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.