Actor Wolf Kahler Portrait Sitting

Wolf Kahler has an instantly recognisable face. You would have seen Wolf appear in movies such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Barry Lyndon and Remains of the Day, and TV series such as Band of Brothers to name but a few. Wolf, inspired by my recent Portrait Sitting with friend and Actor Steven Berkoff accepted my invitation to sit for a portrait at the London Studio.

 

Wolf has an amazing profile to photograph, I can see why he is always cast in villainous roles, with a Germanic, Prussian-like bone structure. I directed Kahler to assume fierce yet vivid Expressions to directly to the lens. Wolf’s piercing expressions are breathtaking. Portraits must have energy, the still image should hold the viewer. I encourage my sitter’s to express themselves using inventive scenarios and direction. This enables the sitter to show emotion; connecting with the viewer. The sitting was a memorable one, Wolf regaled me with several tales from his casting with Stanley Kubrick for Barry Lyndon to his experience working with Harrison Ford in India Jones.

 (Rory Lewis)

 (Rory Lewis)

 (Rory Lewis)

Chef Jack Day

Chef Portrait London Portrait Photographer Rory LewisA first for me this week I had a Portrait sitting at my new Liverpool Studio with Chef Jack Day. Jack is passionate about food and wanted his portraits to reflect his enthusiasm. The images are to be used on Jack’s Website and Marketing Material. Everything from clutching a whole sirloin of beef to throwing carrots and twisting herbs we had a full hour of food fun with the camera to capture an amazing set of frames. If you are a professional in need of new portraits/headshots, I can offer a comprehensive service throughout the UK, London, Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds.

HyperFocal: 0 (Rory Lewis)

HyperFocal: 0 (Rory Lewis)

HyperFocal: 0 (Rory Lewis)

HyperFocal: 0 (Rory Lewis)

Soldiery – Capturing British Army Generals

One of my current projects is entitled ‘Soldiery’. It’s an exciting, interesting and challenging project in which I’m working in collaboration with the British Army to capture a truly unique collection of military portraiture.

 

Soldiery has taken a year to complete and has seen me visiting a dozen regiments from the Queen’s Royal Lancers, to the Household Cavalry, Gurkhas and Parachute Regiment. There have been over 250 portrait sittings that have seen me march the length and breadth of the country. Over this past year, I’ve been in military bases as far apart as Scotland’s Fort George in Inverness, to Catterick Yorkshire, Buckingham Palace, Horse Guards, the MOD Headquarters in Whitehall and Army Headquarters in Andover.

2nd Duke of Lancasters Regiment Lt Colonel Hamish Cormack

2nd Duke of Lancasters Regiment Lt Colonel Hamish Cormack

The aim of Soldiery has been to capture the ‘greats’ of our military in a portrait collection which will serve as historical record of the British Army in the early 21st Century. This is living history, and includes several of the Army’s Generals and the senior staff of the British Army.

 

The Challenges 

I asked myself, as a humble civilian, how best to approach the portrait sittings. These figures are eminent people of stature and rank. What was the protocol? What style of portraiture would be best suited?

Lt Colonel Steel (3SCOTS The Black Watch) (Left) Lt Colonel Clayton (Royal Welsh Regiment)

Lt Colonel Steel (3SCOTS The Black Watch) (Left) Lt Colonel Clayton (Royal Welsh Regiment)

Photographers are, in many ways, like a chameleon. We adapt to our environment as we are a facilitator. As you may know, my inspiration is often drawn from historical portrait paintings of the past. I went back to my roots, channelled my inner history buff, and began reminding myself of military paintings of the Napoleonic period. 

Very quickly I stumbled upon the works of the celebrated George Dawe. His style laid the foundations of my style for the project. With a staggering 342 portraits of Russian Generals to peruse I wasn’t short of inspiration. He was a busy and incredibly talented artist – in an 18 month period he had painted 80 Generals to be displayed at the Winter Palace having gained the commission during a tour of Europe with his Patrons the Duke and Duchess of Kent.

Alexander-Bibikov & Dmitry Levin George Daw Portrait Artist

Alexander-Bibikov & Dmitry Levin George Dawe Portrait Artist

George Dawe – Inspiration for Modern Military Portraiture

From British shores, Dawe relocated to St Petersburg in 1819. He rapidly won acclaim for his work and also received complimentary poetry verses by Pushkin entitled ‘To Dawe Esq.’ His work is on display at the Hermitage in St Petersburg.  In fact, he became somewhat of a celebrity throughout Europe, mixing with the Russian intellectual elite, even gaining an invitation to the coronation of Nicholas I in 1826. By 1828 he had been officially appointed First Portrait Painter of the Imperial Court. 

For me, perusing his work, it’s the subject’s heroism and responsibility that left its mark. This is what I wanted to capture in my project with a lens, rather than a brush.

Alexander Balashov & Alexander Seslavin George Dawe Portrait Artist

Alexander Balashov & Alexander Seslavin George Dawe Portrait Artist

Military Sittings Began – Lt. General Mark Poffley

 First up was Lt. General Mark Poffley O.B.E at the M.O.D London Headquarters in White Hall. Poffley was commissioned into the Royal Army Ordnance Corps in 1985 and has since served in the British Army for 31 years. He has been 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.

Lt General Mark Poffley, London Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

Lt General Mark Poffley, London Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

So began my aim to capture the Lt. General as a leader, an implacable Napoleonic Hero in Dawe’s inspirational style. Once the shoot was underway I requested the General to clutch his sword as I shot from a lower angle. With eyes to the camera I was able to direct, and capture, a fierce yet responsible expression.

 

My second sitting took place with Lt General Sir James Everard Commander Army Land Forces, this time at Army Head Quarters in Andover. Everard is a veteran of many campaigns and has seen action in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq & Afghanistan. With Dawe’s inspiration at my fingertips I directed the General to pose profile allowing a full display of his medals and battle honours, with sword held close. I requested a responsible yet solemn expression looking to provoke the same thoughts in the viewers of my photographs as Dawe succeeded with his painting.

Lt General Sir James Everard, Military Portraits, London Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

Lt General Sir James Everard, Military Portraits, London Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

For historical recording, the sword is of critical importance. It is only part of the dress uniform for Generals who have received a 3-Star rank or above. The swords come from the Sovereign.

 

A tall and imposing man, Lt. General Bashall was photographed at the General’s Headquarters in Aldershot. The General is one of the British Army’s most veteran combat commanders, justifiably proud of his service with the Parachute Regiment.

Lieutenant General James Ian Bashall CBE Military Portraits, London Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

Lieutenant General James Ian Bashall CBE Military Portraits, London Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

In order to fully capture and capitalise upon the General’s stature, I opted for a half-length portrait. Key this time was to capture his ‘wings’, the symbol of the Paratroopers.

 

Major General Sanders is commander of the 3rd UK Division or ‘Iron Division’. It is the job of the Iron Division to respond to the call to field an army, whenever needed. The result is that General Sanders plays a crucial role as a combat commander. Previously a member of the Rifle Regiment, the General is no stranger to the field of combat. Direction this time involved instructing his eyes to focus on the camera with me shooting from a lower point. The result is a portrait capturing a powerful yet thoughtful figure.

Major General Patrick Sanders, London Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

Major General Patrick Sanders, London Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

The final General of the collection was Major General Bob Bruce, commander of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. I needed to display tradition in this portrait with Bruce captured in his traditional Scottish uniform. Profile to camera enabled me to capture his regimental badge and his feather plume in all its glory. I used lighting techniques to separate him from the backdrop, creating a split of light on the unseen part of his facial profile.

Major General Bob Bruce, London Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

Major General Bob Bruce, London Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

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.

 

Relying once again on my confidence as a portrait photographer, I was able to bring to the sittings the direction needed to draw on Dawe’s inspiration. 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.  Whilst Soldiery is complete, the lessons I’ve learned will follow through to all my future portrait sittings.

 

 

Shotkit Book Collaboration

I’m delighted to announce a collaboration with Shotkit’s Mark Condon who have published a collection of my work in the Shotkit Book Volume II. If you are looking for inspiration, tips, tricks and ever wondered what’s in the camera bags of some of the world’s most established photographers. Mirrorless, Medium Format, Film, dSLR, smart phone… if it takes a photo, it’s in the Shotkit Book! Discover the cameras, lenses, flashes and all other equipment world-class photographers from a variety of disciplines use to make their jobs easier.

Shotkit Volume II Rory Lewis Photographer

Shotkit Volume II Rory Lewis Photographer

Shotkit Volume II Rory Lewis Photographer

Shotkit Volume II Rory Lewis Photographer

Natalie Dormer Portrait Sitting

Natalie Dormer Portrait Sitting Rory Lewis Photographer London Portrait PhotographerActress Natalie Dormer, star of Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games and The Tudors sat for a portrait at the London Studio this several weeks ago. I wrote to Natalie inviting her to sit for my Expressive Portraits Project just over a year ago; it just goes to show how many letters and requests she receives. Natalie is exceptionally talented with an incredibly natural beauty. As a realist portrait photographer Natalie was a little apprehensive of my style. In the modern world people are obsessed with removing the detail through airbrushing.

Natalie Dormer Portrait Sitting Rory Lewis Photographer London Portrait Photographer

Natalie Dormer Portrait Sitting Rory Lewis Photographer London Portrait Photographer

My style is to preserve even line every mark every mole. I try to present my subjects as they really are, flaws and all, while allowing for moments of candidness and vulnerability. Less austere and more deliberate than a mug shot, my work often brings facial features into high relief, allowing expressiveness to recede and making the sitter seem somehow up-close and removed at the same time. Natalie indulged me, enabling me to capture a series of wonderful frames. Her apprehension turned to excitement when she viewed the final results which edified her unique and Natural Beauty.

Natalie Dormer (born 11 February 1982) is an English actress. She is best known for her roles as Anne Boleyn on the Showtime series The Tudors (2007–10), as Margaery Tyrell on the HBO series Game of Thrones (2012–present), Moriarty on the CBS series Elementary (2013–15), and as Cressida in the science-fiction adventure films The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014) and Part 2 (2015). She has been nominated for Best Performance at the Gemini Awards for her work in The Tudors. She has also been nominated for a Screen Actor's Guild Award for her performance in Game of Thrones. (Rory Lewis)

Suzanne Evans Portrait Commission (The Times)

With the imminent referendum on the European Union, I received a call from The London Times, commissioning a portrait of Brexit Spokesperson Suzanne Evans, former deputy leader of UKIP. The image to  appear in an article in the Saturday Edition of the Newspaper.

 

Political Portraiture is a challenging genre to capture. Using inventive scenarios and direction. I opted for a strong yet approachable portrait, which really captures Suzanne’s outgoing and strong beliefs and persona for the article.

Suzanne Evans, UKIP Brexit Portrait Rory Lewis Photographer (The Times London)

Suzanne Evans, UKIP Brexit Portrait Rory Lewis Photographer (The Times London)

Suzanne Evans, UKIP Suzanne Elizabeth Evans is an English journalist and politician, best known for being a past spokesperson for UK Independence Party, a political party from which she was suspended on 23 March 2016. (Rory Lewis)

Photoshoot Equipment

Joseph Derrington Actors Headshots Session London

Actor Joseph Derrington arranged his Actors Headshots update at the London Studio this week. Joseph was in need of an update for his Acting Agency, Spotlight and Casting Call Profile. Over the years I have developed my own unique style of working with actors ensuring their photographic headshot experience is an enjoyable; relaxed session; to create the very best in Actors Headshots. Joseph was very kind to leave me a review below,

 

“Very Very Pleased ”

Written on: 08/03/2016 by JDerrington

I have had a few headshot sessions and photoshoots before and I hate having my picture taken. I was put immediately at ease and given slight directions to help change stance and also the thought process for each photo. The pictures themselves are of high quality (even before editing) and in terms of value for money, I would say that for photos of this quality and the quantity of images that you can get afterwards, is phenomenally good value. 

I can’t wait for 2 years down the line when I will need new ones. Thanks!

 

Actors Headshots London Rory Lewis Photographer

Actors Headshots London Rory Lewis Photographer

Actors Headshots London Rory Lewis Photographer

Actors Headshots London Rory Lewis Photographer

Actors Headshots London Rory Lewis Photographer

Actors Headshots London Rory Lewis Photographer

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

Actor Julian Bleach Portrait Sitting

Actor Julian Bleach accepted my invitation to sit for a Portrait at the London Studio. Julian is best known as co-creator and “MC” of Shockheaded Peter, a musical entertainment based on the works of Heinrich Hoffmann, which won the 2002 Olivier Award for Best Entertainment. He is also known for playing Davros in Doctor Who.

 

I admired Julian’s role as Niccolò Machiavelli in Showtime’s series The Borgias. It was wonderful to work with him. Bleach has a wonderful bone structure, I enjoyed playing around with shadows, highlights and back-lighting to create the portrait. 

 

Purchase Prints from Sitting Click Here

HyperFocal: 0 (Rory Lewis)HyperFocal: 0 (Rory Lewis)

Brigadier Günter Eisl Portrait Sitting

Austrian General & Defense Attaché to UK, Brigadier Günter Eisl commissioned a portrait at the Austrian Embassy in London. I am no stranger to working with members of the British Armed forces; it was a nice change to photograph a soldier from the Austrian Military. Opting for strong and tall poses, I directed the Brigadier as to look solemn, ceremonial, stately and formal; shooting from lower angles to emphasise hight and responsibility of his rank.

Brigadier Günter Eisl Portrait Sitting (Rory Lewis London Portrait Photographer)

Brigadier Günter Eisl Portrait Sitting (Rory Lewis London Portrait Photographer)

Brigadier Günter Eisl Portrait Sitting (Rory Lewis London Portrait Photographer)

Brigadier Günter Eisl Portrait Sitting (Rory Lewis London Portrait Photographer)

Brigadier Günter Eisl Portrait Sitting (Rory Lewis London Portrait Photographer)

Brigadier Günter Eisl Portrait Sitting (Rory Lewis London Portrait Photographer)