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BIOGRAPHY: REG WILKINS

Reg Wilkins is an international freelance photographer with a career spanning more than four decades. Born in Brockley, London in 1942, he assisted the acclaimed fashion, advertising and editorial photographer, David Montgomery for seven years in the 1960s. Concurrent with this Reg also assisted the legendary photographer Richard Avedon and the famous celebrity photographer Terry O'Neil.

Whilst Assistant Photographer to David Montgomery, Reg was invited to be Photographic Advisor to the iconic film Director, Michelangelo Antonioni on the enigmatic and award winning classic Carlo Ponti film Blowup (1966). Reg also appeared in the film as a London fashion photographer's assistant. Hailed as a masterpiece, the film won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, was nominated for an Oscar and today has a worldwide cult following. The star-studded cast included David Hemmings as the photographer, Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles, John Castle, Jane Birkin, Gillian Hills, Peter Bowles, a host of the world's top fashion models and brief appearances by The Yardbirds, Michael Palin and Janet Street-Porter.

In the 1970s Reg was asked to be Staff Photographer for Management Today magazine well known for its free, creative style:
  • Her Majesty's Misgovernment
  • The Managed Metamorphosis at ICI's Core
  • Rolls Silver Solid (Rolls Royce)
  • Mrs Thatcher's Tory Troubles
  • The Levitation of Levi Strauss
  • Regions of Discontent
  • American Management's Watergate
  • The Business of the Bank (The Bank of England)
  • Regenerating British Government
These were among the many, many articles Reg illustrated with his photographs for the magazine.

During this period and later, as well as carrying out freelance commissions for other magazines and advertising agencies, he was photographing personal projects both at home and overseas which continued until he retired in 2007.

Reg's portraits include numerous celebrities from the world of politics, business and entertainment such as:
  • Baron Michael Heseltine CH, PC - Former Conservative Party Deputy Prime Minister and Founder of Haymarket Publishing
  • Dame Catherine Cookson DBE - Novelist
  • Baron Richard Beeching - Former Chairman of the Royal Commission and Chairman of British Railways
  • Alan and Suzanne Osmond and the Osmond Brothers Second Generation - Family Music Group
  • Bobby Butlin - Head of Butlins Holidays
  • Dave Cash - Veteran Radio and Television Presenter
  • Baron William Deedes KBE, MC, PC, DL - Former Cabinet Minister and Editor of The Daily Telegraph
  • Kenny Everett - Comedian
  • Baron John Diamond PC - Former Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Leader in the House of Lords
  • David Hemmings - Actor, Director and Producer
  • Tom Jackson - Former Governor of the BBC, President of the Trades Union Congress and General Secretary of the Union of Communication Workers
  • Fred Housego - Radio and Television Personality and Former Winner of the BBC Television Mastermind Quiz
  • Peter Lilley MP - Former Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • Bernard Matthews - Turkey Farmer and Founder of Bernard Matthews Foods
  • Maggie Philbin - Radio and Television Presenter
  • Baron Gordon Richardson KG, MBE, TD, PC, DL - Former Governor of The Bank of England and Chairman of Schroder & Company
  • David Berglas - Psychological Illusionist and Mentalist and Former President of The Magic Circle
  • Baron Hugh Scanlon - Former President of the Amalgamated Engineering Union
  • Sir Richard Rodney Bennett - Musician, Composer and former International Chair of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music
  • Baron Dick Tavern QC - Former Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Home Office Minister
  • Mike Neville MBE - Television News Presenter
  • Barry Tuckwell AC, OBE - Horn Player
  • Baron Peter Walker MBE, PC - Former Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and Chairman of Kleinwort Benson
  • John Craven OBE - BBC Journalist and Broadcaster
  • Baron Heinz Petry - Former Head of Krupp Industries
  • Kathleen Jannaway - Head of the Movement for Compassionate Living and Former Secretary of the Vegan Society
  • Sir Monty Finniston - Former Chairman of British Steel and Chancellor of Stirling University
  • Yvonne Antrobus - Actress
  • Sir John Davis - Film Producer, Former Managing Director of Odeon Cinemas and Chairman of the Rank Organization
  • Sian Edwards - Composer and Conductor
  • Baron Hartley Shawcross GBE, PC, KC - Former Lead British Prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal and Attorney General for England and Wales
Leading magazines have published Reg's documentary, reportage and portrait photographs including:
  • Art and Antiques
  • Fortune
  • Management Today
  • Nova
  • Radio Times
  • Sunday Observer
  • Sunday Telegraph
  • Sunday Time
  • Vogue.
Reg has also photographed major advertising campaigns including:
  • Central Television
  • Jaguar Cars
  • Legal and General
As well as photographing many of the world`s most prominent industrialists, he has shot campaigns for:
  • Chemical Bank
  • Digital International
  • Massey Ferguson
  • Merril Lynch
  • Shell and Wang
Nominations and awards for Reg`s work have come from the most internationally respected creative awards for the design and advertising industries such as:
  • The London Designers and Art Directors Association Awards
  • The New York Art Directors Club Awards
  • The London Guardian Awards
His photographs have been exhibited in prestigious art spaces such as:
  • The Medici Gallery
  • The Association of Photographers' Gallery
  • The New Kodak Gallery
  • many other national touring exhibitions
In recognition of his sense of design in photography, Reg was made a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers (FCSD) in 1983. The society is the world's largest and only Royal chartered body of professional designers and its Patron HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. Reg has also been a member of the highly esteemed Association of Photographers (AOP) since 1981.

Following a serious head injury whilst on an extensive shoot for a multi-national company taking him to thirty-five countries, Reg had to greatly simplify his working practices and gradually reduce the photographic commissions he accepted. Thereafter he concentrated on personal projects and making available photographic prints of his life's work to collectors.

The Reg Wilkins Archives, comprising the complete collection of personal and commercial materials relating to his career, are currently held by Timothy Prus at the Archive of Modern Conflict in London.

Reg in the film

©1966 Arthur Evans
R
eg and David Hemmings during filming

©2009 Reg Wilkins 
Reg in 2009


SOURCE: E-mail correspondence (many thanks, Reg)