Lieutenant Commander Trewinnard-Boyle Portrait Sitting

From a recent portrait commission with Royal Navy Officer Lieutenant Commander Trewinnard-Boyle. Who arranged a portrait sitting at the London Studio. Shortly retiring from active service, the Commander wanted a record of his Royal Navy career and a portrait which his family will cherish for generations to come.

 (Rory Lewis)

Based in London Rory Lewis is the UK’s foremost Military Portraitist Photographer, who is regularly commissioned to photograph high profile Military Officers for all three branches of the Military Army, RAF & Royal Navy. 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. Rory Lewis Photographer offers a comprehensive service to Members of the Armed Forces, RAF, Royal Navy and Army who are looking to capture a professional portrait. Read More…..

 

 (Rory Lewis) (Rory Lewis)

Captain Buddhi Bhandari MVO Portrait Sitting

SoldieryBritish Army Portraits, has given me a great deal of exposure. Since the completion of the project I have been offering portraits to Military and Police personnel. One of my latest commissions took place with Gurkha Engineer, Captain Buddhi Bhandari MVO, who recently won the Royal Victorian Order for brave actions during the recent Nepal Earthquake.

 

Capturing a portrait of a living hero gave me the chance to record Buddhi, in this another glorious chapter in Gurkha history. If you are a member of the Armed Forces or the Police Services, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Offering portrait sittings in London, Liverpool and Edinburgh.

 

British Army Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

British Army Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

Soldiery British Army Portraits The National Army Museum 31st January 2018

Two years in the making and Soldiery British Army Portraits opened at The National Army Museum in London on 31st January 2018. It was wonderful to finally hang the work in its rightful home. The event was attended by dozens of guests from sitters who posed for the project to VIP’s and members of the Public. After a reception the guests enjoyed a talk about the project by myself and General Sir James Everard, KCB, CBE.

Soldiery British Army Portraits National Army Museum 31st January 2018

Delighted to show the final work to the Public I listened to their opinions and explained the inspiration behind the portraits. I also had the chance to reconnect with several of the sitters who attended the evening. Now the project is complete I feel sad it’s actually over. Soldiery was a highly enjoyable experience, working with the incredible men and women of The British Army. The exhibition hung till the 14th February engaging 100’s of visitors with my portraiture.

Soldiery British Army Portraits National Army Museum 31st January 2018

Soldiery British Army Portraits National Army Museum 31st January 2018

General Sir James Everard, KCB, CBE (Left), Rory Lewis Photographer (Right)

 

General Sir Nick Carter, KCB, CBE, DSO, ADC Portrait Sitting

My latest Portrait commission from the British Army took place with General Sir Nick Carter, KCB, CBE, DSO, ADC Chief of the General 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.

General Sir Nicholas Carter, KCB, CBE, DSO, ADC Military Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

Military Portrait Commission

Captain O’Connor of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards recently booked a military portrait sitting at the London Studio. Ever since my Soldiery Portrait Exhibition I have enjoyed receiving commissions; from British Army, Royal Airforce and Royal Navy personnel. I offer a comprehensive photoshoot to Members of the Armed Forces. Available at studios in London, Edinburgh and Liverpool.

London British Army Portrait Photographer

Based in London Rory Lewis is the UK’s foremost Military Portraitist Photographer, who is regularly commissioned to photograph high profile Military Officers for all three branches of the Military Army, RAF & Royal Navy. 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.


(Discounts Available for Large Groups) for Quote Email Me rorylewis@me.com or Call 07717 139 637  For

Field Marshal The Lord Guthrie Portrait Sitting

Soldiery as a project, has given me the opportunity to indulge my historical ambitions. One of these creative urges has been to photograph a British Field Marshal.

 

Field Marshal is the most senior rank of the British Army. Higher than all the Generals I’ve captured thus far. Considered a five star rank in today’s modern militaries. In the British Army, Field Marshal has been the most senior rank since 1736.

 

Since the end of Empire, the rank has become somewhat redundant, this is due to the reduction in the size of Britain’s Armed Forces. The rank is now ceremonial, a gift of recognition from the sovereign to senior military figures, and bestowed on members of the Royal Family.

 

I wrote to several Field Marshal’s and to my delight a reply, Field Marshal The Lord Guthrie accepted my invitation to sit for a Portrait in London.

 

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.

Field Marshal The Lord Guthrie Portrait Sitting, London Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

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 . You can view a Pathe News Clip of another Field Marshal Jan Smuts being handed his Baton back in 1941.

(Below Field Marshals Baton Presented to Field Marshal Jan Smuts OM, CH, ED, PC, KC, FRS)

The Baton is the main symbol of office, only given to Field Marshals. It stems back to ancient origins; namely those of the Roman Empire. A short heavy white Baton was a symbol of  the Imperial Mandate given to Roman Military Legates. The Legate would hold the baton upon high, proclaiming, “above your head and mine to represent the power of the emperor”.

 

The British Field Marshal’s Baton is a symbol of the magnitude of office. The figure of St George and the Dragon is at the top, and at the bottom an inscription from The Queen to Lord Guthrie. The body of the Baton is covered with red velvet.

 

Field Marshal The Lord Guthrie Portrait Sitting, London Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

Looking for inspiration I started with Sir Thomas Lawrence, studying his portraits of the Duke of Wellington.  Neo Classical in Style; Lawrence painted the Iron Duke on several occasions. His most vivid depiction, a triumphant portrait of Wellington which dominates the Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle. Lawrence’s composition is that of victory, heralding Wellington as the finest of military commanders and the liberator of Europe.

Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830)
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) 1814-15

Then I moved on to looking at Singer Sargent’s portrait of Field Marshal Frederick Sleigh Roberts. The work similar to Sir Thomas Lawrence’s neo-classical depictions.  I turned to photography, browsing the National Portrait Gallery archive, I discovered the photographer Alexander Bassano, who photographed Field Marshal Hague. The portrait captured in a solemn and dutiful style, the depictions relay the finery, yet the obligation and commitment of Hague’s role.

Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig by Bassano Ltd whole-plate glass negative, 19 July 1921 Alexander Bassano

With all this in mind I set to work, with a desire to create my own interpretation. Using a red velvet backdrop, I aimed to recreate the symbolism of the fire and blood, that is the Red Coat. The British Military Uniform associated with energy, war, danger, strength and Royal power. These words associate with the office of Field Marshal. Full finery was the order of the day, medals, orders, and number one dress uniform. Wanting to portray Lord Guthrie as the man he is; the Commander held in immense regard.

 

The positions directed for the sitting are reflective, shooting from a low angle to make Lord Guthrie look prominent and tall. Harsh lighting is utilised to preserve the detail. To me the Portrait is historical , a document, all the detail must be safeguarded. With this in mind I hope I’ve done my predecessors, proud in this my first portrait sitting with a British Field Marshal. Currently I’m accepting public & private commissions both Military and Non Military for Portrait Sittings so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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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.

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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.

 

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

The Coldstream Guards Portrait Sittings

My final Infantry regimental sittings of my Soldiery Portrait Project took place with The Coldstream Guards. Formed in 1650 as part of the New Model Army during the English Civil War. The regiment swore allegiance to King Charles II in 1660 and has guarded the country’s monarchs since.

 

The Coldstream Guards have two roles in the British Army. The first is as of an Infantry unit famous for being the oldest regiment in the British Army in continuous service. The second is of a ceremonial Battalion trained to be involved in any state or royal ceremonial tasks. The regiment epitomises the British Army’s values and standards: selfless commitment, respect for others, loyalty, integrity, discipline and courage.

 

Drawing strength from its heritage to face the challenges of the future, the Regiment lives by its motto, ‘Nulli Secundus’ or ‘Second to None’. My sittings with the regiment, took place at the historic Wellington Barracks in London, where I was able to capture the Guardsmen before the changing of the guard.

HyperFocal: 0 (Rory Lewis)

HyperFocal: 0 (Rory Lewis)

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

Lance Corporal Matthew Croucher, GC, VR

The Victoria Cross & George Cross Portrait Project has been an exceptionally challenging, yet rewarding portraiture project. Individuals who have been awarded the Victoria Cross have been selected because they are worthy of Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand’s highest military award for their bravery and conduct in the field. Similarly, those awarded the George Cross are civilians or military personnel who have displayed conspicuous bravery in and away from the field. These awards are not issued lightly. They are the very greatest honour for individual valour and merit. These individuals are the modern day heroes.

 

Over the next few week’s I’ll be posting all the VC & GC recipients in a series of Blog Posts. Here is my Sixth post in the series, recipient Lance Corporal Matthew Croucher GC VR . (View Full Series of Posts).

Rory Lewis London Portrait Photographer

Croucher was recommended for the award for throwing himself on a Taliban tripwire grenade to save his comrades. He was part of a reconnaissance mission near Sangin in Helmand Province in Afghanistan on 9 February 2008. Moving through a compound at night he felt a trip-wire against his leg and saw that he had activated a grenade. He threw himself to the ground, and used his rucksack to pin the grenade to the floor, and tucked his legs up to his body. He was thrown some distance by the explosion, but due to the protection offered by his rucksack and body-armour, suffered only a nose-bleed, perforated ear drums and some disorientation. The pack was ripped from his back by the explosion, and his body armour and helmet were pitted by grenade fragments. Of the other three members of his patrol, the rear man managed to take cover by retreating round the corner of a building; the patrol commander threw himself to ground, and received a superficial face wound from a grenade fragment; and the final team member did not have time to react, and remained on his feet, and would have been within the lethal range of the grenade but for Croucher’s action. The explosion breached a large lithium battery which was in Croucher’s pack to power the patrol’s electronic countermeasures equipment, causing it to burst into flames. A medic recommended that he be evacuated, but he insisted on continuing as the members of the patrol realised that Taliban fighters would probably come to investigate the explosion, and this would give the marines the opportunity to ambush them.

 

Croucher was initially put forward for the Victoria Cross (VC), the highest decoration for valour in the British Armed Forces. Had he been awarded the Victoria Cross he would have been the first Royal Marine to receive the award since 1945 and only the second living British recipient in the 21st century. The George Cross is awarded for the same level of bravery expected of a VC but is awarded when no enemy is present. Croucher is one of only 22 living recipients of the medal of which only 406 have been awarded.

 

Croucher was presented with the GC by Queen Elizabeth II at a ceremony in Buckingham Palace on 30 October 2008.

 

 

Rambahadur Limbu VC Portrait Sitting

The Victoria Cross & George Cross Portrait Project has been an exceptionally challenging, yet rewarding portraiture project. Individuals who have been awarded the Victoria Cross have been selected because they are worthy of Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand’s highest military award for their bravery and conduct in the field. Similarly, those awarded the George Cross are civilians or military personnel who have displayed conspicuous bravery in and away from the field. These awards are not issued lightly. They are the very greatest honour for individual valour and merit. These individuals are the modern day heroes.

 

Over the next few week’s I’ll be posting all the VC & GC recipients in a series of Blog Posts. Here is my Fourth post in the series, recipient Rambahadur Limbu, VC, MVO. (View Full Series of Posts)

 

Rambahadur Limbu VC London Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

 

Extracts from citation

“On 21st November 1965 in the Bau District of Sarawak Lance Corporal RAMBAHADUR LIMBU was with his Company when they discovered and attacked a strong enemy force located in the Border area… Leading his support group in the van of the attack he could see the nearest trench and in it a sentry manning a machine gun. Determined to gain first blood he inched himself forward until… he was seen and the sentry opened fire, immediately wounding a man to his right. Rushing forward he reached the enemy trench… and killed the sentry, thereby gaining for the attacking force a foothold on the objective… with a complete disregard for the hail of fire he got together and led his fire group to a better fire position…

 

…he saw both men of his own group seriously wounded… and… immediately commenced… to rescue his comrades… he crawled forward, in full view of at least two enemy machine gun posts who concentrated their fire on him… but… was driven back by the accurate and intense… fire… After a pause he started again…

 

Rushing forward he hurled himself on the ground beside one of the wounded and calling for support from two light machine guns… he picked up the man and carried him to safety… Without hesitation he immediately returned… [for the other] wounded man [and] carried him back… through the hail of enemy bullets. It had taken twenty minutes to complete this gallant action and the events leading up to it. For all but a few seconds this Non-Commissioned Officer had been moving alone in full view of the enemy and under the continuous aimed fire of their automatic weapons… His outstanding personal bravery, selfless conduct, complete contempt of the enemy and determination to save the lives of the men of his fire group set an incomparable example and inspired all who saw him.

 

Finally, Lance Corporal Rambahadur was responsible for killing four more enemy as they attempted to escape…

 

He displayed heroism, self sacrifice and a devotion to duty and to his men of the very highest order. His actions on this day reached a zenith of determined, premeditated valour which must count amongst the most notable on record and is deserving of the greatest admiration and the highest praise.”