There are many capable photographers. My particular skill is in producing imagery that captures people’s attention but looks natural and uncontrived.
For more than 20 years, I’ve worked as both an editorial photographer for national newspapers (15 years for The Daily Telegraph) and magazines, and as a commercial photographer creating promotional images for charities, businesses and organisations.
As a stills photographer, I’m unusually versatile and open to most kinds of work. I can shoot in a journalistic, documentary style, or work with precision and flair for brochures, posters and other advertising.
I’m good at putting people at their ease – but very tenacious. Many people have remarked on my ‘eye’: a creative approach that has often resulted in unusual, striking and beautiful images. (Please scroll down for some endorsements.)
I do my utmost to avoid cliches. For instance, for brochures and posters, I prefer to capture spontaneous moments - e.g. my photos of children in the education and portfolio sections. And although I prepare thoroughly for jobs, I always try to allow ideas to evolve during a shoot.
I know what makes a strong news photo, capable of going round the globe (e.g. my picture of a Syrian refugee and her very young brother for the charity, Tearfund, which was chosen by the government’s Disasters Emergency Committee for their fund-raising appeal via billboards and other media). I’m comfortable working under pressure and always deliver on time. I also have the technical skills to deliver images immediately after events.
Portraits are one of my specialties. I’ve photographed many high-profile celebrities (from Cliff Richard to Tinie Tempah, Bill Clinton and Judi Dench) and several members of the Royal Family. I was also appointed official photographer for formal portraits of archbishops at Lambeth Palace.
When time is limited – as it often is - my portraits involve a lot of pre-planning, tenacity and sensitivity to the subject.
Abroad, I’ve worked for charities and for Channel 4 television in dangerous slums and red-light districts (with Rupert Everett) or in areas still strewn with landmines. I also enjoy photographing buildings and other constructions.
This year, I won a three-year contract to do pictures for Transport for London, the Mayor’s office and Crossrail. The work has involved taking photographs in the London Underground and on construction sites. I have a Construction Skill Certification Scheme site visitor card and am familiar with PPE (personal protective equipment) and site safety issues.
Jenni Murray, presenter of BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour:
“Like so many people, I’m uncomfortable in front of a camera. Not with Eleanor. She had patience and presence and took the best picture of me ever, quite painlessly!”
Boris Johnson, MP, Former Mayor of London and Telegraph Columnist:
“Eleanor is a remarkable photographer. Her attention to detail, and her relationship with people make for an extraordinary sense of person and personality. She doesn’t need my help to promote her work – the images say everything.”
Corinna Honan, former Assistant Editor of The Daily Telegraph and Deputy Editor of the Saturday edition:
Much of my earlier career was spent on the road with photographers as we covered news stories and features. Later, I became a commissioning editor and made a point of discussing jobs in advance with photographers. I can honestly say that I’ve never come across a newspaper photographer who regularly produced such beautiful and often arresting images as Eleanor Bentall. Many deserved to be framed. She brings intelligence, sensitivity and creative flair to each job she undertakes.
In person, she can come across as gentle, self-deprecating, even hesitant – but her tenacity is quite extraordinary. She simply won’t accept second-best from herself. I think she has the potential to become one of the greats.