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Simon Callow Portrait

Simon Callow, Just Like I Imagined Him … and more.


A while back I was lucky enough to get to a portrait sitting with the ultimate thespian, Mr Simon Callow. He was performing with Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart in Waiting for Godot at the Theatre Royal at the time. I went up to his dressing room to do the shoot. Since I’m a natural light photographer,as much as possible anyway, I was a little concerned that there was very little light knocking about. The heavens had opened and it was virtually pitch black. Fortunately Mr Callow was a great subject and we played around with various scenarios, mainly involving a mirror and some coquettish glances to camera… looking back at the contact Sheets I think they’ll have to published some time!

Anyway, the shots I liked the most were more thoughtful ones. I had a lovely note from him a week or so later. I wish I could find it as it was written in the most wonderfully theatrical old school calligraphy. Aside from the various pleasantries he said what a ‘marvelously melancholic man’ the camera had captured. True but he seemed anything but.


Simon Callow Portrait by Pete Bartlett Photography