Stewart Collins at home with stacks of books to his left and right

At Home with Artistic Director Stewart Collins


In the heart of Finchley, London, is a home that resonates with warmth and personality, belonging to none other than Stewart Collins. As a London Portrait Photographer with a passion for capturing the essence of individuals in their own environments, I recently had the privilege of stepping into Stewart's home for a photoshoot.


Stewart's career boasts remarkable achievements, from his globetrotting days as a member of Cantable to his current role as the Artistic Director of the renowned Henley Festival. Overseeing countless festivals and hosting iconic artists like Elton John and The Pet Shop Boys, Stewart's journey is nothing short of extraordinary. Even amidst his professional triumphs, he remains grounded, finding joy in his current focus on book festivals, which he describes as an absolute pleasure. He reads around 40 books a year and skims many more!

Stewart Collins wearing a blue shirt and cowhide hat at home in his London home garden

During our photoshoot, Stewart shared glimpses of his eclectic collection of memorabilia, each item holding a story close to his heart. The ‘mischievous gnome’ by Swiss sculptor Otto Muller, is typical of the kind of work he liked to include in sculpture shows at Henley Festival. The shell necklace – a traditional garland of polished sea-shells was presented to Stewart by the chief of an Australian first nation dance company at Henley. That fabulous hat is one of a series of special ‘Friesian cow’ hats created by milliner Patricia Underwood on the occasion of performances of Pink Floyd’s Atom Heart Mother at the Chelsea Festival featuring Dave Gilmore and the co-composer Ron Geesin.


As a documentary photographer with a love for capturing genuine moments, these At Home photographs hold a special place in my heart. They provide a rare opportunity to delve beyond the surface, to uncover the real stories and essence of fascinating individuals like Stewart.


Unlike the whirlwind pace of wedding shoots, these sessions offer a more relaxed atmosphere, allowing me to connect with my subjects on a deeper level and explore various creative ideas and locations.

Through my lens, I strive to capture not just images but narratives – moments frozen in time that hold the true essence of each individual. Stewart's shoot was no exception, a testament to the power of portrait photography in immortalising the authenticity of a person's life and journey.


As a London Portrait Photographer, I am immensely grateful for the trust given to me by individuals like Stewart, who open their homes and hearts for me to turn their stories into timeless photographs. It is a privilege and an honour to be part of such intimate moments, capturing memories that will last a lifetime.


Photographer Gary Williams

YOUR LONDON BASED PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER


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