Power & Portraiture Video Blog Post

In this video Rory Lewis London Portrait Photographer talks about his inspiration from Fine Art in his Power Portraits, of British Soldiers, and Politicians. Talking about the Portrait Painters such as, Sir Thomas Lawrence, George Dawe, Hans Holbein The Younger, Titian, and Photographers such as Yosef Karsh.

2016 Year of Learning

Rory Lewis Photography WorkshopsIn celebration of a decade running photography workshops and masterclasses, 2016 will be the Rory Lewis Year of Learning. I am aiming to hold twice as many workshops and masterclasses in order to offer up the photographic learning opportunities for as many as possible. Whether you’re looking for Portrait Masterclasses aimed at the complete beginner, or Advanced Classes geared to hone your skills, lighting technique and direction, we have the class to suit.

An Overview to Courses

 

Often a good way of learning or developing a skill is to take it out of the crowd and focus on that skill alone before incorporating it back in to your overall skillset. Therefore I offer classes focusing on these key skills such as light shaping. These highly-targeted classes will also cover low key lighting, mood of portraiture, subject and model direction, themes of portraiture, and my unique workshop on Power & Portraiture.

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Intensive weekends are available for full immersion and a rapid development of skills. One will take place at my studio in Liverpool, focusing on Portraiture. The other is a Tudor Portraiture weekend held at the National Portrait Gallery. These weekends offer learning and tuition in a classroom-style environment with a perfect balance of theory and practical development. Opportunities include working with professional models and state of the art equipment.

8th November Low Key Portraiture Photography Course London Feedback

Whichever class, workshop or weekend suits your style, in honour of my Year of Learning I am offering a 10% discount on all workshops, classes and weekends from 1st Feb – 1st March 2016, just quote Promo Code COURSE 2016.

 

One-to-One Opportunities

One-to-One Fine Art Nude Photography Tuition

One-to-One Fine Art Nude Photography Tuition

Often an ideal way to tailor photographic learning and development for the individual, I am keen to set aside more time for one-to-one photography tuition sessions. Tailored to your needs, one-to-one sessions and courses are suitable for photographers of any ability. You choose the subject and content from Beginner’s Tips to Fine Art Nude or Portraiture. One-to-One tutorials are available year-round in a location to suit you including Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, London, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast.

Model Ella Darling will be featuring on October 11th 2014, this time at my new Liverpool Studio, where I will be running an art nude workshop. Places are limited so don’t miss out on this opportunity to work with Ella and Myself.

Top of the Class Models

Photography Workshops & Courses 2016 

Professional models are provided for all Rory Lewis Photography Courses to ensure you develop your skills in a realistic environment. The benefit of this is that the session offers an ideal opportunity to not only improve your skills but also build your portfolio.

 

Practice Meets Theory

 

All of my classes, workshops and tutorials include plenty of hands-on practice on a firm foundation of theory. When you go away you’ll be confident in your practical skills as well as equipped with illustrated PDF booklets explaining and reiterating the Lighting Set-Ups learnt.

 

Spring Has Sprung

 

Spring will see me taking my successful Portrait Masterclass on the road to London, Manchester, Belfast and Edinburgh. These Masterclass sessions are suitable for beginners to intermediate-level photographers, making them ideal for the complete novice, amateur and semi-professional.

I'm always testing/working on my own projects. I regularly check websites like Models.com and Modelmayhem for new talent. Recently I found Model Vincent Littlehat;

Skills learned include: studio flash lighting; how to meter and read the flash; understanding of studio technique; effects of soft boxes, umbrellas, snoots and beauty dishes; how to use reflectors; soft and hard lighting techniques to affect mood; main light functions; how to use fill lights, back lights and hair lights; as well as direction of professional models.

 

March and April 2016 sees the Masterclass Tour hop the pond to The United States to offer the Portrait Masterclass in Boston (MA), New York (NY), Chicago (IL), and finally Los Angeles (CA). This is an exciting opportunity for me, teaching a new range of students looking to hone and develop their skills in both studio and location photography.

 

Back on British Soil

 

“Again, in honour of the 2016 Year of Learning, I am offering two special two-day classes on my home-turf of Liverpool.”

 

The first, from 27th – 28th March, at my Central Liverpool Studio I will be bringing together a range of teaching methods via talks and practical tuitions involving professional agency models and make-up artists. An ideal opportunity to build your portfolio with models possessing amazing bone structure, this course is unmissable for beginner and intermediate Portrait Photographers.

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This is a more intensive course aimed at those looking to learn and progress their studio and location photography. Those interested in creating Model, Wedding, Beauty, Actor, Talent and Corporate Portraiture will all benefit from this course. This full programme, set over two days, will transform the beginner in to a budding Portraitist. There will be multiple lighting set-ups and models available throughout the weekend. For those coming from further afield, accommodation can be arranged at a local hotel.

 

The second exciting weekend Masterclass is drawing inspiration from the National Portrait Gallery. With close examination of the Collection we will work with models to replicate and develop upon the painter-inspired tone and lighting back in the studio. We will investigate and explore the dynamic between the photographer and sitter and how you influence this relationship to affect the outcome of the shoot. This Masterclass is ideal for those who already have some knowledge of digital photography and know how to use their camera in manual mode.

 

Summer Sun

 

Summer will see me holding Advanced Portrait Masterclasses in London. These masterclasses are suited to intermediates or as an ideal follow-on from the spring classes. Best suited for those who have a decent comprehension of the technical elements of photography, these courses aim to expand your knowledge of lighting as well as the ideas and techniques behind great portraits.

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Creatively, emotionally and technically, candidates will develop enormously as they progress through this Masterclass. A full day will be dedicated to Classroom-style learning with time dedicated to both the theory and practical elements of Portrait Photography within the context of Portraiture ‘Greats’ from Yosef Karsh to Cecil Beaton.

 

Additionally, the class will incorporate composition, atmosphere, lighting techniques, kickers, modifiers and gels. With a secure grounding of theory, we will then practice the techniques and incorporate the ideas we have learned as we attempt to recreate some of the images we have studied. Creativity is the focus here, but this incorporates technical elements and a good technical understanding of your camera is required.

 

Key Skills Focus

 

“For those looking to concentrate their learning time on specific areas, I am offering four distinct workshops.”

Low Key Portraits of Sir Ian McKellen Rory Lewis Photographer

Low Key Portraits of Sir Ian McKellen Rory Lewis Photographer

The first will concentrate on Low Key Portrait Lighting. You will learn how to invoke drama, dark and depth with shadows and contrast for an overall dramatic look. Lighting is a key focus here and we will learn from the ‘Greats’ – Yosef Karsh, Eve Arnold and Cecil Beaton – in order to enable you to recreate their iconic style. We examine: three-point lighting; key light; back light for illumination; kickers; gels; modifiers; testing, all with the added benefit of a fantastic model

 

The second key-skills focus will be a Model Direction Masterclass. Working on your interpersonal skills to lead and direct a shoot this is a highly practical course. We work with the Studio as a Stage with you as the Director. This course will develop your confidence and enthusiasm for mastering visual balance and composition. The models provided offer plenty of scope for practice so that you leave the course fully capable of directing a portrait subject. Passing on many of my handy tricks and tips picked up over the years and combining them with my trusted “do’s and don’ts” you will soon be well on the way to creating incredible portraits.

Power & Portraits Masterclass

Power & Portraits Masterclass

The third course is the Power & Portrait Masterclass. This is an unmissable class for those interested in Military, Political and Real Portraiture. Models will be kitted out in military uniform and formal attire making this a highly practical and true to reality workshop. We will investigate both the archetypal and subversive depictions of strength and power. I will draw on my inspiration from Hans Holbein, as well as my previous shoots with prominent Political and Military figures, to instruct you how to make the most of body-positioning, composition, lighting and subject interaction in order to capture the innate qualities that have made these shoots successful. This course is suited to those who already have some knowledge of digital photography as well as how to use their camera in manual mode.

Rory Lewis Photographing Sir Patrick Stewart (2015)

The final course is a London-based course on Understanding Light. Artistically and professionally, lighting is everything. Your success will depend on your ability to master lighting and how light works. This is a three day course that will demystify the fundamentals of lighting and give you the concrete skills needed to create a powerful image using the right lighting for whatever the circumstances. You will leave this course being able to shoot more efficiently, capture consistently well-lit images as well as reach new creative heights as a photographer.

 

Online Learning

 

If you can’t make any of these courses online consultations are now available. Nothing is more frustrating to a photographer than not getting any meaningful or helpful feedback from other photographers. You want to improve but without any direction it can be frustrating. Rory Lewis photographer is now offering online tuition and advice for photographers worldwide.

 

The Year of Learning – Exciting Opportunities

 

2016 will offer photographers from all levels of ability the chance to develop and enhance their skills with a particular focus on Portraiture. I am excited and delighted to be able to offer guidance and learning rooted in my success as a Portrait Photographer ensuring every base is covered, and whatever you are looking for in a wide-range of classes and courses throughout the year. Wherever suits you best, and whatever photographic skill you’re looking to work out, I’ll be there!

 

London Portrait Photographer– Capturing the Essence of Power

William Jefferson Hague FRSL (born 26 March 1961)[1] is a British Conservative politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Richmond (Yorks) from 1989 to 2015. He also served as Leader of the House of Commons from 2014 to 2015, as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs from 2010 to 2014,[2] and as Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition from 1997 to 2001. (Rory Lewis)

William Jefferson Hague Baron Of Richmond (Rory Lewis Photographer 2015)

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.

 

Lt General James Everard (Rory Lewis Photographer 2015) 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.

Military Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis Lt General Mark Poffley British Army

Military Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis Lt General Mark Poffley British Army

Baron William Hague (Rory Lewis London Portrait PhotographerIn 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.

 

Rory Lewis Photographer, London Portrait Photographer, General Nick HoughtonSimilarly 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.

 

Iain Duncan Smith London Portrait Photographer Rory LewisAt 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.