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.

 

 

Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry London Portrait Sittings

A company of the 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry took up the temporary role of mounting the Queen’s Guard at Buckingham Palace last month. The honour usually falls to the British Army’s Household Division. However, other Commonwealth Nations get a chance at protecting the Queen every now and again. Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry is based in Shilo, Manitoba, Canada. Named after Princess Patricia of Connaught, daughter of the then-Governor General of Canada. Contacting the regiment upon their arrival in London. I arranged a series of portrait sittings with the company at Wellington Barracks, before they mounted the Queens Guard. The sitting gave me the chance to record living History, Canadian Regiments rarely appear in London for state duties.

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The 2PPCLI uniforms differ slightly to British Soldiers, especially their helmets. They are called Pith helmets, and the choice of helmet style comes down to historical precedent specific to each regiment. You may also notice that the helmets the officers wear are entirely white, while the non-commissioned members have a coloured fabric on theirs. In the case of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, that colour is ‘French Grey’ which is the colour of the Third Canadian Division.

HyperFocal: 0 (Rory Lewis)

Accustomed to photographing British Soldiers for my ‘Soldiery Portrait Exhibition‘ it was refreshing to work with a Canadian Regiment. A real pleasure to work with the chaps. Its true what they say, Canadians are among the most polite people in the world.

 

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Royal Photographic Society Journal November 2016

Thank you to the Royal Photographic Society for Publishing one of my latest Portrait Sittings with the men of the 3rd Batalion the Parachutte Regiment.  The feature offers a unique behind the scenes look into my Soldiery Portrait Exhibition. With a behind the scenes view to how I work and the equipment I use. Click Here to View more information about my Soldiery Portrait Exhibition.

 

Since January 2016 I have been photographing members of the British Army for my project Soldiery. I’ve so far captured hundreds of different subjects in a bid to accurately represent the army in the second decade of the 21st century.

 

Photographing soldiers from a number of regiments, including the Grenadier Guards, The Royal Welsh, The Royal Irish and The Gurkhas, all of which will appear in a future exhibition and accompanying when the project is complete.

 

Just last month, I visited the 3rd battalion parachute regiment near Colchester and photographed a diverse group of soldiers. The battalion has been active since 1941, playing a central during battles in north Africa and Italy during WWII.

 

Photographing military personnel comes with a unique set of challenges. You need to gain their trust, which requires some initial paperwork prior to going to the base. None of this, however, got in the way of me capturing loads of great shots of the soldiers – thanks to their patience and hospitality. In particular, I really wanted to get some full-length group shots of the soldiers in combat gear and with their equipment. Below, in the RPS feature I take you through how I got these shots from a technical perspective, offering an insight into what a barracks photoshoot entails.

Royal Photographic Society Rory Lewis Photographer Parachute Regiment Military Portraiture

Royal Photographic Society Rory Lewis Photographer Parachute Regiment Military Portraiture

Royal Photographic Society Rory Lewis Photographer Parachute Regiment Military Portraiture

Royal Photographic Society Rory Lewis Photographer Parachute Regiment Military Portraiture

Royal Photographic Society Rory Lewis Photographer Parachute Regiment Military Portraiture

Royal Photographic Society Rory Lewis Photographer Parachute Regiment Military Portraiture

Lt General Poffley Portrait Sitting

Military Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis Lt General Mark Poffley British ArmyLt General Mark Poffley O.B.E very graciously accepted my invitation to sit for a portrait at the M.O.D London Headquarters in WhiteHall. Poffley was commissioned into the Royal Army Ordnance Corps in 1985. The General has served in the British Army for 31 years being deployed in every major conflict in the past three decades from The Gulf War, Bosnian War, Insurgency in the Republic of Macedonia, War in Afghanistan and the Iraq War. My aim was to capture a portrait of Poffley as a leader, taking inspiration from Military Portrait Artists such as George Dawe with strong and bold expressions and body language, I also shot from lower angles to emphasise height. If you are in need of a portrait photographer with a historical perspective please contact me for a quote, I am available throughout  the year in the the UK & USA.

 

Military Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis Lt General Mark Poffley British Army

Military Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis Lt General Mark Poffley British Army

Military Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis Lt General Mark Poffley British Army

Military Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis Lt General Mark Poffley British Army

 

Equipment Used