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Appreciation of photographer Lord Litchfield who died 11 November 2005

Lord Litchfield was one of the most influential photographers of the post war years. He was famous not just because he was a relative of the Queen, but because he was an astoundingly talented photographer who has created countless inspiring images.

On 24 May 2003, on a visit to the National Portrait Gallery and I was captivated by his fashion images, which stood out for their sense of style as well as technical skill. He was very good at describing the process of taking photos and wasn't afraid to admit the odd faux pas, like forgetting to bring film or failing to set the camera properly.

I personally gained confidence from his description of photographing the famous group photo of the Royal Family. He described all the problems faced by any wedding or event photographer, and finally used the old trick of taking the photo at just the right moment when the subjects weren't quite expecting it.

His tragic premature death well deserves the publicity. We won't get to see the wonderful photos he would have taken had he lived, but at least we can draw inspiration from his existing portfolio, particularly the fashion photos from the 1960s.

See also my History of fashion photography

Written by Aidan O'Rourke
Posted/Updated 2005-11-11

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