To mark her 80th birthday, a portrait of the Queen taken by the photographer Jane Bown will be published in The Observer newspaper this Sunday.
It will be the latest in a long line of photographs of prominent people which Jane Bown has taken for the newspaper, in a career which spans more than fifty years. Jane Bown claims she became a photographer almost by accident – she took it up at the end of the Second World War after leaving the Wrens.
Over the years, the revealing portraits she’s taken for The Observer have become legendary. She works in black and white and avoids artificial lighting, and has a tremendous knack for capturing the personality of her sitter. And she’s photographed just about everyone – from politicians to actors, musicians to writers. Jane’s first portrait for The Observer was Bertrand Russell in 1949 - now her life’s work is being put together in an archive.
Louise Adamson went to meet Jane Bown at her home – and they began by looking at a photograph of Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Noel Coward…