British Life Photography Awards

Pleased to announce that a Portrait of British Army Soldier Sergeant Seeto, captured as part of Rory Lewis Soldiery British Army Portraits Exhibition. Entered into the British Life Photography Awards has received a commendation.


The Awards are a showcase of contemporary and imaginative images that capture the essence and spirit of British life. Winners and commended entrants will have their work on show at the Royal Albert Hall, Kirkleatham Museum, Redcar, and be included in a full colour book.

Sergeant Seeto Adjutant General’s Corps (Rory Lewis Photographer Soldiery)

Julian Glover Actor Portrait Photoshoot

Julian Glover Actor Portrait  Rory Lewis PhotographerLast month I had the esteemed honour of Photographing Veteran Actor Julian Glover at the London Portrait Studio. Julian who Trained at RADA has had a rich illustrious Stage, Film and Television Career. Staring in Star Wars the Empire Strikes Back, Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade, James Bond For Your Eyes Only and of course Game of Thrones to Name a Few. The Prospect of working with Experienced Actors is a real treat for a Portrait Photographer. With so much character and experience, I wanted to bring this through in the Final Images. To begin with we sat down to discuss the session I was interested to learn about Julian and his work. At present Julian is Staring in the Scottsboro Boys a Powerful West End Musical the Story of a Group of Nine Black Teenagers, brought together by fate in a case that sparked the American Civil Rights Movement. Julian has also played a great deal of Villains in his time and through our conversation I decided to create two looks; a Simple Plain Thoughtful Character Portrait, then turn it around and capture a Portrait of the Villain’s Julian has Played.

Julian Glover Actor Portrait  Rory Lewis Photographer


Holbein’s Inspiration: His Place in Portraiture

Subliminally, without really knowing, we’re all exposed to art – as well as impressions – that shape our unconscious and our ability to think, perceive and feel. As we move through life, art that was once a staple of our history books takes on a greater meaning, and perhaps this is none more true than for Renaissance Art and our assimilation with it as being what portraiture with power is about. The essence of the best portrait photography is mirrored in these Renaissance pieces. For me this is especially true of the Tudor Portrait Artist Hans Holbein ‘the Younger’.

(Left) Holbein's Portrait Portrait of the Merchant Georg Gisze 1532 (Right) Rory Lewis Portrait Lord Mayor of Liverpool Erica Kemp 2014

(Above) Holbein’s Portrait Portrait of the Merchant Georg Gisze 1532 (Right) Rory Lewis Portrait Lord Mayor of Liverpool Erica Kemp 2014 (London Portrait Photographer)

In the works of Holbein lies the heart of my portraiture inspiration. I loved history as a child, its permanence and transience all at once, reflected through the eyes of cultural and societal change, how it has been documented and therefore how it is recalled. I was fortunate to live near to Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery, a treasure trove of pieces that began to unconsciously inspire and challenge me. The Gallery exhibits several of Holbein’s Works, which reflect not only the Renaissance period but exude a timeless quality as records of history.


With Holbein we gaze upon solemn yet intensely powerful expression. His subjects are painted as though frozen in that moment in time, the essence of their being, authority and personality captured forever from that one moment. Holbein took his interpretation of his sitters seriously, knowing they were the testaments of time, and this has inspired me to adapt a similar style for my own Photographic Portraiture.

(Left Holbein's Portrait of Sir Richard Southwell 1536 (Right) Rory Lewis Portrait Lord Mayor Liverpool Gary Millar 2013

(Above Holbein’s Portrait of Sir Richard Southwell 1536 (Right) Rory Lewis Portrait Lord Mayor Liverpool Gary Millar 2013 (London Portrait Photographer )

My work calls me to photograph many high-profile corporate individuals and political figures, and over time I am continually drawn to Holbein’s influence in my own interpretations of the subject of portraiture. I believe Holbein’s style and timeless authority easily sits alongside the modern portrait – I aim to imbue my viewers with the same thought provocation that he succeeded in creating.


(Left) Holbein's Portrait of Sir Thomas More, 1527 (Right) Rory Lewis Portrait Sir Patrick Stewart  2014

(Above) Holbein’s Portrait of Sir Thomas More, 1527 (Right) Rory Lewis Portrait Sir Patrick Stewart 2014 (London Portrait Photographer)

Detail, in the eye of an artist, is everything. As a viewer you don’t realise how the tiny intricacies of art combine to leave you with a bigger picture, a bigger sense. For Holbein, his portrait of Sir Thomas More illustrates this ability to focus on detail. There are the slightest imperfections that reflect in themselves perfect definition, making it appear almost like a photograph itself. There is no Renaissance ‘air-brushing’ away of imperfections, there is no place in portraiture for the Death of Real. What you see is a true likeness of the subject at that moment in time. Real is everything – it is the tiniest of imperfections that define a person as the character they are. This can be seen in my portrait of Sir Patrick Stewart where I encouraged and captured the true facial tones and imperfections, capturing the essence of the man, just as Holbein did with More.


Objectivity is crucial in portraiture: for Holbein and for me. The outward appearance of his subjects directly reflects the inner character, personality and mood without an over-layering or obscuring of this essential essence by the artist himself. I endeavour to follow this same style, bringing an integrity to the final portrait that allows the viewer to reflect on their own opinion and understanding of what they see.

Portrait of Sir Henry Guildford & Iain Duncan-Smith  (London Portrait Photographer)

(Above) Hans Holbein Portrait of Sir Henry Guildford (1527) & Iain Duncan-Smith Rory Lewis (2015) (London Portrait Photographer)

Having worked in fashion photography, I know and understand the drive to create perfection that renders an image false. In portraiture, Holbein teaches us, it is the imperfections that make perfection. Models are directed on what to be, how to act, how to represent emotion: for portraiture this is simply wrong. A true representation and a guiding and directing to the true inner person is what makes a portrait thought-provoking and an accurate historical record that exudes timeless quality.


The greatest collection of Holbein’s work is on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London. His works provide inspirations to historians, art-lovers and passers-by alike. His viewers are drawn to a naturally level-playing field that allows interpretation and true-understanding. It’s this timeless quality I seek to recreate and learn from.



Lord Mayor of Liverpool Gary Millar

Delighted the new Lord Mayor Of Liverpool Gary Millar sat for a Portrait at the Liverpool Studio this week. I often find historical elements to Political Portraits, Photographing them in an almost Holbein Style. Prefering black backdrops as they concentrate the viewers eye on the subject, with a little lighting separation the images turned out really well.

Lord Mayor of Liverpool Cllr Gary Millar (Rory Lewis Photographer)

Lord Mayor of Liverpool Cllr Gary Millar (Rory Lewis Photographer)

 (Rory Lewis)

Lord Mayor of Liverpool Cllr Gary Millar (Rory Lewis Photographer)

Rory Lewis Photographer Corporate Headshots Liverpool & Manchester