2014 Year in Review

The difference a year makes: Generals, Actors, Sports Personalities and Politicians. Photographing the essence of character.

 

Erica Kemp Lord Mayor Rory Lewis Portrait Photographer LondonPortraiture is now the name of my game: 2014 has certainly been an incredible journey of discovery and growth as well as artistic truth and relevance. I feel refreshed in my work and have enjoyed the wonderful success of the last 12 months, I’m looking forward to the ‘onwards and upwards’ both professionally and personally – these are exciting times for Rory Lewis Photography. Thank you to my wife, family and colleagues for their support as I’ve made these developments. The beauty of an artist is the ability to experiment and ‘play’. I have been more determined than ever to realise this – that through experimentation I can learn, and most importantly deliver at a higher level. In the continual bid to hone my own Unique Style I am continually refining my ideas, my inspiration and my direction. Beginning the year with a ‘make or break’ attitude having spent too long spreading myself too thinly professionally and knowing something had to change. 2014 has been that year, seeing a more balanced but more worthwhile focus, by concentrating on where my passion lies – Portraiture.

 

NPG x138151; David Warner by Rory LewisI was ecstatic when my Portrait of Actor David Warner was acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in London. I built on this public recognition of my work by having a wide range of Celebrity Portrait Sessions throughout the year. Expansion was essential, no longer am I just to be found in the North West UK, but in both London and New York. Back in 2004, when I began my career in Fashion Photography, it was the way forward, the path to photography and career success. I enjoyed the recognition of publication, in magazines, newspapers and catalogues, often being called upon by various Fashion Labels to photography their collection. But with maturity and artistic credibility, I gradually fell out of love with the ‘easy’ road. It no longer sits easily on my personal character, and the discomfort grew as I was struggling to be myself in what I felt was an elitist superficial world of photography. I was failing to be true to myself, my personality, and importantly, my artistic style. Artistically I wanted my work to be a reflection of reality, a mirror of truth.

 

This led me to real people leading real lives and portraying them in a real way. I can become absorbed in the story of someone and relish the challenge of reflecting their emotions and character through Portraiture. So farewell Fashion Photographing, and welcome to Portraiture, of Generals, Actors, Artists, Sports Personalities, and Politicians.

Sir Ian McKellen & Sir Derek Jacobi Rory Lewis Photographer

Sir Ian McKellen & Sir Derek Jacobi Rory Lewis Photographer

I began to conceive the idea of my Northern Portrait Exhibition very early in the year and was thrilled with its ultimate success. Northerners started out as a small local project yet soon became a National Exhibition featuring actors, sports personalities, artists and politicians from the North. A blend of story, history and personality, drawn together by Northern Roots, now transcending the globe, offered an opportunity to travel to bring this unique collection together. Big names, big characters, big achievements such as Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Ian McKellen, Craig Charles, Emma Rigby, General Sir Nicholas Houghton, and many other prominent figures.

Rory Lewis Photographer Photographing Sir Patrick Stewart London Portrait Photographer

Rory Lewis Photographer Photographing Sir Patrick Stewart London Portrait Photographer

Rory Lewis Metro Interview Photographer

Rory Lewis Metro Interview Photographer

This was a truly fascinating project. Sponsored by Calumet Photographic and held in aid of the worthwhile cause UNICEF, the exhibition moved from Liverpool in July, to Manchester in October, and finally to London in November. The project was not only a developmental and artistic learning curve for me, but led to me feeling more comfortable in my own Unique Style, and this is now reflected in my work. I was thrilled when the BBC, various other television companies and the National Press all featured the Project giving the project not just local, but national recognition.

Luis Suares for Pepsi London Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

Luis Suares for Pepsi London Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

For clients such as Pepsi, I have enjoyed a wide range of Commercial Photography assignments, which have included Portraiture such as a commission to photograph successful and advertorial big-name footballer, Luis Suarez. Knowing that Rory Lewis images are being used in such high profile promotional campaigns, including posters as well as drinks bottles and cans, has been a fun and enjoyable part of my year. With the brief to create fierce portraits blended with Rock Star Style stills, I couldn’t wait to get started. It was an opportunity to direct and create a shoot in tune with my artistic desires

Travel has been an inevitable, but enjoyable, by-product of the shift in my photographic direction. My passport has been ranking up the miles with trips to Spain, Morocco, Italy, New York, Ireland and the USA. Good Old Blighty is home, but these trips have been enriching and given my work influence both cultural and socially. Take a quick peek at some of my travel snaps here.

New York Rory Lewis Portrait Photographer

On a personal level I haven’t just seen a seismic shift in the nature of my work and my creative style, but 2014 has been a year of highs as it was also the year I married my incredible wife, Alexandra, who has supported and nurtured my professional change. Still based in Liverpool despite spreading my wings, this year also brought the opportunity to extend my home-grown roots by opening my new Photographic Studio in the heart of Liverpool.

 

2014 saw a continuation of my desire to offer Photography Workshops. A key joy for any creative person is to share and nurture a passion in others. I am grateful to be able to do this, whilst partnered with Calumet Academy, as well as extending the locations of my Courses to additionally include not only Liverpool, but London, Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Belfast. Wherever you are in the UK, Rory Lewis Photography Courses can be there! I enjoy imparting what I have learned and discovered to others: from lighting techniques to directional skills, it really is a joy to work with aspiring photographers, and the feedback has been nice to hear too! It’s been good for my ego, knowing I can use my skill and self-development to help develop others. I’ll be forever grateful for reviews such as the following from Amateur Photographer Denis Dame who attended one of my Portraiture Workshops:

 

“Rory’s Portraiture Masterclass was a brilliant course”

“Rory is a fantastic and patient instructor and answered all our questions no matter how basic or advanced. I took nearly 400 images throughout the day and was mentally drained and excited because we covered so much. A fantastic value for the amount of hands-on course work and topics we covered. Rory was able to get us all taking great images.

Rory Lewis Photography Courses Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, LondonI have been an amateur photographer for years, but this was my first time using studio lighting for portraits with models. I had expected only one model, but Rory had hired three fantastic models. All had their own great characteristics, which allowed us to experiment with lighting to see the effects given different facial features. Rory demonstrated the use of several one and two light set-ups, and allowed us to take several images from each. Additionally, we used different back drops, and reflectors. We had hands-on opportunities to use a light meter and set up the studio lights to the proper power and distance. We learned about how to diffuse the lighting and control it with a honeycomb.

He also demonstrated how he captured many famous actors that are a part of his Northerners Portrait Project to support UNICEF. A noble effort. We were able to create similar images during the course.

We learned how to work with models and direct them to help create amazing images and moods. By the end of the course we all had gained confidence in working with good models.

I would highly recommend the course to people that have never worked with models, or studio lights. If you have worked with models and were not quite sure how to direct the scene, then this is also a great course.

Well done and I hope to take another class in the near future.”

 

So here’s to 2015 and my onwards and upwards! I am looking forward to extending my programme of courses to make them more extensive whilst focusing on my true love of Portraiture, from Beginners, to Intermediate, as well as a course in advanced Location Portraiture Lighting. You’ll still find me offering Art Nude Photography Courses, with a special Hasselblad Art Nude Session, allowing delegates to try out the superb Hasselblad H5D Camera System, an opportunity not to be missed.

London Liverpool Manchester Liverpool  Model Portfolios

Whilst also arranging photoshoots with models, dancers and actors throughout 2014, I’ve loved the new creative and practical expansion and vision of Rory Lewis Photography. From helping new models and actors find their first footings in their chosen fields.  I’m glad to still be the photographer of choice for many of the UK’s top agencies. I’ve come to learn that I can still be true to myself in all shoots by offering a comprehensive service based on high quality pictures achieved through my no-time-limit ethos. My clients are not rushed, nor do they receive a hard sell, just good honest portraiture at its best. From sessions with Game of Thrones actors, screen legends Julian Glover and Iain Glen, to the industry newbies, my heart now truly resides in Portraiture.

Julian-Glover-Iain-Glenn-Actor Rory Lewis London Portrait Photographer Liverpool

See you in 2015, but before I go, take a sneak peek at my new Exhibition Expressive that will take place at the end of the year. Whether Stateside or on home turf, I look forward to seeing you there.

 

Northerners Exhibition London Open Evening 28/11/14

Portrait Photography Workshops/Courses Rory Lewis PhotographerRory Lewis Northerners Portrait Photography Exhibition Opened in London at Calumet Photographic Drummond Street Today. Starting at 10am with a Portrait Masterclass teaching Delegates the Lighting and Direction Techniques, used to Capture Rory’s Thought Provoking Celebrity Portraiture. Jordan Ebbitt Modelled for the Session. The Delegates worked through a full programme of lighting setups, from the fundamental Broad, Split, Short and Rembrandt lighting to Directional Techniques and the Psychology of Portrait Photography. Rory will be holding a full programme of Portraiture Workshops Throughout 2015.

Northerners

Rory’s Exhibition then Opened at 6pm, with a Reception and Talk about the Project, featuring Portraits of Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Ian McKellen, David Warner and many other Stars of Stage and Screen. “It was wonderful to meet members of the public, gage-ing their opinions and Feedback of the Project” Northerners is now Open to the Public at Calumet Photographic Drummond Street London (please check store for gallery opening times) until 2nd January 2015. The Exhibition is Held in Aid of UNICEF.

David Warner, Northerners Photography Exhibition Celebrity Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

David Warner, Northerners Photography Exhibition Celebrity Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

Sponsors

Exhibition Sponsors

Paul Barber Portrait Photoshoot

Paul Barber Actor Only Fools and Horses Rory Lewis Photographer LondonPaul Barber is an English Actor from Liverpool, with a career spanning more than 30 years. Barber has worked extensively in British TV, such as in To the Manor Born (1979) as a Jamaican steel band musician, Minder (1980) as Willie Reynolds in episode Don’t Tell Them Willie Boy Was Here, Only Fools and Horses (1981–2003), Boys from the Blackstuff (1982), Malcolm in The Front Line, and Cracker and played Greg Salter in Brookside (1994). He is best known for his role in Only Fools and Horses playing Denzil. Barber had small roles in the big-screen version of Porridge (1979) and The Long Good Friday (1980). In 1991, he plays a football coach in the ‘Screen One’ television play, Alive and Kicking. However Barber’s best known role was playing one of the stripping steelworkers in the popular 1997 film The Full Monty (1997) set in Sheffield. He reunited with Full Monty co-star Robert Carlyle and Samuel L. Jackson in the Liverpool-based crime film The 51st State (2001).

 

Paul Barber Actor Only Fools and Horses Rory Lewis Photographer LondonWhen researching names to invite to sit for my Northerners Portrait Exhibition, I decided to invite Paul Barber to take part as an iconic Northern Actor. I was delighted at his acceptance and the Photoshoot took place this week at the London Studio. It was wonderful to meet Paul; he has such amazing character in his face. After a cup of tea, I spoke to Paul about his recent project’s and the style of Portraits I wanted to achieve. ‘Northerners’ to me is all about keeping my Portraiture Plain and Simple, with either fierce or emotionless expression. This makes the viewer think about the character and personality of each sitter; and the images from Paul Barber’s Sitting look wonderful.
Paul Barber (born Patrick Barber; 18 March 1951[1]) is an English actor from Liverpool, Merseyside. In a career spanning more than 30 years, he is best known for playing Denzil in Only Fools and Horses and Horse in The Full Monty. (Hasselblad H3D)

David Warner Actor Photoshoot ‘Northerners 2014 Exhibition’

David Warner by Cecil Beaton bromide print on white card mount, January 1965David Warner well know English Actor, on both sides of the Atlantic, has adverted a professional portrait sitting since Cecil Beaten coaxed him to it in 1965 at the Age of 24 (Picture Left). Known for playing both romantic leads and sinister or villainous characters, across a range of media, he is most famous for his roles in films such as Morgan – A Suitable Case for Treatment, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Ballad of Cable Hogue, Cross of Iron,The Omen, Time Bandits, Tron, Star Trek V and VI, The Lost World, Holocaust, Portrait in Evil, Titanic, and Planet of the Apes.

David Warner Actor Rory Lewis PhotographerNow 72 I wanted to capture a portrait of a more seasoned experienced Warner for my Northerners Portrait Exhibition. (Picture Right Rory Lewis David Warner Portrait) To Coax him into sitting, I wrote several letters to David’s various representing agencies both in the UK and USA; alas without a reply. Not giving up I discovered via Social Networking, David was attending at Hammer Horror Convention in London. Writing anther letter to be delivered on the day of the event, I was delighted to receive a reply a few days later, David agreed to sit for a portrait session in London. I have been a fan of Warner for many years, seeing his Cult Films and TV Appearances from childhood. Now it was my chance to direct David and create some striking Portraiture.

David Warner Actor Rory Lewis Photographer

David Warner Actor Rory Lewis Photographer

The Sitting was very memorable, David was astonishing, creating expressions and emotions that almost hold the viewer. After the Session I contacted the the National Portrait Gallery who acquired one of the images for their Permanent Collection.

David Warner Photoshoot  Rory Lewis Photographer

David Warner & Rory Lewis Photographer

Working With Actors

I am a Portrait Photographer, though I can’t afford to market myself solely as a Portrait Photographer I must shoot a wide variety of work from Models to Product Photography & Interiors.

 

Don’t get me wrong I enjoy being a general photographer every assignment is unique and exciting. However, I am a huge fan of Stage & Film. When I shoot people who aren’t Actors  I don’t enjoy it as much.

 

Actors in my opinion make the best models. Actors take direction effortlessly on camera, when I shoot an actor I try to bring their true character into the picture. I like to take the time to have a conversation getting to know the actor helping them feel at ease.

If i’m shooting an established actor I like to do my research. Some of the famous people I’ve photographed i’ve not know much about. I didn’t know a great deal about Emma Rigby, so before our shoot I watched some clips on Youtube and read some articles.

The Two RonniesAnother exciting opportunity presented to me was a shoot with Matt Littler & Darren Jeffries. Formally from Hollyoakes and Now Presenters for T4. Their Agent approached me to shoot them for a promotional portfolio update. Again I applied some research and looked at similar duo presenters like Ant & Dec and even the Two Ronnies who inspired the shot below. The shot really brings out the quirkiness of the guys.

It was film & stage that inspired me to become a photographer in the first place, and I strive each day as a professional photographer to shoot more & more exciting projects with Film & Stage Actors.

 

Recently Devon Beigan, young actress & recent Star of Casualty, arranged her first ever Headshot Session. It was fun to show the fun and serious side of her personality, shooting a broad variety of expressions to illustrate all aspects of Devon’s Character.

Devon Beigan © Rory Lewis 2012

In 2014, I will be holding my 2nd Exhibition and I will be approaching stars of stage & film to pose in several projects to help raise money for UNICEF. Last year’s 2012 Exhibition helped to raise £400 for Macmillan Cancer Support I hope to beat last years total and raise over £1000 for UNICEF. It is an amazing feeling to raise money for a good cause while doing something you enjoy.

 

If you are an Actor or Actress looking for headshots please take a look at my Comprehensive Package. Based in Liverpool and able to shoot in Manchester and Leeds & London.  A Photographer who can create headshots to make you stand out with casting directors. Proper Actors Headshots, that will illustrate your character and ability as an Actor.

 

2014 Rory Lewis Northerners Photographic Exhibition

Rory Lewis Photographer Exhibition Liverpool

I can’t believe, it has been One Year Since my First Exhibition Keeping Abreast in 2012 I am pleased to announce my 2014 Exhibition will take place from 24th July – 31st July 2014 in Liverpool.

 

The 2012 Exhibition helped to Raise £400 for Macmillan Cancer Support. I hope to BETTER last years total and Raise £1000 for UNICEF, to help children all over the world in need of support, water, food, medical care and education.

 

Rory’s ‘Northerners Exhibition’ is an entirely new collection of over 100 portraits of a cross section of  Northern Celebrities, Sports Personalities, Actors, Politicians and people encountered. Featuring Sittings with Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Patrick Stewart, Ian McShane, Emma Rigby, Claire Sweeney and many others.

 

If you would like to attend the opening night of the exhibition please Visit Exhibition Page. Tickets will be £5 with all proceeds donated to UNICEF. I will be giving a talk about the work and my career in the industry and their will be a glass or two of wine or beer to numb the pain of the talk, which I trust will not be too boring.

 

You can also follow the event on Facebook and keep-up-to-date on the Exhibition on My Blog.