National Portrait Gallery Photography Workshop

Over the May bank holiday weekend, I had the pleasure of teaching a Portrait Photography Workshop at The National Portrait Gallery in London. Taking inspiration from the Galleries Tudor & Renaissance Portrait collection and taught over two days the workshop was fully subscribed. I had the pleasure of teaching 12 delegates throughout the weekend. No stranger to the gallery i’m always popping my head through the door to gauge upon the feast of art and intrigue. I was honoured to have one of my own portraits of Actor David Warner acquired by the gallery some years ago.

National Portrait Gallery Workshop, Rory Lewis Photographer  28th & 29th May 2016

National Portrait Gallery Workshop, Rory Lewis Photographer 28th & 29th May 2016

Day one began with a talk about my style of portraiture and how art has provided a great deal of inspiration in the lighting and detail of my own work. Then we moved on to talk about the work of Renaissance Artists, such as Michelangelo, DaVinci, Durer and Hans Holbein the Younger. After some refreshment, the delegates toured the galleries tudor and renaissance portraits, with a talk by myself on some of the most interesting pieces of the collection.

National Portrait Gallery Workshop, Rory Lewis Photographer  28th & 29th May 2016

National Portrait Gallery Workshop, Rory Lewis Photographer 28th & 29th May 2016

After lunch it was time to learn about lighting techniques using the galleries well equipped photographic studio. The delegates practiced their technique using a light meter to setup basic one and two light Renaissance Chiaroscuro Lighting with our first model Teo Pendle. After lighting skills where honed, I demonstrated direction and how to create different emotions and moods. The delegates then took it in turn to capture a varied collection of portraits illustrating different sides of Teo’s character.

National Portrait Gallery Workshop, Rory Lewis Photographer  28th & 29th May 2016

National Portrait Gallery Workshop, Rory Lewis Photographer 28th & 29th May 2016

Day two began with a review of all the delegates portraits from day one. We then recapped on the lighting techniques and skills. The delegates then worked in groups to re-create versions of the renaissance portraits in the gallery.

National Portrait Gallery Workshop, Rory Lewis Photographer  28th & 29th May 2016

National Portrait Gallery Workshop, Rory Lewis Photographer 28th & 29th May 2016

After lunch it was time to work with our Second model Laure O’Rourke, the delegates working in groups visited the gallery to plan a series of portraits using the collection as inspiration. Then taking it in turn to re-create their own versions of portraits with Laura. Shoots completed, I reviewed all the portraits captured, and gave individual feedback on lighting and direction.

National Portrait Gallery Workshop, Rory Lewis Photographer  28th & 29th May 2016

National Portrait Gallery Workshop, Rory Lewis Photographer 28th & 29th May 2016

The course was a wonderful success, packing in as much as I possibly could over two days, the Delegates walked away with a new appreciation of art and photographic skills. Capturing their own collection of portraiture. It was fascinating to see everyones unique style and approach to the practical photography session. If you are interested in my photography workshops in the UK or USA, please take a look at my Photography Course Page. I will be returning to teach at the National Portrait Gallery in 2017 and i’m already planning my next workshop.

National Portrait Gallery Workshop, Rory Lewis Photographer  28th & 29th May 2016

National Portrait Gallery Workshop, Rory Lewis Photographer 28th & 29th May 2016

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach Portrait

Rory Lewis London Portrait Photographer Air-Chief-Marshal-Sir-Stuart-CF008970Headshots-SessionSir Stuart Peach is a veteran soldier who has amassed a staggering 38 years of service in the Royal Air Force, earning the rank Air Chief Marshal. Even though I’m a professional photographer, I will forever be a historian in my heart. Over the years, I have managed to hone my skills and discovered how to marry my passion with my profession. So when I am tasked with private portrait sittings for politicians, military figures and others of significant standing, I tend to look back in time towards historical portraiture for inspiration. Drawing on the work of Holbein, Dürer, da Vinci and Gros, as well as portrait photographers such as Karsh, I always hope to produce a frame worthy of documenting. In short, I hope that future historians will one day use my work as a source to discover the personality and soul of each sitter.

 

Air-Chief-Marshal-Sir-Stuart-CF008962Headshots-SessionMy sitting with Sir Stuart was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create the perfect military portrait. 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 title dictates. Images where taken with the Mamiya Leaf Credo 40 and 80mm f/2.8 LS D Lens.