A real honour to spend Mothering Sunday photographing Dame Esther Rantzen at home for the Guardian. Best known for presenting That’s Life, and starting Childline (and recently Silverline), she is another of the UK’s national treasures.
I eyed up the swing on arrival, but figured that might be a stretch too far for an 80 year old. So I explored her garden and decided on three other compositions. The first was on on a bench in honour of her husband Desmond Wilcox who sadly died in 2000. It was a short climb up a little hill, in a little copse, surrounded by daffodils. Bingo! Lovely set up and lovely light. Sadly a not so lovely gale force wind too so we didnt’ stay up their for long! The other challenge was to avoid stepping on the daffodils. I get so wrapped up in what I’m taking I forget what’s around my feet. But we to captured some beautiful portraits here, one of which is in my portrait gallery.
The second two were in her garden and I was again very happy with the results. As I was leaving, she said she’d be up for a photo on the swing. Thankfully we nailed it first time. I think this photo befits her the best. Indeed the Guardian chose it to accompany the feature, along with her quote “I’ve become one of the funny old ladies I used to talk to in the street”. Fun, quick witted, energetic, charming, warm and photogenic. I hope I can be like that when I’m 80. God willing I should reach it!
As a Dorset based freelance portrait photographer, I travel regularly throughout the South West. In particular Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, and Hampshire. Please visit my publications page on my website for more examples of my work, or please contact me should you wish to discuss a potential commision in more detail.
This editorial photoshoot of David Morgan-Hewitt, Managing Director of the Goring Hotel, was commissioned by Country Life Magazine to accompany a feature on ‘Desert Island Wines’. I met David almost a decade ago, at the Goring, when I was photographing the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding! A very memorable experience for us both so we had lots to talk about. I love to chat to my models, and hear about their interests and passions. This enables me to capture ‘real’ portraits, which ooze personality, spirit and genuine emotion. I am hoping this portrait portrays his charm, wit and kindness.
The shoot took place at his home in Wells, Somerset, with his cellar providing the perfect backdrop. It also provided another talking point! I LOVE wine and was in my element learning about all his favourite wines.
We chose a sitting pose to keep it informal and show off his red socks! I then placed my camera on a tripod to avoid distorting horizontal and vertical lines, and to enable me to engage more freely in conversation. The room was quite a squish, with barely any room for a light. So I removed the soft box and bounced the light off the top corner. This lit the room and his face perfectly.
For more examples of my portrait and editorial photoshoots, please do have a look at my adult, commercial and editorial pages on my website. Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you be interested in booking a portrait shoot with me.
Having a strong profile portrait for your business is essential. The first thing you look at on a website is the picture and then the text. If you like what you see in the profile portrait, you are much more likely to read the accompanying text. Your profile portrait is your brand. I undertake a lot of corporate style portraits in my studio in Dorset, or I can come to you. Where possible I like portraits to reflect the nature of your work. So studio portraits may suit some, whilst location portraits, or vocational portraits may suit others. Either way, it’s about a striking image that shows you to be top of your game, confident, professional and approachable.
Hannah Shergold is one of those enviable people who is brilliant at everything she applies herself to. A Cambridge graduate in pre-clinical Veterinary Medicine, bronze sculptor, ex Lynx helicopter commander, award-winning wildlife & portrait artist, are but a few of her skills. And what’s more, she is as lovely as she is beautiful.
She’s raised over £65,000 for the Born Free Foundation in 2019, £50,000 for the Invictus Games, and is now raising money for Tusk. Do visit her website to see more of her work. Portraits include Prince Harry (although I’m not sure we can still call him that) and David Beckham.
This portrait of Hannah is from a collection of images I took of her in the famous dining room at St Giles House in Dorset. I love the juxtaposition of history and modernity.
Please do explore my gallery of photos to see examples of some of my corporate. If you are interested in discussing further about how you would like the perfect profile portrait for your business, website, social media, please do get in touch.
Photographing the highly talented artist, Grayson Perry, as Country Life Magazine‘s first transvestite frontispiece, was without doubt one of my most memorable ‘girl in pearls’ / ‘babe of the week’. Needless to say he did all his own make up and selected his entire outfit. This included making large hips from sponge to give ‘Claire’ (his alter ego) a fine set of hips befit of a middle aged country lady! Grayson’s sensible shoes, tweed skirt, quilted jacket and headscarf, quite a step away from his usual vibrant dresses and bright lipstick, was inspired by HM the Queen’s countryside attire. He looked so much the part that those walking by barely gave him a second glance!
My morning with Grayson Perry was entertaining, educational, inspiring, fascinating and sooo much fun and I’m much looking forward to seeing his exhibition of the ‘Pre-Therapy Year’s at Holburne Museum in Bath. I thoroughly recommend his book ‘The Descent of Man’ which I downloaded as an audio book for my journey to and from East Sussex. A must read.
This week’s Country Life Magazine‘s frontispiece features the highly talented and utterly beautiful actor Kate Phillips, who appears in the Downton Abbey film as Princess Mary. You might also recognise her as Linda Shelby in Peaky Blinders.
A special thank you to Paul Ellis who assisted me in this shoot, Mach Management for make up, the Ritz London for providing a fabulous location and a much needed supply of coffee, and Lucy Editor, the picture editor at Country Life for this wonderful commission! Feeling very blessed.
Meet this week’s stunning frontispiece for Country Life Magazine – Princess Adebomi Adewale, from Nigeria, photographed at the Church of St Mary & St Nicholas, Wilton in Wiltshire.
A joy and honour to photograph – Bomi was beautiful, vibrant, intelligent and great fun. What more could I ask for? Thank you Country Life for another wonderful commission. Lucky me!
Thank you also to the fabulous make up by Mach Management.
Delighted to see my portrait of the fabulous Lady Bessborough in this week’s edition of Country Life Magazine, seated in the Ribbon rocking chair by Katie Walker, sandwiched between Barbara Hepworth‘s bronze Torso I Ulysses and John Hubbard‘s Coaster, and the delicious deaf and disobedient but overwhelmingly gentle Theo lying rather grandly to her side.
I loved my day photographing the sculptures at Roche Court’s New Art Centre which Madeleine Bessborough founded in the late 1950s. I was blown away by the panorama of large sculptures amidst the stunning Wiltshire landscape. I could have spent all day photographing Barry Flanagan‘s Large Left Handed Drummer, and Zak Ové’s Black and Blue: The Invisible Man and Masque of Blackness, but everywhere I turned, I was faced with another perfectly positioned sculpture quite literally screaming out to be photographed. So much thought has been placed into where each of these masterpieces are on display – it really was a magical journey through parkland, woodland, lawns and cloistered spaces. A big thank you to all the team who made my day there most enjoyable, including the cook who made the scrummiest of lunches straight from the vegetable garden!
Fabulous issue of School Notices Magazine – ‘Noticed’; Their best yet. And lovely, as always, to see my images donning their front covers.
School Notices is a new company offering parents, pupils and schools a fabulous way to communicate. Taking the principle of the old-fashioned school noticeboard, they have created a cutting-edge website where parents and alumni can connect with other like-minded members across a network of schools in the UK. Members can buy and sell within a trusted community; businesses can reach out to our members; and schools benefit from the fundraising support from advertising revenue.
This is David Wilson, Farm Manager at the Duchy Farm Estate in Gloucestershire, chosen by HRH The Prince of Wales as a Country Champion for his guest edited issue of Country Life Magazine, celebrating his 70th birthday.
Whilst lying on the grass to capture this portrait, I spotted the emergence of a gap to the right behind David; seizing the moment and the potential for a perfectly framed image, I rolled quickly (through a freshly laid cowpat) so that the gap was directly behind him. My coat still bears hints of the evidence but it was worth it!
I captured this portrait of Sabine Getty with her husband Joseph and daughter Gene, at home in London for the Country Life’s frontispiece in their Special Christmas issue. The image released can be seen on my publications page, but this was another favourite from our shoot.