later on when he did an episode of Lovejoy. I said, ‘Thanks for signing my RADA certificate, John.’ Ooh, dear boy, not at all…‘He kept calling me Loveboy. ‘Loveboy, I say…’ Um, John, it’s Lovejoy.‘‘Lovejoy, Loveboy, who cares?’”
It was an amazing experience to photograph Ian. I am a BIG fan of Deadwood, and during the photoshoot I said jokingly “give me the Al Swearengen look“ Ian Replied in his signature voice “You will have to pay me for that.“ Plain simple expression was my theme for the Portrait Session, shot on black backdrops the images really show the texture and character of Ian McShane.