Ancestry and the National Portrait Gallery are collaborating to create a Nations Family Album – the first ever holistic visual representation of the British population in photographic form. So they are inviting the British Public (all ages, backgrounds, cultures) to submit photos of family members (old, recent, together, separate). The winning entries will not only feature in this online Nations Family Album gallery, but also in an exhibition in the National Portrait Gallery when it reopens early next year.
I am honoured to say that I’ve been elected as one of the four judges on the panel of experts, along with the baritone singer Peter Brathwaite, renowned for his series of photographs on Rediscovering Black Portraiture, the National Portrait Gallery’s Chief Curator, Dr Alison Smith and Simon Pearce from Ancestry.
Themes for the photos are: legacy, belonging, connection and identity – all of which reflect the emotions experienced when looking through old family photos or starting a journey on your family history. You can submit up to 3 photographs per person. And the deadline is 11.59pm on 30th June. For more information, visit the Ancestry website.
I’m really looking forward to seeing all your entries.
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.
In celebration of the much anticipated arrival of Meghan and Harry’s baby, I have teamed up with my favourite frame supplier, Addison Ross, to run a prize draw in which you can win £250 of your own choice of Addison Ross frames AND 20% off a weekday children or family portrait shoot with me within 2 hours of my home near Sherborne, in Dorset.
I was very sad to hear of the recent passing away of the legendary boating pioneer Robert Braithwaite, founder of Sunseeker super yacht boats. I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing him in October 2012 for my book Great Faces of Dorset.
Sadly his parents died early so together with his brother John, who was still at school, he started the business in the 1960s – a business which went on to become a leading superyacht powerhouse. His boats were featured in four consecutive James Bond films, one of which (Quantum of Solace) was actually driven by Robert himself.
Robert was an undeniably talented entrepreneur, full of humility, kindness and charm. He will be missed by many. My condolences to his family and friends. May he R.I.P.
Country Life Magazine commissioning me to photograph Dame Judi Dench, was a lifetime and career highlight. My portrait accompanies a wonderful interview by Michael Billington in the special issue, edited by the Prince of Wales in celebration of his 70th birthday.
Dame Judi is every bit as wonderful in person as I had imagined – warm, friendly, charming, interested, humble and very funny. I love how this portrait captures her sparkle and spirit – the essence of our much loved National Icon.
A real honour to photograph Norman Scott for the Times article, 12th April 2018. The full story, beautifully penned by Helen Rumbelow, is available on the Times website.
Norman’s incredible story about his then scandalous affair with Jeremy Thorpe in 1970’s, and his attempted assassination has been made into a BBC series, A Very English Scandal, due out shortly. It boasts Ben Whishaw as Norman and Hugh Grant as Jeremy and promises to as moving as it is gripping. Having heard so much of Norman’s story first hand, I can’t wait to see it.
Dogs and horses play a strong part in Norman’s life in Devon – indeed it was his dog Rinka who took the bullet instead of Norman on the chilling night of his attempted assassination on Exmoor. So it seemed only fitting to photograph Norman with one of his many dogs for this portrait, in this case Pugsy, a rescue dog from a holiday in Cyprus.
This was a truly memorable evening in aid of www.childbereavementuk.org, with performances & contributions from musicians, actors and authors including: Sir Tom Jones and Jools Holland, Bill Nighy, Ben and Marina Fogle, Brendan Cox, Michael Morpurgo, the Taplow Youth Choir and The African Gospel Choir. As a portrait photographer specialising in children photography, a mother of three gorgeous girls and wife to a wonderful husband, I am aware of how lucky I am. It is a wonderful to give back to a charity providing a lifeline to bereaved families.
What a privilege to return to photograph Kate Adie in her home town in Dorset, this time for a feature I was covering for Country Life Magazine, out this month. At 71 she looks incredible – perhaps her secret is keeping busy. Although her days of being a war correspondent may be over, she is certainly not one to sit still. Indeed she still works as a freelance journalist and public speaker, she presents ‘From our own Correspondent’ on Radio 4, is ambassador for various charities, and has written 5 books – including her best selling autobiography, ‘The Kindness of Strangers’.
I think this photo captures the essence of this remarkable lady – intelligence, humour, integrity, determination, strength and charm.
I’m just surfacing from a crazy couple of months of photography, with back to back weddings, school marketing & prospectus photoshoots, family portraits, Country Life editorial and frontispiece shoots, sculpture and new product shots and so forth. The highlight however was being commissioned to photograph another incredible Middleton wedding.
As the official photographer for Pippa Middleton & James Matthews’ wedding, I captured the bridal preparations, church service, formal groups, reception, speeches, departure and of course the fantastic party in the evening. It was a tremendous day and huge honour. I am one lucky Dorset photographer!
I would like to thank Dan Pangbourne, a fantastic photographer and great friend, for his help in setting up the lighting for the formal group photographs. These were a great success and I’m thrilled with the final images.
Working alongside with me for the rest of the day were photographer Matt Porteous, and film makers James O’Garra and Patrick Gather – all of whom were a joy to work with.
Thanks you to the Times for featuring my photo of this wonderful inspiring couple, playing in Ali’s brother’s wedding at Sherborne Abbey last November. Huge congratulations to Ali & Guy on their engagement.