What do you give somebody who has everything? You don’t give them a tangible present at all. You do something in their honour, possibly. Or you create something for them, a poem, a painting, a birthday cake? Sometimes it is enough to let people know that we are thinking of them on their special day. And thus I have not written a birthday card to Richard Armitage. I am slightly cynical in that I believe there is not much point in writing to him. Or if I write, then I’d be writing for myself, really, and not for him, so I might as well do that here, on the blog that is dedicated to him but really is much more about and for his fans than about and for him. I think he’ll survive my growing lack of allegiance *ggg*.
When I do write about Richard Armitage, I like to do so in the context of photography. In my first year of being an out-of-the-closet fan, I wrote a birthday *ooof* for him on tumblr. Last year I celebrated Richard’s birthday with a timeline of his actor’s headshots. This year I have decided on a fan service approach. Over the course of the last year, we have not only been exposed to more imagery than ever containing ‘yer man’, but we have also become more aware of the photographic rights that are attached to copyrighted material. Some photographers have freely shared their images with fans and granted permission to fansites to display them in their galleries (thank you, Leslie Hassler!), others have used Social Media to spread their work and attract the attention of fans but have also asserted their right to the image by prohibiting the reposting or embedding of their images (hello, Sarah Dunn). While embedding of some imagery has become much easier due to market-leading photo agency Getty Images’ move to supply embed codes and theirby allow the display of copyrighted material for non-commercial use, some of the sites we used to rely on for access to professional photos of Richard Armitage have taken the images down in order to respect copyright. I applaud both approaches – the former from the perspective of the fan, the latter from the perspective of the photographer. However, as a fan who is primarily focussed on Armitage’s photographic material, with the lack of a central resource bank that collects all the shoots, it has become increasingly hard to remember the various shoots, photographers’ names, year of publication, and where to find the images. To help myself I decided to create a master list of photo shoots. And as a birthday present to Mr Armitage’s loyal Army of fans, I’ve decided to make it available as a resource for fans on this special day. It’s a reference tool and will hopefully also help you find imagery when and if you are looking for a specific shoot.
The following list is a roughly chronological timeline of existing photo shoots of Richard Armitage, starting with the most recent ones. It is entirely possible that I have forgotten or am unaware of other shoots, so if you find an omission, please don’t hesitate to point it out in the comments. The shoots are identified by an informal description of them or in which publication they appeared. I am representing those photographers individually who created lens-based work that was shot in an in-studio or location environment where multiple photographs were taken. That excludes red carpet and press photography – which are neither studio nor location work – but mainly for the simple reason that there would be too many photographers to mention. However, shots of Mr A from premieres and events can be found via my short section on photo agencies which represent multiple photographers. For similar reasons I by and large do not include promo imagery of RA in conjunction with one of his previous roles where I was unable to identify the photographer. The best resource for such shots is richardarmitagenet.com where you will find them in separate sections labelled under “promo stills” in each show’s individual gallery. (Massive thanks to Ali for her comprehensive collection and hard work at maintaining her gallery!)
The links you will find after under each photographer’s name (and agency) generally lead directly to the pages on their website or agency where their specific work with Armitage is displayed. However, not all photographers’ websites allow this, so occasionally you will have to scroll through their portfolio in order to find Mr A’s photos. Sometimes a photographer does not have a website of their own. In such cases I link to their imagery of l’Armitage as represented with photo agencies.
I would have loved to illustrate this post with the visual feast that is Armitage photography. However, for aforementioned copyright reasons and out of respect for my fellow photographers’ hard work I cannot do so. (I am gratefully accepting Getty’s offer of using their embed links, though, to throw a bit of eyecandy into this otherwise text-heavy post.) But I would like to encourage you to follow those links, and once you are on the respective photographers’ pages, please click through their portfolio, too. It is well worth perusing these photo professionals’ work, to marvel at the diversity of styles and creative ideas that they display. All of them have very impressive credentials and client lists with many well-known names, and thus Mr Armitage is in very good company! I would also urge you to explore the photographers’ “personal projects” whenever you find such a link on their sites. These are usually the *real* projects that are close to the artists’ hearts, while the fashion, editorial, commercial photography and portraiture tend to be their bread-and-butter work, and they allow a glimpse at the photographers’ creative approach, artistic vision and personal interests.
My list of photo shoots is complemented with a few entirely subjective remarks on each photographer and their oeuvre, and a selfish link to one or more corresponding *ooof*, if available.
As for Mr. A and today’s date – I celebrate your talent and professionalism, Richard. Your work keeps getting better, and your energy seems to soar. Your prolific output continues to excite and interest me, and the way you conduct yourself in your public life is happy evidence to me as a fan that you are a professional and intelligent man. Year after year you amaze me by adding another steep incline to the never-reached apex, belying the advancement of the years. Middle-age has never been so attractive and exciting as it looks through you. Don’t worry about your age. 42 is dead, long live 43! Happy birthday! ❤ Guylty
A (non-comprehensive) list of Armitage photo shoots
Johan Persson (The Crucible rehearsal stills)
A previous professional dancer himself, Persson specialises in production stills and has some stunning ballet photography in his extensive portfolio of productions that have graced the stages of the West End.
Francesco Guidicini (Old Vic bar with blue wallpaper)
Guidicini doesn’t seem to have a portfolio website of his own. His shoot of RA was made for the notorious Sunday Times article. However, the Italian-born, London-based photographer is actually represented in the National Portrait Gallery in London with a large number of photographic portraits!
Dan Burn-Forti (Old Vic black b’ground)
Burn-Forti likes grey backgrounds… but is also quite colourful in his imagery. His portraiture is original and does not simply intend to picture beauty but seems to aim to expose the quirks. More stuff on his website.
Lefteris Pitarakis (RA in Old Vic auditorium)
Pitarakis is a photojournalist and has distinguished himself with the coverage of much of the Palestinian conflict. His portraiture of Armitage (and Crucible director Yael Farber) is a bit of a departure from his usual emphasis on conflict and current news photography.
Brooks has a dramatic style, possibly informed by his background in set design. His images are full of detail and sharpness, and varied styles and approaches .
Ben Rayner (Ugly LV Sweater)
Rayner is a fashion photographer. His imagery appears less polished and posed than what we usually expect from glossy brand and fashion advertising. However, much of his work displays much immediacy and has a real-life quality with gritty aesthetics of their own.
*ooof* , *ooof*
Robert Ascroft (RARA)
Ascroft is a celebrity and fashion photographer with a distinct glossy style that focusses clearly on the beauty and attractiveness of his subjects. A photographer with a classic and classy approach.
*ooof* *ooof* *ooof* *ooof* *ooof* *ooof* *ooof* *ooof* *ooof* *ooof* *ooof* *ooof*
Leslie Hassler (New York Moves Magazine)
A previous professional model, Hassler knows both the work in front of as well as behind the camera. That shows clearly in her work in which her subjects appear less iconic and glossy but relaxed and life-like.
*ooof* *ooof* *ooof*
Paula Parrish (Fault Magazine)
Parrish has a unique photographic style that makes her images appear almost pictorial in quality, up to the point of obscuring the source image with filters and effects that look like stains or smudges.
*ooof* *ooof* *ooof*
Sarah Dunn (shot during Hobbit Promo)
Dunn is the only photographer who seems to have photographed Armitage more than once. She produced an early headshot in 2002, and a series of photographs in 2013. Varied in style, her images are often monochrome and deliberately colour-drained. Watch out for her focus on the eyes.
*ooof* *ooof* *ooof* *ooof* *ooof* *ooof* *ooof*
Blair Getz Mezibov (Esquire Shoot)
New York photographer Blair Getz Mezibov seems to have a thing for photographing men. Many more of them than women in his portfolio. B/W seems to be a strong favourite, in which he creates a strong three-dimensionality of his subjects and the locations.
*ooof* *ooof* *ooof* *ooof* *ooof*
Tracey Nearmy (Sydney)
Nearmy’s main work is as an Australian photojournalist. This is not only apparent in her press work with celebrities, but also in her photo essays that are very much documentary in style. However, she has some beautiful artistic projects on her site. Check the ethereal quality of the imagery in “girl” and “limbo”.
*ooof* *ooof* *ooof* *ooof*
Anders Overgaard (GQ)
Victoria Will (Hobbit Promo)
Will started as a newspaper photographer and gradually moved into commercial photography, focussing on fashion and editorial. Her tintype project is most evocative of all her work, despite the (deliberate) impurities on the LF positives, left by the chemical residue.
Robert Deutsch (Hobbit Promo, USA Today )
A staff photographer for USA Today, Deutsch certainly knows about the “decisive moment” . His sports photography is colourful and catchy, while his news photos focus on the perfect moment where the stars align. His portraiture is the weakest of his genres, imo.
Matt Holyoak (Project Magazine)
Holyoak focusses on fashion and celebrity photography. His portraits are characterised by strong poses, almost as if he is giving his sitters “something to do”. He has done a lot of photographic work for charities – a tog with a conscience…
David Venni (“Celebrity Pictures”))
Venni specialises in fashion and celebrity work. His CP shoot with RA had some of the smiliest images of RA ever. Oh, and the picture that really hits me in the feels every time I see it.
Perou (white Tee)
Perou puts his subjects into interesting contexts with props, location and poses. His images manage to be glossy yet gritty.
Joe McGorty (No escape)
Claire Newman-Williams (official headshots)
Newman-Williams specialises in actors’ headshots and has an impressive portfolio of those. Her headshots capture the essence of the particular actor’s (perceived, public/professional) personality, yet still work as an almost blank canvas. Her personal, artistic work are multimedia, collage-type pieces, seen here.
Justin Canning (long, colourful shoot with extra-thin RA)
Chris Floyd (b/w, wet hair Guy)
Floyd definitely has a way with eyes: His portraiture makes the eyes of his sitters pop. Check his Twitter project “One hundred and forty characters” – an interesting reaction to social media.
Drew Gardner (V&A)
An ex-photojournalist, Gardner now specialises in commercial and editorial photography, often on a grand scale with complex and detailed sets. The guylty-derided V&A shoot most probably must have been made during his photojournalist years.
Jude Edginton (shabby chic shoot in old house)
Richard Cannon (BBC staircase)
An ex-newspaper photographer, Cannon really appears to like shooting dead-pan, straight-on. Not quite sure about the chronology of his oeuvre but his work seems to have become more monochromatic over the years.
Rebecca Bradbury (Ernie and Bert)
Bradbury shoots editorial style for a variety of magazines. Her images are bright and light, on the verge of over-exposure. (Her website unfortunately is a pain to use with long loading times.)
Jenny Lewis (green leather couch)
Lewis’s portraits do not necessarily look for the most beautiful but for the most personal reflection of the sitter. The intimacy she creates is nowhere more visible than in her recent project “One Day Young”.
Andy McCartney (Cold Feet 2002)
McCartney has done a lot of photography for tabloids. His output looks prolific but his portraiture is a bit repetitive, and his website is really not very professional (including baby pics of his daughter), I’m sorry to say.
EPA – European Press Agency with press photography images of all main events.
Rex Features – covers not just news and press photography but also contains screenshots from TV talkshows and film stills.
Camerapress – syndicates editorial and press photography.
Corbis – a huge amount of press imagery.
AP – Associated Press – press and editorial photography from journalists all over the world.
Getty syndication service for press and editorial photography from all over the world.
Wire Image – syndication service of news and entertainment images world-wide