The Chiefs of the Defence Staff

The Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) is the professional head of the British Armed Forces and the most senior uniformed military adviser to the Secretary of State for Defence and the Prime Minister. The Chief of the Defence Staff is based at the Ministry of Defence and works alongside the Permanent Under Secretary, the Ministry’s senior civil servant. The Chief of the Defence Staff is the British equivalent position of what in NATO and the European Union is known as the Chief of Defence.

 

Throughout my career, I have been commissioned to photograph four consecutive Chiefs. From these sittings with senior military figures I have learned a great deal about capturing leadership. I have found myself directing prominent individuals who are used to themselves giving direction to the men and women they command. I have relished the chance to take responsibility and ownership for these historical images of senior military leaders. These portraits will stand the test of time.

Field Marshal Charles Guthrie, Baron Guthrie of Craigiebank, GCB, LVO, OBE, DL

Field Marshal Guthrie, Baron Guthrie of CraigiebankGCBLVOOBEDL was Chief of the General Staff, the professional head of the British Army, from 1994 to 1997 and Chief of the Defence Staff from 1997 until his retirement in 2001.

Guthrie’s military career saw service with the Welsh Guards and the Special Air Service; he was closely involved in military operations in Northern Ireland and provided advice to the British Government during the Bosnian War and the Kosovo War.

In 2012 Lord Guthrie was handed his Field Marshal’s Baton, in recognition of his remarkable leadership and service by Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II.

General Sir John Nicholas Houghton GCB, CBE, ADC

General Nicholas Houghton, Baron Houghton of Richmond, GCB, CBE, ADC Gen, former Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) of the British Armed Forces. He was appointed CDS in July 2013, following the retirement of General Sir David Richards. He served as Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, the Green Howards in Northern Ireland during The Troubles and later became Commander of the 39th Infantry Brigade in Northern Ireland. He deployed as Senior British Military Representative and Deputy Commanding General, Multi-National Force – Iraq during the Iraq War. Later, he became Chief of Joint Operations at Permanent Joint Headquarters and served as Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff until assuming the position of CDS. Houghton retired from the British Army in July 2016, and was succeeded as CDS by Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach.

 

The Generals sitting took place in 2014. On many occasions the General has been Photographed and Painted in his Ceremonial Dress Uniform and wanted to step away from the ceremonial image. General Houghton is regarded as “The Soldiers, Soldier” and Preferred to be Photographed in his Combat Uniform. Shot at at a slightly higher angle, I really wanted to Capture the General’s commanding presence, and with a combination of subtle lighting the images turned out really well.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach KCB, CBE, ADC, DL

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, GBE, KCB, ADC, DL is a senior Royal Air Force officer. After training as a navigator, Peach commanded IX (Bomber) Squadron and then became Deputy Station Commander RAF Bruggen. He was deployed as NATO Air Commander (Forward) in Kosovo in 2000. He went on to be Chief of Defence Intelligence in 2006, Chief of Joint Operations in 2009 and the first Commander of Joint Forces Command in December 2011 before being appointed Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff in May 2013. Peach succeeded General Sir Nick Houghton as Chief of the Defence Staff on 14 July 2016. He succeeded General Petr Pavel as Chairman of the NATO Military Committee on 29 June 2018.

 

Bathed in the illustrious history of Whitehall, we conducted the session in the MOD Building – a perfect location to capture the experience, rank and authority of the subject. Employing direct eye contact with the lens, full military garb and a solemn posture, the frame urges the viewer to look into his eyes, demanding the utmost respect his office dictates.

General Sir Nicholas Carter, KCB, CBE, DSO, ADC Military Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

General Sir Nicholas Carter, KCB, CBE, DSO, ADC Gen is a Kenyan-born senior British Army officer. He served as commanding officer of 2nd Battalion, Royal Green Jackets in which role he was deployed to Bosnia in 1998 and Kosovo in 1999. After service in Afghanistan, he took command of 20th Armoured Brigade in 2004 and commanded British forces in Basra. He was subsequently appointed General Officer Commanding 6th Division, which was deployed to Afghanistan with Carter as Commander ISAFRegional Command South, before he became Director-General Land Warfare. After that he became Deputy Commander Land Forces in which role he was the main architect of the Army 2020 concept. After a tour as Deputy Commander, International Security Assistance Force, he assumed the position of Commander Land Forces in November 2013. In September 2014, he became head of the British Army as Chief of the General Staff succeeding General Sir Peter Wall. In June 2018 he succeeded Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach as Chief of the Defence Staff.

 

The General was in need of a portrait to be placed on the wall of former army leaders. The sitting was indeed very historical as the portrait will be viewed by the General’s successors for many years to come. My aim was to capture the General, as the man he is, a leader, no vanity, no pomp of the dress uniform, tall and proud. I’m looking forward to seeing how the portrait is received.

 

Relying once again on my confidence as a portrait photographer, I was able to bring to the sittings the direction needed. This confidence is key to any of my sittings, both military and in other fields where I need to capture leaders: from business to government. I take the time to produce the finest Portraits, which enable me to create images that display the character, expression, personalty and mood of each sitter. Using expert lighting techniques, direction and inventive scenarios, I will create the very best in Portraiture. I’m now stranger to working with Celebrities, CEO’s, Politicians, Soldiers, Musicians and Professionals.

 

Alternatively To Book Editorial, Political or any other forms of Portraiture. Please Email Me or Call +44 07717 139 637  For Availability. Sessions available London Studios & UK Wide and in Los Angeles (CA) Several Times Per Year.

 

 

Portrait of Britain 2018

Portrait of Britain is presented by British Journal of Photography. Photographer Rory Lewis portrait of British Army Soldier Warrant Officer Class 2 Deborah Penny. Deborah serving 30 years in the British Army’s Royal Logistic Corps as a Bomb disposal expert; made Army history as the first transgender Soldier to serve in the front line.

 

Captured for Soldiery (British Army Portraits), has been selected to appear in a Nationwide Exhibition. Shortlisted from 13,000 entires, 100 Portraits of the exhibition will go live on Saturday 1st September 2018. Portrait of Britain is being billed as the UK’s biggest exhibition of portraiture. Being exhibited across JCDecaux’s nationwide screens, appearing in public places throughout the UK. The portrait also features in the Portrait of Britain book, available from Amazon. This constitutes Rory’s 2nd win of the Portrait of Britain over two years.

 

British Journal of Photography Portrait of Britain Rory Lewis Deborah Penny

Warrant Officer Class 2 Deborah Penny London Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis, Military British Army

Simon Bainbridge, editorial director of the British Journal of Photography, said: “The portraits celebrate the unique heritage and diversity of modern Britain, as much as its thriving photography culture and the myriad styles and approaches they employ in their work. Yet, as much as our tribal allegiances are on show in many of the photographs, each image reminds us that, above all, we are a nation of individuals.”

 

Press


Liverpool Echo Rory Lewis 31st August 2018

Portrait of Britain Liverpool Echo Rory Lewis 31st August 2018

 

Warrant Officer Class 2 Deborah Penny Portrait of Britain 2018 Shortlist

Portrait of Britain is presented by British Journal of Photography. Photographer Rory Lewis portrait of British Army Soldier Warrant Officer Class 2 Deborah Penny. Captured for Soldiery (British Army Portraits), has been shortlisted from 16000 entries.

 

The portrait will feature in the Portrait of Britain book, available from Amazon. The portrait was also acquired by the National Portrait Gallery last year. Deborah is a testament, to bravery and the changing face of Britain reflecting diversity and the richness of the Nation.

Warrant Officer Class 2 Deborah Penny London Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis, Military British Army

Over the past three years, British Journal of Photography’s Portrait of Britain award has gone from strength to strength. Originally conceived in 2016 in response to Brexit, the nationwide exhibition has flourished into a celebration of the many faces of modern Britain, reflecting the unique diversity of our country and its contemporary photographic talent.

 

H.R.H Prince Michael of Kent, GCVO, KStJ, CD Portrait Sitting

H.R.H Prince Michael of Kent, GCVO, KStJ, CD is a member of the British Royal Family. He is a paternal first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, being a grandson of King George V and Queen Mary. His Royal Highness commissioned a portrait at the London Studio. The Prince does have an uncanny resemblance to his great grand father Edward VII, in researching his lineage I did come across a portrait which gave me a great deal of inspiration for the sitting. I decided on a profile shot similar to that of Edward VII’s ceremonial portraits. Whilst still maintaining a harshness of lighting. Left (King Edward VII in state robes, about 1905W. & D. Downey) Prince Michael was born during the Second World War on 4 July 1942, at Coppins, Iver, Buckinghamshire. He was the third child of Prince George, Duke of Kent, who was a younger brother of King George VI. At the time of his birth Michael was seventh in the line of Succession to the British throne.

 

Being Colonel of the Kings Royal Hussars, for the first set Prince Michael adorned his regimental uniform. Opting for the Crimson backdrop, I wanted to achieve two things. The first, red is the colour of Royalty, the second crimson is the colour of the Kings Royal Hussars trousers and peak cap.

 

This distinctive feature, which is unique in the British Army, derives from the honour accorded to the 11th Hussars by Prince Albert. The regiment, then based at Canterbury, formed the escort for the Prince from his arrival at Dover, en route to his wedding in London. The Prince so impressed with the bearing and turnout of the troops, he ordered that they should henceforth wear his livery as a mark of distinction.

H.R.H Prince Michael of Kent, GCVO, KStJ, CD London Royal Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

For the second set, His Royal Highness changed into his Household frock coat. Opting for a black backdrop, and harsher lighting, I wanted to create a more ambient and vivid portrait. Using intense chiaroscuro to add both mystery and dutiful emotion. This my first Royal portrait sitting, was a smooth and enjoyable experience. To capture history and tradition are two aims I wanted to achieve as a portraitist, in this special sitting I believe I achieved these goals.

H.R.H Prince Michael of Kent, GCVO, KStJ, CD London Royal Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

 

Lieutenant General James Bashall CBE Portrait Sitting

Delighted to work with Lieutenant General James Bashall CBE, who commissioned a military portrait sitting at his Headquarters in Aldershot. A tall and imposing man, Lieutenant General Bashall was a hero of the Iraq War. He commanded the 1st Mechanised Brigade in Basra, in 2007.

 

Bashall’s military career had also seen him commanding the 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment (‘2 Para’) in Afghanistan.  The General is one of the British Army’s most experienced combat commanders, justifiably proud of his service with the Parachute Regiment. I directed Bashall to pose side-on, elegantly displaying his paratrooper wings. I also opted for a low angle, to emphasise both pride and duty.

 

Based in London Rory Lewis is the UK’s foremost Military Portraitist Photographer, who is regularly commissioned to photograph high profile Military Officers for all three branches of the Military Army, RAF & Royal Navy. Portraits are very important to military personal, to be captured in Uniform looking ones best and in full finery can fill one with pride for the service. Rory Lewis Photographer offers a comprehensive service to Members of the Armed Forces, RAF, Royal Navy and Army who are looking to capture a professional portrait. Read More…..

Lieutenant General James Bashall CBE Commander Home Command (Military Portraits, London Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis)

Lieutenant General James Bashall CBE Commander Home Command (Military Portraits, London Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis)

1st Battalion, The Rifles Portrait Sittings

Soldiery (British Army Portraits) was one of the most challenging projects of my career. Now the exhibitions are completed I can take the opportunity to publish a selection of portraits from the sittings.

The subjects of my first photoshoot, where the Soldiers of 1st Battalion, The Rifles. I discovered little has changed since the Napoleonic Wars. The Rifles, are still at the forefront of battle, trained as marksmen. They don’t carry a flag. Instead, their Battle Honours are carried on Parade uniforms.

Lieutenant Baldwin 1st Battalion The Rifles (Rory Lewis Photographer 2018) Military Portrait Photographer (London)

Captain Massey 1st Battalion The Rifles (Rory Lewis Photographer 2018) Military Portrait Photographer (London)

Each Rifleman is entrusted with the Battle Honours of the regiment, wearing a representative selection of Battle Honours. On the Belt Plate there are 34 Battle Honours represented, inherited from the forming and antecedent regiments.

Sergeant Bugle Major Lewis 1st Battalion The Rifles (Rory Lewis Photographer 2018) Military Portrait Photographer (London)

The bugle has traditionally been used in the past both to communicate with, and to direct Riflemen. The bugle was adopted for use in the 18th century, as it was light and easy to use unlike the cumbersome drum. It’s clear note could be heard for up to three miles whereas a drum signal became indistinct. It was originally an ox bugle but later made in silver which gave a clearer note.

Rifleman Woods 1st Battalion The Rifles (Rory Lewis Photographer 2018) Military Portrait Photographer (London)

The bugle is central to The Rifles’ musical traditions, but music has been carried forward and is still used today. Daily routine in the battalions is marked by bugle calls, and The Rifles sound, rather than beat, Retreat. They have gained a sort of fame over the years, largely due to the ‘Sharpe’ series.

Rifleman Armour 1st Battalion The Rifles (Rory Lewis Photographer 2018) Military Portrait Photographer (London)

Upon arrival at Chepstow, where The Rifles are based, I was greeted by a young officer no more than 23-years- of-age. It was here I found myself behind the lens for the first time, photographing soldiers as young as 18. It’s a humbling and awe-inspiring thought, to truly realise how young many of these soldiers are, and the careers they will go on to have.

Captain Axford 1st Battalion The Rifles (Rory Lewis Photographer 2018) Military Portrait Photographer (London)

Major General Bob Bruce CBE, DSO Military Portrait Sitting London

From a recent portrait commission with Royal Regiment of Scotland Colonel. Major General Bob Bruce CBE, DSO. Based in London Rory Lewis is the UK’s foremost Military Portraitist Photographer, who is regularly commissioned to photograph high profile Military Officers for all three branches of the Military Army, RAF & Royal Navy. Portraits are very important to military personal, to be captured in Uniform looking ones best and in full finery can fill one with pride for the service. Rory Lewis Photographer offers a comprehensive service to Members of the Armed Forces, RAF, Royal Navy and Army who are looking to capture a professional portrait. Read More…..

Major General Bob Bruce CBE, DSO, London Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

Major-General Bob Bruce CBE, DSO

Lieutenant Commander Trewinnard-Boyle Portrait Sitting

From a recent portrait commission with Royal Navy Officer Lieutenant Commander Trewinnard-Boyle. Who arranged a portrait sitting at the London Studio. Shortly retiring from active service, the Commander wanted a record of his Royal Navy career and a portrait which his family will cherish for generations to come.

 (Rory Lewis)

Based in London Rory Lewis is the UK’s foremost Military Portraitist Photographer, who is regularly commissioned to photograph high profile Military Officers for all three branches of the Military Army, RAF & Royal Navy. Portraits are very important to military personal, to be captured in Uniform looking ones best and in full finery can fill one with pride for the service. Rory Lewis Photographer offers a comprehensive service to Members of the Armed Forces, RAF, Royal Navy and Army who are looking to capture a professional portrait. Read More…..

 

 (Rory Lewis) (Rory Lewis)

Captain Buddhi Bhandari MVO Portrait Sitting

SoldieryBritish Army Portraits, has given me a great deal of exposure. Since the completion of the project I have been offering portraits to Military and Police personnel. One of my latest commissions took place with Gurkha Engineer, Captain Buddhi Bhandari MVO, who recently won the Royal Victorian Order for brave actions during the recent Nepal Earthquake.

 

Capturing a portrait of a living hero gave me the chance to record Buddhi, in this another glorious chapter in Gurkha history. If you are a member of the Armed Forces or the Police Services, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Offering portrait sittings in London, Liverpool and Edinburgh.

 

British Army Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

British Army Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

Soldiery British Army Portraits The National Army Museum 31st January 2018

Two years in the making and Soldiery British Army Portraits opened at The National Army Museum in London on 31st January 2018. It was wonderful to finally hang the work in its rightful home. The event was attended by dozens of guests from sitters who posed for the project to VIP’s and members of the Public. After a reception the guests enjoyed a talk about the project by myself and General Sir James Everard, KCB, CBE.

Soldiery British Army Portraits National Army Museum 31st January 2018

Delighted to show the final work to the Public I listened to their opinions and explained the inspiration behind the portraits. I also had the chance to reconnect with several of the sitters who attended the evening. Now the project is complete I feel sad it’s actually over. Soldiery was a highly enjoyable experience, working with the incredible men and women of The British Army. The exhibition hung till the 14th February engaging 100’s of visitors with my portraiture.

Soldiery British Army Portraits National Army Museum 31st January 2018

Soldiery British Army Portraits National Army Museum 31st January 2018

General Sir James Everard, KCB, CBE (Left), Rory Lewis Photographer (Right)