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.
Meet the beautiful Morwenna Lytton Cobbold, out this week’s Best of Britain issue of Country Life Magazine, photographed at home at Knebworth House.
Morwenna has always flicked through each issue of Country Life Magazine to see who was the latest ‘girl in pearls’. So when she got engaged to Phil Bush, it seemed like a rite of passage. However, she chose to wear a stunning Vivienne Westwood dress, with black boots and and a black manicure.
She was a total joy to photograph. She looked incredible in every single image, my favourite of which you’ll find in the portrait section of my website.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
How old are we when we stop skipping down the road, or jumping on street walls? Some may say never, but in essence there is definitely a time when we become too self conscious, when we are suddenly too grown up, too rushed, too stressed… One of the many joys of photographing children is that they remind me to stop and enjoy the little things again, hold hands, skip down the street, even try a bit of jumping. And wow, the thrill comes straight back – along with a few strange looks admittedly!
When I moved out of London over 10 years ago, I craved rural backdrops for portraiture, but I fear I was simply unaware of quite how fantastic urban backdrops are for children portraiture – especially in black and white. Every street offers something unique, graphic, dynamic, quirky, but equally, every street invites the imagination of a child by offering games, adventures, magic, fun, play…
This image captures Ben enjoying a little alley way just around the corner from his home – he apparently does this wall jumping each time they walk along there. I hope one day that this image will remind him of a whole chapter of his childhood.