Sir Stuart Peach is a veteran soldier who has amassed a staggering 38 years of service in the Royal Air Force, earning the rank Air Chief Marshal. Even though I’m a professional photographer, I will forever be a historian in my heart. Over the years, I have managed to hone my skills and discovered how to marry my passion with my profession. So when I am tasked with private portrait sittings for politicians, military figures and others of significant standing, I tend to look back in time towards historical portraiture for inspiration. Drawing on the work of Holbein, Dürer, da Vinci and Gros, as well as portrait photographers such as Karsh, I always hope to produce a frame worthy of documenting. In short, I hope that future historians will one day use my work as a source to discover the personality and soul of each sitter.
My sitting with Sir Stuart was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create the perfect military portrait. Bathed in the illustrious history of Whitehall, we conducted the session in the MOD Building – a perfect location to capture the experience, rank and authority of the subject. Employing direct eye contact with the lens, full military garb and a solemn posture, the frame urges the viewer to look into his eyes, demanding the utmost respect his title dictates.