We’ve Lost Jane Bown

A long-time British photojournalist with an emphasis on portraiture, Jane Bown’s style was clear and concise. Well worth studying.

Jane was very reluctant to explain how she worked – her favourite mantra was “photographers should neither be seen nor heard”. But this did not mean that she would not emerge from the margins if the situation demanded it. A Robin Williams shoot in a hotel room in central London was going disastrously: the interview had run over, there was little or no time for the portrait, and Williams was bouncing around the place amusing the numerous publicity people and assistants. An immediate silence descended when Jane said: “I’m very sorry, Mr Williams, but I don’t have time for this.” Suitably chastened, Williams posed, meekly as a cat, and Jane was very amused to hear that he did an impeccable impersonation of her once she had left.


Mark E. Johnson

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