Don’t be Typecast, New Headshots, New Profile, More Casting Options

Rory Lewis Photographer provides a unique service across Los Angeles. Capturing dynamic and powerful Actors Headshots. Headshots which enable you to stand out from the crowd and gain the interest of agencies and casting directors. Rory’s Headshots are not your typical airbrushed, smiley generic headshots. They aim to show detail, structure and your acting ability. 

LA HEADSHOT PACKAGES

Capturing the perfect headshot requires time, and when you book a session with Rory Lewis you will enjoy a  relaxed service. A professional photographer should also be a skilled director. On the day of your session, Rory will direct you with inventive scenarios to bring out your acting talent. In other words acting to camera, as to show potential agents your energy, your vibe and your ability as an Actor.

 (Rory Lewis)

Los Angeles Actress Fiona lakeland recently arranged her Headshots Session at the Glendale Studio. Your Actors Headshots are the first point of contact with Casting Directors. Often typecast, Fiona wanted to add to her portfolio of Headshots updating her casting profile with new images to illustrate her acting ability and get casted for new and exciting parts.

Fiona Lakeland LA Actors Headshots

Fiona Lakeland, Facebook Review

“I am so glad I decided to shoot with Rory when he was in LA this September! I signed up for one of his headshot mini sessions, and though we only shot for 30 minutes, Rory sent me over 250 images to choose from.

I was completely surprised by how many good, and TRULY INTERESTING shots there were. Not only are these photos some of the best headshots I’ve ever had, but they actually look like me… like the real me… like the personality me.

Shortly after starting to use these new shots, I booked an awesome short film playing a role I never would have seen myself playing.

Rory was a true pleasure to work with, he was very professional and made me feel completely at ease. I received all my photos the same day, and his turnaround time and pricing for retouching was fast, very fair, and the quality is excellent.

I highly recommend shooting with Rory if you can!!” 

LA HEADSHOT PACKAGES

Powerful Actors Headshots Los Angeles (CA)

Whether you’re an Actor or Actress based in Studio City, Burbank, West Hollywood, North Hollywood or Downtown. Rory Lewis Photographer can provide a unique service across Los Angeles. Capturing dynamic and powerful Actors Headshots. Headshots which enable you to stand out from the crowd and gain the interest of agencies and casting directors. 

 

Don’t choose a provincial photographer with little or no experience. Choose a photographer who has worked with the stars of stage and screen in London, New York, and Los Angeles. A photographer whose headshots represent some of the biggest names of stage and screen. Sir Patrick Stewart, to Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Derek Jacobi, Natalie Dormer, Iain Glen, Ian McShane, William Shatner and many more. 

Iain Glen Actors Headshots Photographer Rory Lewis

Capturing the perfect headshot requires time, and when you book a session with Rory Lewis you will enjoy a  relaxed service. A professional photographer should also be a skilled director. On the day of your session, Rory will direct you with inventive scenarios to bring out your acting talent. In other words acting to camera, as to show potential agents your energy, your vibe and your ability as an Actor. 

Toby Jones Rory Lewis London Headshots Actress Actors Photographer

Rory’s recent  session with Actor Julian Bleach, star of the Borgias and Doctor Who, illustrates how talent and acting ability can be conveyed. Julian’s appearance is retained, very little air-brushing is applied. This is very important if you wish to present your image to casting directors. The expression is distant yet aloof, it has energy, it draws the eye, this is what your headshot needs to evoke. 

Julian Bleach Rory Lewis London Portrait Photographer

Your headshot is your first point of contact with any agency or casting director. If it doesn’t stand out; if it doesn’t have the energy; the raw talent which demonstrates your craft. Your headshot won’t work for you. Headshots are a very big investment to an actor, sessions are expensive. You need to make your headshot work for you. It represents you and your character your style, your talent and it must reflect all these things. 

Natalie Dormer & Emma Rigby Rory Lewis London Headshots Actress Actors Photographer

Most of Rory’s headshot sessions with Celebrities last 15-20 minutes, this is all the time he is allotted to capture the stars of stage and screen. In this time Rory has to think fast, breaking the ice and directing these talented actors to capture the headshot which will represent them for the next 12 months to – 2 years. Just think about what Rory can do for you in 1 hour, creating a powerful headshot which will enable you to stand out from the crowd.

Look at Rory’s session with Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Patrick’s striking and undeniable acting ability is presented to the lens. Sharp and solemn expressions hold the viewer. If your image doesn’t inspire the viewer, provoke the imagination, it won’t stand out it will be viewed for a split second without consideration. 

 

It is time to think about your headshot photographer, don’t settle for the cheap, shabby, and quick passport-like photo service, which inexperienced photographers may offer. Select the finest Actors Headshot photographer available. 

 

Comprehensive Packages Click Here

 

Discounted Sessions also Available Click Here

Fine Art Nude Workshop Los Angeles (CA) (USA) Sunday 29th October 2017

Working with a Professional  Art Nude Model with fabulous bone structure, figure and facial expression. Rory Lewis Art Nude Courses are a MUST for all those enthusiastic Art Nude Photographers who want to capture some amazing shots for their portfolios.  With workshop coming to  Los Angeles (CA) (USA) Sunday 29th October 2017  Tuition is a hands on classroom as you work with the model throughout the day learning new skills and techniques. You will walk away from this course with the skill to develop and improve your photography techniques, learn studio flash lighting, develop your understanding of studio technique and test this using a professional model.” You will be shown the effect of soft boxes, umbrellas, snoots, beauty dishes and how to use reflectors. How to use both soft and hard lighting to change the mood and effect of a portrait. Learn the function of the main light; and how to use fill lights, back lights and hair lights to affect the final image.

Course Starts 10am and Finishes at 4pm, all lighting equipment will be provided you just need to bring your DSLR Camera with you. Please Email Me rorylewis@me.com if you have any questions about the Course. Full Course Details will be Sent upon Booking. Group Sizes are small around 4-6 Delegates.


Art Nude Photography Course Los Angeles Sunday 29th October 2017

 

Skye Rentals | 164 West Providencia Avenue | Burbank, CA 91502

 

Delegates Feedback

 

“Rory, The Art Nude Photography Course was spot on. You kept the theory to a minimal and just taught us practical techniques. I came away from the course with some amazing images and Ella Darling was an awesome model for a beginner like myself Thanks a bunch!”

Stephen Nicholson Delegate

 

“Rory  is someone who loves his work as a photographer  very enthusiastic . He is very willing to help and supplies one with information, during and after the shoot with notes of the different lighting setups .

I would definitely recommend him to anyone who wishes to enter the beautiful world of Fine Art Nude photography. There are so many aspects of the course that I enjoyed …this is another thing about Rory , he is a good sense of humour which rubs off on his students , because half the battle of getting something across is to make the whole learning experience enjoyable .

Even after he has finished his course and you are wanting to chat about something , Rory is always available to help . A great asset for any teacher well worth flying over from Ireland! “

Aidan Finn Delegate

 

Excellent course. this was my first Art Nude course and I’ll be honest I was very Nervous. However, Rory was great he kept me engaged and taught me loads. He knows his profession.

 

Our MUA did a flawless job, she had the model looking amazing and we didn’t have to deal with any issues. The model was amazing, great professional, very hard worker and made me feel at ease. Great gorgeous cheeky look and wonderful figure, would recommend her to anyone 

Simon Peters Delegate

Los Angeles September 2017

Back in Los Angeles for a week of photography tuition and shooting, for the first time I was able to offer my Discounted Actors HeadshotsWorking over the two full day sessions on 14th & 15th September with 27 diverse and immensely talented Actors. Several were very kind enough to leave me reviews and feedback on their experience in front of my lens. I’m looking forward to returning to Los Angeles for one more Discounted Actors Headshot Session on Friday 27th October 2017. If you can’t make this session and would like a more comprehensive session, I now offer my Full Headshot Packages in Los Angeles throughout the year.

“Amazing job. Keeps the artist in motion so you stay loose. Highly recommended.”

 

Dominic Pace Via Facebook Reviews

LA HEADSHOTS FACEBOOK

Jason McBeth LA Actors Headshots

Soren McVay LA Actors Headshots

Rory Lewis is a gem to work with! Both highly professional and easy going, he made me feel comfortable even in the short time I had booked. “He utilizes soft lighting, constant motion, and highlights your prominent/individual features. The result is incredibly unique portraits that showcase exactly who you are, not a generic headshot that could be anyone. I’m extremely grateful that I had the opportunity to work with Rory and recommend him highly!”

 

Soren McVay Via Facebook Reviews

LA HEADSHOTS FACEBOOK

Josh Clark LA Actors Headshots

Fiona Lakeland LA Actors Headshots

Darrett Sanders LA Actors Headshots

“Absolutely LOVED shooting with Rory. His guidance during the shoot is fun and very supportive. He has a very kind and generous spirit and makes the session joyful as well as productive. Definitely coming back for more.”

 

Darrett Sanders Via Facebook Reviews

LA HEADSHOTS FACEBOOK

Weston Meredith LA Headshots

“Such a pleasure working with Rory! He provides an upbeat comfortable shoot and the quality of his shots are always top notch. Would highly highly recommend working with him if you have the opportunity. Very grateful!”

 

Weston Meredith Via Facebook Reviews

 

Headshots Sessions completed it was time to turn my attention to teaching with a Portrait Photography Masterclass on Saturday 16th September. Throughout the day students worked with three different subjects, who modelled throughout the day. Learning lighting, camera technique and direction. I will also be returning to LA with several workshops in October, from Portraiture, to Fine Art Nude.

 

Making use of all my time in LA I was able to fit in a few portrait sittings. The first with Actor Bo Foxworth and Actress Elyse Mirto, capturing a dual portrait for their upcoming theatre production. The siting was very interesting indeed as both Bo and Elyse played around with different characters both serious and comical.

Elyse Mirto & Bo Foxworth

The second sitting with veteran actor Greg Itzin. Itzin has appeared in guest starring roles on various television shows like in “MacGyver”. His most recent major role has been President Charles Logan on the popular television drama 24. He received a Tony Award nomination for his role in the Pulitzer Prize–winning play The Kentucky Cycle. Greg has a stunning facial profile, an actor of incredible skill and talent, Itzin needed very little direction. My idea to capture Greg as the contemptuous villain.

Greg Itzin Rory Lewis Los Angeles Portrait Photographer

The third and final sitting gave me the opportunity to add to my Caravaggisti Project. In these portraits I have attempted to emulate Caravaggio’s naturalism and dramatic lighting with photographic effect. The subject actor Adrian LaTourelle. Using harsh lighting to create super detail in skin tone, texture and colour and inventive art direction. Adrain screamed in rage, enabling me to capture the energy of the moment.

Adrian LaTourelle Actor Los Angeles Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

 

Discounted Actors Headshot Session on Friday 27th October 2017

 

Now Available Los Angeles (CA) Headshots

RORY LEWS BRITISH, Headshot Photographer to the Stars of Stage & Screen, Recommended by Backstage Casting. Based in Los Angeles (CA)able to shoot at studios in Glendale, Downtown Los Angeles,  and Studio City.

William Shatner Portrait Rory Lewis Photographer Los Angeles, Actors Headshots Photographer

Iain Glen, Sir Patrick Stewart, Ian McShane, Actors Headshots, Los Angeles (California) Actors Headshots

 

Craig Charles, Sir Ian McKellen, Natalie Dormer, Actors Headshots, Los Angeles (California) Actors Headshots

Rory Lewis is one of the most sought after Actors Headshot Photographers in California, photographing Actors Headshots for many years. Rory has created Actors Headshots  for the USA’s finest Acting Talent, Stars of Stage and Screen from William Shatner to Sir Patrick StewartSir Ian McKellenSir Derek JacobiDavid Warner, Natalie Dormer, Iain Glen, Julian Glover and the list goes on.” Los Angeles (California) Actors Headshots. Rory has developed his own unique style of working with actors ensuring their photographic headshot experience is an enjoyable; relaxed session; to create the very best in Actors Headshots.

Craig Charles Film Actor Character Actor Portfolios Los Angeles (California) Actors Headshots

Los Angeles (California) Actors Headshots

Make the Right Choice for Your Actors Headshots. Professional, Inventive, Expertly Directed, Relaxed Sessions with No Time Limit. Rory Lewis Actors Headshots Photographer.

Rory Lewis Session with Sir Patrick Stewart

Actors Headshots, Los Angeles (California) Actors Headshots

Stephen Graham Film Actor Character Actor Portfolios Los Angeles

For some actors having their headshot captured can be an extremely nerve-racking experience, after all stills photography is an unnatural concept for actors. After-all actors are used to moving on stage and screen. For others it’s not such an ordeal; whichever it is for you the one thing that helps to get the best photos is time. Yes, Time and LOTS OF IT, this will ensure you are completely relaxed and will photograph at your best.

 

So after we have put the world to rights over a cup of coffee we will have plenty of time to work. I always like to start with a few test shots which we can view on the computer so that any necessary changes can be made. We then get to work in the studio for a time, this gives you a chance to get a feel of how I work and I can find out what works best for you.

 

Clothing and hairstyles can be changed whenever needed. (A Makeup Artist can be provided if Needed). From time to time I will show you photos so you have a clear idea of what is going on. We then take a series of outside shots; by this point, I will have a good idea what is best for you and you will feel even more relaxed.

Actors Headshots Los Angeles (California) Actors Headshots

Throughout the shoot, we will aim to get as many looks as we can, with clothes, different hairstyles, angles and emotions. The session will last around Two Hours and in that time I will take about 500 photos. I will then cut down the 500 to around 200/400 Depending on Your Package.

 

I shoot in colour and convert to black and white you receive both colour and black and white copies of your retouched images. You will receive your contact sheets on-line via your own private website within 24 hours.

 

Once you have chosen your two photos I will retouch and crop them for you. Changes can be made before you receive your final photos. With regards to airbrushing, I feel this is a very important area as too much can spoil a photo. This is why I spend a great deal of time working on your photos and like to include you in this process. To make sure you pick the right photos, which stand out for your Casting Profile Pages.

HEADSHOT PACKAGES

Based in Los Angeles able to shoot at studios in Glendale, Downtown Los Angeles,  and Studio City.

 

Mini Discounted Sessions Available Click Here

 


 PACKAGE ONE

TWO HOUR HEADSHOT SESSION

4 CLOTHING CHANGES

Online Gallery of all 400 IMAGES

4 RETOUCHED/AIRBRUSHED IMAGES

$399.00

(Optional Makeup Artist $89.00)

Sessions Available Weekly in Los Angeles (California) Actors Headshots


PACKAGE TWO

NO TIME LIMIT HEADSHOT SESSION

6 CLOTHING CHANGES

Online Gallery of all 600 IMAGES

8 RETOUCHED/AIRBRUSHED IMAGES

$599.00

(Optional Makeup Artist $89)

Sessions Available Weekly in Los Angeles (California) Actors Headshots

 

To Book Please Email Me rorylewis@me.com For Availability

Client Reviews & Feedback


“Very Very Pleased ”

Written on: 08/03/2016 by JDerrington

I have had a few headshot sessions and photoshoots before and I hate having my picture taken. I was put immediately at ease and given slight directions to help change stance and also the thought process for each photo. The pictures themselves are of high quality (even before editing) and in terms of value for money, I would say that for photos of this quality and the quantity of images that you can get afterwards, is phenomenally good value. 

I can’t wait for 2 years down the line when I will need new ones. Thanks!

 


 

“A pleasure to work with”

Written on: 02/03/2016 by Joel Quinn Via Reviewcentre.com

I contacted Rory for an Actors Headshot Session and I was not disappointed. Rory was extremely pleasant and welcoming . As for the session itself I couldn’t have felt more comfortable about my shots. He kept me visually updated throughout the shoot with how they were turning out so that we could adjust and tweek things to get the final shots I was looking for!

Joel Quinn Actors Headshots, Rory Lewis Photographer, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds London


Kes & Matthew Actors Headshots

Kes & Matthew Actors Headshots, Rory Lewis Photographer Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds

“Recently booked 2 Actor Head Shot sessions for my son and daughter with Rory, location was very easy to find with plenty of  parking around.

The sessions were very relaxed, and Rory’s direction of each shot really helped get the most out of the sessions.

Rory’s communication after the sessions was absolutely exemplary, everything was delivered exactly on time and of the highest standards.

I would highly recommend using Rory should anyone require his expertise again!”

Bobby

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Tony Actors Headshots

Tony Actors Headshots, Rory Lewis Photographer Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds

“Only the second time I have had my photos done professionally and it was definitely the best experience I have had.

Rory is very friendly and instantly a relaxing presence; we chatted the whole time. He obviously knows what he is doing and he kept the session light while maintaining professionalism and craft with his shots. Would go back without doubt.”

Tony

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Philip Actors Headshots

“Rory was a very approachable, friendly and professional photographer that immediately put my nerves at rest.

Actors Headshots Liverpool, Manchester, London, Leeds

Sometimes an actor can have so many images he/she wants to achieve and it can become so stressful that it can impact on the photographs. Rory was excellent at getting the “look” just right and helping me get the most out of my ability.

I would highly recommend him.”

Philip

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Abi Actors Headshots

“This was my first time have professional headshots taken and I found the experience really relaxing and professional experience.

Rory was friendly and considerate which put me to ease and allowed me to feel like I was doing it in the right way. I would recommend him.”

Abi

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LOS ANGELES HEADSHOTS

Los Angeles Actors Headshots Rory Lewis Photographer

Los Angeles Discounted Actors Headshot Sessions January 16th, 17th, 18th, 2018

Los Angeles Actors Headshots Rory Lewis Photographer

”In need of a new Headshot? British Photographer Rory Lewis will be holding a discounted Introductory Actors Headshot Session in Los Angeles. Rory has created Actors Headshots for the finest Acting Talent. Stars of Stage and Screen from Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Derek Jacobi, David Warner, Natalie Dormer, Iain Glen, Julian Glover and the list goes on”

Natalie Dormer & Emma Rigby Rory Lewis Los Angeles Headshots Actress Actors Photographer

Actor Toby Jones Rory Lewis Headshots Actress Actors Photographer

“Rory has developed his own unique style of working with actors ensuring their photographic headshot experience is an enjoyable; relaxed session; to create the very best in Headshots.”

Harry Groener Los Angeles Actors Headshots (Rory Lewis Photographer)

Client Reviews

 

Results from September 2017 Headshot Sessions


“Very Very Pleased ”

Written on: 08/03/2017 by J Derrington

I have had a few headshot sessions and photoshoots before and I hate having my picture taken. I was put immediately at ease and given slight directions to help change stance and also the thought process for each photo. The pictures themselves are of high quality (even before editing) and in terms of value for money, I would say that for photos of this quality and the quantity of images that you can get afterwards, is phenomenally good value. 

I can’t wait for 2 years down the line when I will need new ones. Thanks!


“A pleasure to work with”

Written on: 02/03/2017 by Joel Quinn Via Reviewcentre.com

I contacted Rory for an Actors Headshot Session and I was not disappointed. Rory was extremely pleasant and welcoming . As for the session itself I couldn’t have felt more comfortable about my shots. He kept me visually updated throughout the shoot with how they were turning out so that we could adjust and tweak things to get the final shots I was looking for!

Sir Patrick Stewart Los Angeles Actors Headshots Photographer Rory Lewis

For some actors having their photo taken can be extremely nerve-racking experience after all stills photography is an unnatural concept for actors who as used to moving on stage and screen. For others it’s not such an ordeal. Make the Right Choice for Your Actors Headshots. Professional, Inventive, Expertly Directed, Relaxed Sessions. Rory Lewis Actors Headshots Photographer.

 

Can’t Make These Sessions Don’t Worry Check Out My Packages Here Available in LA All Year Round. CLICK HERE

 

Introductory Package $175.00

 

 


Tuesday 16th, Wednesday 17th, Thursday 18th, January 2018

Sessions will run from 10.00am-6.00pm


Skye Rentals

164 W Providencia Ave, Burbank, CA 91502


PACKAGE DETAILS

30 Minute Session with Rory Lewis

150 Images Presented VIA Digital Gallery

2 Images Retouched

(Time Slots Available from 10am – 6.30pm)


Tuesday 16th January 2018

BOOK YOUR SLOT BELOW (Conformation Ticket Sent Upon Booking)

Wednesday 17th January 2018

BOOK YOUR SLOT BELOW (Conformation Ticket Sent Upon Booking)


Thursday 18th January 2018

BOOK YOUR SLOT BELOW (Conformation Ticket Sent Upon Booking)


I shoot in colour and convert into black and white you receive both colour and black and white copies of your retouched images. You will receive your contact sheets on-line via your own private web page within 24 hours.

Once you have chosen your two photos I will re-touch and crop them for you and changes can be made before you receive your final photos.

Steven Cole & Craig Charles Actors Headshots Photographer Rory Lewis

With regards to airbrushing, I feel this is a very important area as too much can spoil a photo, this is why I spend a great deal of time working on your photos and like to include you in this process via email or your private page so please make sure you pick the right photos.

You will receive all final photos by via your private page.

 

Can’t Make These Sessions Don’t Worry Check Out My Packages Here Available in LA All Year Round. CLICK HERE

 

LA HEADSHOTS FACEBOOK

Los Angeles May 2017

Back in Los Angeles, to be specific the beautiful Hollywood Hills. Teaching a One-to-One Portrait Photography Workshop. One-to-One Courses are special. They can be tailored to your needs and requirements. Do you want to spend a day working with professional models in a London Studio working on your portrait photography technique? Or do you want to spend a week on Location in Los Angeles, shooting fashion models? My client in this case chose the latter, throughout the week, I arranged several published and diverse models. Teaching lighting, direction and photographic technique.

I was also able to fit in a few portrait sittings of my own. Caravaggio has been of great inspiration to my recent Portrait Photoshoots. Recreating the animation and religious tones of his work has been a challenge. Thus I invited three actors to help me recreate this style of portraiture. Firstly the remarkable film and stage presence Tony Amendola, who took upon the role of a fallen priest. Ripping the collar from his neck with a wonderful vigorous expression; captured profile, whilst reciting a powerful soliloquy to camera.

Tony Amendola Los Angeles Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

Next René Auberjonois, took upon the role. With an instantly recognisable face which I believe becomes better and better with age. Star of stage and screen Auberjonois, has appeared in  M.A.S.H, Star Trek Deep Space Nine and Boston Legal to name but a few titles. René sat for me back in 2015, and with this new sitting in mind. I wanted to add Carravaggio’s animation of expression to the portrait. Auberjonois generated a depiction following my religious inspiration.

René Auberjonois Actor Portrait Rory Lewis Photographer Los Angeles

Finally Linda Park, I had been meaning to arrange a session with Linda for several months. A Korean actress, Linda is mainly known for her portrayal of communications officer character Hoshi Sato in the television series Star Trek: Enterprise. My visit enabled me to at last arrange a sitting. Linda is exceptionally talented, and the photoshoot enabled me to add a female actress interpretation to my Caravaggio inspired project.

Linda Park Actress, Portrait Rory Lewis Photographer Los Angeles

Sittings and Tuition completed, myself and my wife Sasha, where able to spend a few hard earned days relaxing at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. I’m returning to Los Angeles in September 2017 for a series of workshops on Portraiture and Fine Art Nude. I’ll also be holding Headshot and Portrait Sessions. Please don’t hesitistate to get in touch, commissions are welcome.

15 Minutes with Bill My tale of photographing a screen icon

William Shatner is best known for his role as Captain James T Kirk on the Starship Enterprise. I’ve had the honour and pleasure of having him in front of my lens on two occasions. In total my time spent photographing him has equated to 15 minutes. 15 minutes with Bill.

 

Being an ardent Star Trek fan, as well as prolific portrait photographer with a strong reputation for icons of stage and screen, this short time with the screen legend has amounted to an extraordinary experience. Yes I’m just a little star struck.

 

To meet one of your childhood heroes can be both awe-inspiring and utterly terrifying at the same time. Now try operating a camera under the pressure!

William Shatner Portrait Rory Lewis Photographer Los Angeles, Portrait Photographer

Where it All Began

 

My first sitting with William Shatner was back on 12th February 2015. At the time I was travelling to LA and wanted to take the opportunity to include Shatner in my Expressive Portraits exhibition.

 

Prior to my LA trip I had written to Shatner expressing my wish to include him in the project. I have to admit it was a stab in the dark. Nonetheless, the reply came that he would do me the honour of accepting my invitation.

 

In preparation for the shoot, I arrived at Shatner’s office at 10am feeling a mixture of nerves, apprehension, and barely-concealed excitement. As I approached the window I could see a large looming figure behind the blinds. It was him. There, right before me stood one of my childhood ‘greats’. Gulp.

 

The door was opened by Kathleen, Mr Shatner’s PA, who kindly informed me I had just 10 minutes to set up and 5 minutes to shoot as he was due to take a flight. No pressure then! I couldn’t let my nerves get the better of me, but how to shoot a living legend in just 5 minutes?

 

Fortunately experience prevailed and I was ready and waiting as Bill entered to take his seat on the stool. In my mind’s eye he was, until this point, a flamboyant character. As I took a deep breath and introduced myself I realised I was completely wrong. Rather than brash and larger than life, Shatner is a very quietly spoken man of only a few words.

 

As a portraitist I have learned to separate the individual’s character as an actor from the characters they have played. In the interests of simplicity (bearing in mind the 5 minute window) I opted straight for this method. However, my initial direction didn’t receive the response I’d hoped for. My request for a plain expression was met with “I don’t do plain!” I quickly took the opportunity to explain my reasoning: that as a character actor the viewer needed a blank canvas, an expressionless person, on which to hang their own thoughts. No good, no bad, no love, no hate, no character, just an opportunity to view and assume. In my experience it is this essence which makes an image thought-provoking and memorable.

 

With my explanation, Bill became more amiable. Deep breath again, using the word “emotionless” in preference to “plain”, this time he agreed. Mr Shatner took his own breath, closed his eyes, and then looked up directly in to the lens, clearly having cleared his mind of thought or question.

 

I clicked. The result was my first thought-provoking portrait of William Shatner. In 5 minutes magic had been created.

William Shatner Portrait Rory Lewis Photographer Los Angeles, Portrait Photographer

 

Second Time, Double Time

 

The second time I photographed Shatner was when I returned to LA in April 2016. Once more I got in touch to arrange a sitting. I had so much more I wanted to explore in the subject that is William Shatner. I was truly delighted to learn of his acceptance. Even more, Shatner himself was ecstatic with my first efforts. I’d done it, in just 5 minutes!

 

The sitting took place on 4th April 2016. Once again I turned up at the office to be greeted by Mr Shatner’s assistant. This time I met a more relaxed Shatner with nowhere to go, and a little more time on his hands. He was more casually dressed, wearing a black shirt as I had requested, and was available for the double the previous five minutes.

 

Preparation for a Portrait Sitting

 

Before any sitting I always spend time planning. This ‘behind the scenes’ time is invaluable for the ultimate portrait. In the case of Shatner I spent hours looking at material from both films and television programmes, as well as reviewing and assessing the other available portraits of Bill to date. There was a common theme running through 99% of them: Bill as the hero.

 

Speaking about this type casting, Bill has quipped: “I always play the hero and always get the girl.” To make a portrait of Bill that was different and unique I wanted to draw him out of his comfort zone. I wanted to polarise him away from the ‘hero’ and instead get him in the camp of the villain.

 

Take Robin Williams for example: a face well-documented in comedy and farce. Yet, when he was given the creepy and darker character named Sy in the psychological thriller One Hour Photo, we saw something utterly new, unnerving and compelling.

 

This became my impetus for the sitting with Shatner. I wanted this to be about Shatner the ‘bad guy’. I took the time to explain my reasoning and idea to Bill and he was very happy and compliant to give it a go.

 

The Portrait Sitting

 

In directing the screen icon, I drew on Shakespeare. I asked Bill to think about a Shakespearian villain and to assume this as his muse. This enticed Bill to gaze leeringly in to the lens as we transformed the heroic Shatner in to the evil alter-ego.

 

After 10 minutes, my sitting with Shatner came to an end. In total, I had experienced 15 minutes with one of my absolute screen heroes in front of my lens.

 

Lessons Learned

 

In order to direct an actor who you have admired for many years is an incredible opportunity. Photography is about so much more than merely clicking the shutter and getting some lighting tricks right. Successful photography, and successful portraiture, is about evoking a feeling. This process is impossible without direction. Direction is key.

 

When I teach photography workshops, students are frequently overawed by the number of different camera and lighting techniques available. This is the stuff of textbooks. However, what transforms you from someone who can operate the equipment to a talented photographer is what happens in that moment when the lights are set up and the camera is ready, and you are alone with the subject. This transcends the techniques and instead becomes about invention. A good photographer, therefore, is a good director.

 

Shakespeare, in Henry V, once penned:

“Oh, for a muse of fire that would ascend

The brightest heaven of invention!

A kingdom for a stage, princes to act,

And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!”

 

Emotive and powerful, and rousing to boot, in portrait photography is of utmost importance to set the scene. You must find your muse and use it to direct. You must think outside of the box, and take your inspiration from cinema, art, or simply by digging deep in to the wealth of your own experiences to find something new and original.

 

 

Los Angeles June 2016

June, I was back in Los Angeles for a few days to photograph a series of Portrait Sittings with three very talented actors. Bo Foxworth, Tony Amendola and Saul Rubinek. 

 

Bo Foxworth is a wonderful stage Actor and recent star of screen and Stage Play All The Way in which Brian Cranston leads the cast as President Lyndon Johnson. My first Portrait sitting of the trip; Bo is a natural in front of the lens, a pleasure to photograph. My theme for the portrait sitting was ‘Expressive’. Directing Bo to assume extreme emotions. To achieve my goal I asked Bo to assume a Shakespearian Character. He obliged me with his favourite Richard III. To my astonishment, Bo became the Machiavellian King presenting me with the true theatrical talent.

Actor Bo Foxworth Rory Lewis London Portrait Photographer

Actor Bo Foxworth Rory Lewis London Portrait Photographer

Actor Bo Foxworth Rory Lewis London Portrait Photographer

Tony Amendola has an instantly recognisable face and was the subject of my second LA Portrait Sitting. I had the delightful pleasure of seeing Tony on stage, playing Judge Brack in Hedda Gabler at the LA Antaeus TheatreAmendola is a wonderfully versatile actor appearing on screen in the Mask of Zorro and in the television series Stargate SG1.

 

Seeking once more, expressive and animated portraiture. I reverted again to the Bard. Tony obliged me with a unique performance of a soliloquy from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. When working with exceptionally talented actors, truly great things can happen. As Tony performed I clicked away at the shutter; capturing a series of remarkably animated and expressive portraits. Movement is essential in portraiture, so many photographers keep their subjects static, whereas I prefer movement and animation.

Tony Amendola Rory Lewis London Portrait Photographer

Tony Amendola Rory Lewis London Portrait Photographer

Tony Amendola Rory Lewis London Portrait Photographer

Tony Amendola Rory Lewis London Portrait Photographer

Tony Amendola Rory Lewis London Portrait Photographer

Tony Amendola Rory Lewis London Portrait Photographer

My final Portrait Sitting was the most powerful. Actor Saul Rubinek has been a prolific presence on both the stage and screen for many years. Starring in films such as the Unforgiven to television series Warehouse 13. Saul was very familiar with my style of portraiture and when we sat down to discuss the sitting he had a very simple idea. Instead of Acting to the lens, he would tell me a story. The sitting was very profound as Saul regaled a tale about a traumatic time in his life, as he spoke I clicked the shutter and each frame I captured was emotional and thought-provoking.

 Saul Rubinek Rory Lewis London Portrait Photographer

Saul Rubinek Rory Lewis London Portrait Photographer

 Saul Rubinek Rory Lewis London Portrait Photographer

Saul Rubinek Rory Lewis London Portrait Photographer

Rory Lewis Photography Workshops Feedback Sept-Nov 2016

The past two months have been exceptionally busy, teaching my Portrait Masterclasses and One-to-One Workshops across the UK London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Birmingham and Dublin in the Republic of Ireland. It’s been a real pleasure to teach and pass on my knowledge of lighting, model direction, and business techniques to aspiring photographers as well as professional photographers. Many have been kind to leave me reviews and feedback below. My 2017 Workshops are now online, next year I’ll be holding workshops across the UK, USA, Europe and the Middle East Click here to View.

One-to-One Portrait Tuition Celebrity Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

One-to-One Portrait Tuition Celebrity Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

 

 Ed Flanagan VIA Reviewcentre.com

“The Master Class was not only practical and entertaining, but Rory was generous with his huge knowledge and insight built up from his study of the Great Masters in painting and their techniques for lighting and mood translated into very practical steps gained through shooting world leaders in industry, government and the arts and entrainment. All wrapped and packed into hands-on experience to facilitate the learning with and emphasis on minimum of equipment and the maximum of thought and direction.”

London Portrait Masterclass Rory Lewis Photography School Tuition

London Portrait Masterclass Rory Lewis Photography School Tuition

“This Master Class is a game changer for me, in my pursuit of offering my client the highest quality service possible, and I can not wait to pass on the benefits and insights I have learned from Rory’s Master Class, in the images I take going forward.”

“For anyone who is committed to raising their game to that of the Great Masters, get the insights and inspiration and learn and practice the techniques and most of all learn and practice giving direction to your seater to get the very best image possible – this is the Master Class to take.

London Portrait Masterclass Rory Lewis Photography School Tuition

London Portrait Masterclass Rory Lewis Photography School Tuition

Peter Jones VIA Reviewcentre.com

“I attended Rory’s Low Key Portraits course in London and was very impressed with the day. I’m delighted with the knowledge and skills I came away with.”

“To start the day, Rory gave a brief historical introduction to artists’ painting styles, how they translated to photography, and what we had to do to get great portraits.”

London Portrait Masterclass Rory Lewis Photography School Tuition

London Portrait Masterclass Rory Lewis Photography School Tuition

“Our model arrived, and the rest of the day consisted of setting up many different lighting styles using a variety of modifiers, reflectors and backgrounds. We were shown how to meter the lights and direct the shoot.”

“The portraits I came away with were easily the best studio shots I’ve ever taken, and I’ll definitely be using these techniques for my portraits from now on.”

“Rory was interesting, knowledgeable and friendly – and we were lucky to have a model who was relaxed and helpful as well as looking fantastic in our photos.”