Last month I was commissioned to photograph the new Lord Mayor of Liverpool Councillor Malcolm Kennedy. Councillor Kennedy, who was elected to the council in 1998, will become the First Citizen of Liverpool. Acting as a focal point for the community, promoting the city and forging national and international links.
I’m available throughout the year for portrait sittings in Central London & Leeds and Liverpool, and several times a year in Los Angeles California. Please check out my Portrait Photography Page.
It was wonderful last week to meet and photograph the New Lord Mayor of Liverpool Councillor Roz Gladden. Before the portrait sitting, Roz talked about her political career and explained she fell in love with Liverpool from the first time she came here over thirty years ago. A staunch defender of the city and its people, she explained this is my city of choice and I cannot think of a higher honour that could be bestowed on me than to represent the place that I call home.
The sitting took place at Liverpool’s iconic Town Hall and the Portrait is part of an on-going project, capturing each new Lord Mayor of Liverpool on an annual basis. I have grown up in Liverpool and continually play a role in Photographing its most distinguished politicians.
Retiring from the Army senior military leader Major General Tim Robinson CBE, commissioned a portrait at Army Head quarters in Andover. With a military career spanning two decades, seeing active service and leading troops in Iraq, Bosnia and Northern Ireland. Faced with such a distinguished military sitter I directed the General to assume solemn and reflective poses; as to mirror his achievements and responsibilities. The General really enjoyed the experience and was fascinated by my lighting and directional methods.
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. I offer a compressive service to Members of the Armed Forces, RAF, Royal Navy and Army who are looking to capture a professional portrait. Available at studios in Central London and in Central Liverpool; or on Location.
As a London Portrait Photographer you learn very quickly. A picture does speak a thousand words, but not so when it comes to History Portrait Photography. These pictures need only speak two words: authenticity and power. When it comes to this style of photography the photographer needs to play by the rules: rules that are subtle to grasp, comprehend and activate, making the game difficult to play. Yet the end result needs to look effortless. Such photos are one of the truest documents of history and society, particularly for those holding positions of power and influence in the beating power centre of London – but also elsewhere.
Normally two characters are displayed in portraiture: the character of the subject and the character of the photographer. The photographer is aiming to capture the mood, expression and personality of subject. With History Portraiture, the photographer needs to take an apparent backseat, becoming invisible to the end result, presenting objectivity which enables the viewer their own subjectivity. This is a skill, an art form in itself – to appear to effortlessly capture through artistic ability the true appearance of the sitter, the authentic appearance, whilst exuding power. The result should be a deep and detailed portrait, yet a blank slate on which can rest the viewer’s own opinions. (Lt General James Everard Left)
I have an understated passion for Modern History Portrait Photography. In my time studying History at Kings College, London, I spent my days pondering on numerous historical figures gazing down on me and providing the inner voice of judgement on my student-lifestyle. I became fascinated by the pictures, searching for the 1000 words but finding just the two. I -had to do the understanding, the opinion-forming, no lazy back-of-the lecture-theatre effort allowed here. I found myself asking: what motivated the artist? Did the sitter approve, like, or dislike the artist’s representation? Were the portraits politically driven for propaganda or were they true to history?
I feel privileged to combine this passion, this appreciation of these individual’s place in history by becoming a photographer, called upon to utilise my expertise in lighting techniques, direction and even inventive scenarios to capture some of the most key people of our age.
In these shoots, here is a clear need to guarantee authority, the exemplary status, and in some cases the immortality of the sitter. These portraits need to stand the test of time like no other. To achieve this air of power and authority, the photographer needs to set the individual in a plain, yet solemn expression. The photographer is neutral, the sitter a vessel of unadorned vigour. How does this look in reality? This portrait of Baron William Hague of Richmond, commissioned just after the General Election of 2015 when Hague announced his retirement from politics, is a perfect example. The usually affable and jovial character portrayed in the media has instead been replaced with true authenticity and exudes the aura of a powerful political figure with a career spanning 30 years. I have kept the portrait neutral to allow you, the viewer, to make up your own mind and to form your own opinions.
Similarly this atmosphere of power can be seen in my portrait of General Sir Nicholas Houghton, Chief of Defence Staff, which was published in the Telegraph Newspaper. The commission came from the Ministry of Defence, looking for a portrait which can be used across a range official publications. As is often important when working with subjects who have busy agendas and high-profile responsibilities, the shoot was brought to the heart of power in Whitehall itself. My role, the game I needed to play, involved directing the General in order to project an air of solemnity whilst holding a plain expression. The result is an authoritative yet commanding portrait of this modern day historical figure. The image fits the historical context of military portraiture: a juxtaposition of simplicity and complexity.
At a recent London Portrait Sitting with Iain Duncan-Smith I dodged the ball of political controversy to remain true to the elements of the history portrait. The public, along with current and future historians, will have their own opinion, my role is to allow this judgement to be formed and to sit comfortably with the image portrayed. The viewer can subconsciously overlay their own viewpoint on the portrait.My aim is to allow my integral presence in the shoot become invisible in the end result, allowing the portrait to become a blank canvas for the viewer’s opinion. I aim, from behind the camera and through directing the shoot, to place these eminent figures elegantly yet timelessly in to their place in history.
As part of my long term project Ambassadors. I wrote to the Italian Ambassador Pasquale Terricciato who to my delight; graciously accepted my invitation to sit for a Portrait in London. The sitting took place at the Italian Residence in London’s Grosvenor Square. Upon entering the building I could sense its history, the Ambassador very kindly gave me a personal tour. Allowing me to view previous portraits of Italian Representatives throughout the past 200 years, who like the Ambassador have represented Italy in UK.