Dame Esther Rantzen for The Guardian
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.