Mark Donaldson 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 Fifth post in the series, recipient Mark Donaldson VC. (View Full Series of Posts).

The actions for which Donaldson’s Victoria Cross for Australia were awarded took place on 2 September 2008. Patrolling with Afghan and US forces, they were ambushed by a well-prepared and larger Taliban force. The ambush began with a sustained machine gun and rocket-propelled grenade fire, causing several casualties. Donaldson deliberately exposed himself to fire from the Taliban fighters in order to draw their attention away from the casualties, allowing them to be moved to cover. When the patrol attempted to withdraw, the number of casualties was such that the unwounded personnel (including Donaldson) had to make their way on foot, beside their vehicles, as the casualties filled the vehicles. As they set off, it was realised that an Afghan interpreter attached to the patrol was wounded, and had not been loaded into the vehicles. Donaldson immediately crossed the 80 metres (87 yds) or so of open ground between the convoy and the interpreter, under heavy fire, and then carried him back to the vehicles where Donaldson administered first aid. The patrol eventually broke free of the ambush after two hours.

 (Rory Lewis)

When asked about the incident, Donaldson commented: “I’m a soldier, I’m trained to fight … it’s instinct and it’s natural. I just saw him there, I went over and got him, that was it.” The events were first reported by the Australian press on 12 December 2008 following a briefing by Major General Tim McOwan on 11 December. At this stage, Donaldson was identified only as “Trooper F”. Donaldson then became the first recipient of the Victoria Cross for Australia on 16 January 2009; he was presented with the medal by the Governor-General at a ceremony in Government House, Canberra.

 

 

Stephen Graham Portrait Sitting

Stephen Graham Portrait Sitting Rory Lewis London Portrait Photographer

Actor Stephen Graham is an English film and television actor and fellow scouser. Who is best known for his roles as Tommy in the film Snatch (2000), Andrew “Combo” Gascoigne in This Is England (2006), Billy Bremner in The Damned United (2009), notorious bank robber Baby Face Nelson in Public Enemies (2009), Scrum in the Pirates of the Caribbean films and he starred as Al Capone in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire.

Stephen accepted my invitation for a portrait sitting at the London Studio last week. I’ve admired his work for many years. Graham is a screen icon, and exceptionally talented, known for playing no nonsense gritty characters. I aimed to capture this in my portraits, asking Stephen to pose as emotionless, then changing to capture a fierce and angry expressions.

Stephen Graham Portrait Sitting Rory Lewis London Portrait Photographer

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Johnson Beharry 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 second post in the series, British, recipient Johnson Beharry VC. (View Full Series of Posts)

On 1 May 2004, Beharry was driving a Warrior tracked armoured vehicle that had been called to the assistance of a foot patrol caught in a series of ambushes. The Warrior was hit by multiple rocket-propelled grenades, causing damage and resulting in the loss of radio communications. The platoon commander, the vehicle’s gunner and a number of other soldiers in the vehicle were injured. Due to damage to his periscope optics, Pte. Beharry was forced to open his hatch to steer his vehicle, exposing his face and head to withering small arms fire. Beharry drove the crippled Warrior through the ambush, taking his own crew and leading five other Warriors to safety. He then extracted his wounded comrades from the vehicle, all the time exposed to further enemy fire. He was cited on this occasion for “valour of the highest order”.

 

While back on duty on 11 June 2004, Beharry was again driving the lead Warrior of his platoon through Al Amarah when his vehicle was ambushed. A rocket-propelled grenade hit the vehicle six inches from Beharry’s head, and he received serious shrapnel injuries to his face and brain. Other rockets then hit the vehicle, incapacitating his commander and injuring several of the crew. Despite his life-threatening injuries, Beharry retained control of his vehicle and drove it out of the ambush area before losing consciousness. He required brain surgery for his head injuries, and he was still recovering in March 2005 when he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

Johnson-Beharry-VC (Rory Lewis Photographer 2016)

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Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Roz Gladden Portrait Sitting

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.

 (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)

Keith Faulkner Actors Headshots

Veteran Stage Actor Keith Faulkner Booked an Actors Headshots Session at the Liverpool Studio this week. Keith was in need of an update for his Spotlight page.

 

Rory Lewis Photographer Actors Headshots“Excellent professional, easy going, brilliant experience. I booked with Rory at his Liverpool studio, which is very close to Lime Street Station, so easy to get to. All contact between us was prompt and clear and all business was complete before the photo session. Ive been photographed professionally for 16 years in London, Edinburgh and manchester and these are the best I’ve had. As well as advice and direction from Rory,he was happy to take my lead on different shots and let me feed into the session my experience of what I required. Very happy and will be booking future sessions to update regularly my cv photo and with different looks etc. Thanks Rory. Good bloke.” Keith Faulker Source Google Reviews

Rory Lewis Photographer Actors Headshots

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