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 Guthrie, Baron Guthrie of Craigiebank, GCB, LVO, OBE, DL 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 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, 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 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 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.
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.”
Liverpool Echo Rory Lewis 31st August 2018
National Portrait Gallery Acquired Photographer Rory Lewis, will be hosting a lecture on the influence of Caravaggio and Caravaggisti artists on his portrait photography.
Rory will lecture and demonstrate his techniques in lighting and direction. Using a model for the live demonstrations and speaking about the influence of Caravaggio and those artists who followed the great Michelangelo Merisi.
Farringdon Studio | 2 Bleeding Heart Yard | EC1N 8SJ London | United Kingdom
Thursday, 18 October 2018 from 18:30 to 20:30 (BST)
Revered as the baroque master of life like portraits and light and shadow, the 16th-century painter Caravaggio is now being touted as the first master of photographic technique, two centuries before the formal invention of the camera.
The Italian artist has long been suspected of turning his studio into a giant camera obscura, punching a hole in the ceiling to help project images on to his canvas. But new research claims that Caravaggio also used chemicals to turn his canvases into primitive photographic film, “burning” images he then sketched on to for works such as St Matthew and the Angel.
About the Lecturer
Rory Lewis is a British portrait photographer, his body of work includes countless celebrity sittings with Actors such as Sir Patrick Stewart, William Shatner, Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Derek Jacobi, Natalie Dormer, Ian McShane, Iain Glen and many other Portraits of Musicians and men and women of accomplishment. Rory’s work has been acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in London & Lectures at the National Portrait Gallery & Victoria & Albert Museum, and his recent Photography Exhibitions Northerners Photography & Expressive have received Nationwide Recognition being featured by the BBC and National Press & Television. Rory’s client list includes Pepsi, Ministry of Defence, Cancer Research UK, The Guardian & The Times Newspapers. Rory’s inspirations include Renaissance Portraiture and German Expressionist Cinema.
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 1905, W. & 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.
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.
29 September 2018, 10.00am – 4.00pm
Photographer Rory Lewis leads this practical full-day course on portrait photography.
Inspired by his recent exhibition, Soldiery – which featured 278 portraits of British Army soldiers – Rory Lewis leads this course focused on developing your skills in portrait photography.
Rory’s fun and practical learning techniques and use of professional models will help you hone your skills and add to your photography portfolio. Aimed at both amateur and more experienced photographers, the course will cover studio flash lighting, the effect of soft boxes, umbrellas, snoots and reflectors. You’ll learn what a light’s main function is and how lighting affects the final image.
Refreshments and lunch are included in the cost of the course.
10.00am – Welcome and talk by Rory Lewis on The Medium of Portraiture
10.45am – Refreshments
11.00am – High key portraiture
12.30pm – Lunch
1.15pm – Vivid chiaroscuro portraiture
2.00pm – Low key portraiture (Rembrandt lighting, split and short lighting)
4.00pm – Closing remarks from Rory Lewis
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…..
‘Soldiery‘ British 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.