Photographing ‘Robert Newton’

‘Robert Newton’ is ready for the final stage. He needs to be photographed. I want to submit this sculpture to the Society of Portrait Sculptors’ FACE2012 exhibition, along with my portrait of ‘Adam Kirkham’. These photos will also be part of documenting my artistic practice. This includes being part of my Flickr photo record of this portrait from armature to final piece, and to my new website at

‘Robert Newton’ is not the usual life-size, face-on pose of most portrait sculptures. My aspiration with this portrait was to make a sculpture with presence, hence going for a larger scale (1.25). I also wanted an interesting and evocative pose. This makes photographing it effectively more difficult. However, I was willing to give it a go in my makeshift photography studio  in my living room. The confidence to do so came from an excellent session with the photographer Jerry Lebens. One of his strengths is to work with artists to help them photograph their work – sculpture, paintings, crafts – to show it to best advantage.

Must admit I took over one hundred and fifty photos of ‘Robert Newton’ before I was happy with three for the Society of Portrait Sculptors. The height and angle of the light and from which direction, changed the feel of the piece significantly. I finally opt for a high side light from the right which enhances the ancient feel and the mood of contemplation I was looking for. I submit the photos to the Society and get through to the next round with both ‘Robert Newton’ and ‘Adam Kirkham’ portraits. This means a trip up to North London. Three days later I hear that this sculpture of Robert has not been accepted. The disappointment is offset by excitement that my sculpture of Adam has been accepted.

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