Legal note: all my images of Sir Richard Branson are copyright Owen Billcliffe Photography, and licensed to Virgin Management for editorial use only. For any other use, including any branding or commercial use of any kind, please get in touch with me to arrange a license. Thank you!

I’ve photographed several events for Virgin Management now, including the Virgin Atlantic Challenger II reunion, the first Virgin Disruptors event, and the Virgin 40th Anniversary Exhibition, but I’ve been patiently waiting for an opportunity to make a Sir Richard Branson portrait, for several reasons.

Firstly, obviously, because that would be a great achievement and look pretty nice in my portfolio, but secondly, because the responsibility of landing that job and the prospect of pulling it off scared the heck out of me.

Perhaps perversely, I really get a lot from taking on scary jobs. They don’t do much for my hairline or my fingernails but they’re the ones I do the most preparation for and learn the most from, not only about myself and what I’m capable of but also how I’d do it all better next time. They drive me to push myself forward and grow, professionally and personally. Deep stuff, man, but true.

So out of the blue one day in February my friend at Virgin emailed and said they’d love some new candid shots of Richard for their library, and also a posed portrait for a change, and would I like to do it? Here’s what we came up with, including a couple of freebies for the passers-by who stood in for Sir Richard while I was testing the lights!

Worth mentioning also that we tested the lights at 11am, but weren’t able to take the shot until 7pm in the end – hence the change in lighting in the background. But we worked with what we had and made a lovely warm photo I think, in less than four minutes from arriving on ‘set’, and wrapping up!

london portrait photographer richard branson portraits - A portrait session with Sir Richard Branson