When I received a telephone call from Lord Henry Plumb saying he wished to commission a portrait & I was his photographer of choice, well I was truly honoured. Earlier this year I photographed Henry’s 90th Birthday Party at his home in warwickshire & apart from being a great event it was a real pleasure to spend time with a true gentleman. To quote Wikipedia “Lord Plumb is a British farmer who went into politics as a leader of the National Farmers Union. He later became active in the Conservative Party and was elected as a Member of the European Parliament. He served as an MEP from 1979 to 1999, serving as President of the European Parliament from 1987 to 1989, the first and only Briton to hold the post. Wows. If that wasn’t awesome enough he has gone on to set up the Henry Plumb Foundation which provides financial backing & support for young people wanting a career in the farming & food industry.
Driving down to Lord Plumb’s house the heavy morning rain began to subside & out came the sunshine. It was then that I had the idea of taking Henry outside & doing something dramatic to compliment his traditional studio portrait. As I arrived & knocked the door I was greeted by a smiling Lord Plumb who announced “I have an idea! Lets go out into the field at the farm & do a photograph there with the cows”. It was music to my ears – almost as if he had read my mind! So with the sun setting I placed Henry with the Golden sunset behind & then set my light up at the front. The cows all stopped, turned & looked at us. Henry looked off into the distance with a wonderful, aspirational expression & the photo was made. The cows then ran away, the sun quickly disappeared but I knew we had created something special.
Then onto capturing a great head & shoulders portrait of the man himself. Portrait photography for me is always about capture expression, emotion and the essence of that person. I’m super-proud to have captured an image that I think captures Henry’s spirit. I drove home feeling very honoured to have been commissioned to take these photographs & also happy to have spent time chatting & laughing with a great man indeed.
Images are © Adrian Jones Photography – please do not use without permission