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Interview with Rory Lewis | GBPW Episode 161

2 min read

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Rory Lewis.

If you don’t have that perseverance, drive, and determination, you’re going to find it difficult. It’s a hard industry to be in. There are more photographers than jobs. There are more photographs than museums. This is something you have to deal with.

Rory Lewis

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Sir Patrick Stewart by Rory Lewis

In this episode, I speak with Rory Lewis, a celebrity and royal photographer based in Los Angeles. Rory has been taking photographs for over 20 years and has a very impressive portfolio that features emotive photographs of extraordinary people.

We talk about:

  • Rory Lewis’s introduction to celebrity and royal photography
  • How he guides his models to make them feel comfortable
  • Lighting tips for studio photographers

& much more!

This is a very educational conversation that will introduce you to the power of communication, studio, lighting, and persistence.

Here is a preview of our conversation with Rory Lewis.

Royal photo by Rory Lewis

Q: If you had an unlimited budget, what kind of project would you work on?

Rory Lewis: I love the military and photographing militaries all over the world. Right now, the top project for me would be to go to India and photograph the Indian army.

When you look at the Indian Army, it has the most remarkable pageantry. India is one of the most diverse countries on Earth. It used to be many different kingdoms and little principalities.

Celebrity studio portrait by Rory Lewis

Q: What are the benefits of joining photography workshops?

Rory Lewis: When I first started out, it was a great deal of trial and error at the beginning. I would go and hire a studio, collaborate with a model, and try to create something on my own.

In doing a workshop, you could learn more in one day than messing around for six months in terms of trying to figure it out yourself.

celebrity portrait shot by Rory Lewis

Q: What is the best review that you’ve ever received?

Rory Lewis: When I photographed David Cameron, the review didn’t come from David Cameron. It came from the people who were actually looking at the image.

When I’m working with politicians or political figures, I have a role where I photograph them in a very plain way. So no good, no bad, no joy, no happiness, no nothing. Just completely plain. This is because when you’re working with political figures, it’s important that you don’t promote their ideas or denounce their ideas. I photograph them as a product.

When the picture went out into the paper and online, there were hundred and hundreds of comments about the the article and the picture. Not one of those comments was directed towards me. That’s probably the best review ever, because I achieved everything I wanted to achieve.


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Taya Iv is a portrait photographer, 500px ambassador, and host of Great Big Photography World podcast.
Taya Iv is a portrait photographer, 500px ambassador, and host of Great Big Photography World podcast.

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