Brian Aris began his photographic career as a photojournalist, working for a London agency. Over the next nine years a series of frontline assignments took him around the world - to cover the civil unrest and riots at the start of the troubles in Northern Ireland, the plight of Palestinian children in Jordan, the civil war in Lebanon, famine in Africa and the war in Vietnam, where he worked until the final days of the conflict in Saigon. He then decided on a complete change of direction and opened a studio in London where he started photographing fashion and glamour models for newspapers and magazines. Nina Carter and Jilly Johnston were among the first girls he worked with and he soon found himself on “permanent holiday”, regularly flying to exotic locations such as St.Tropez and Jamaica for weeks at a time to work with a succession of top models. At the same time he gradually broadened his studio work to include pop and rock stars such as Blondie, The Jam, The Clash, The Boomtown Rats, Roxy Music and The Police. And after three years he turned away from the model world to concentrate on the music industry that was exploding in Britain.
During the next two decades he covered every aspect of the music scene from punk rock, glam’ rock and straight rock ‘n’ roll with the Rolling Stones right through to the emergence of the boy bands and then the girl power that arrived with The Spice Girls. Commissioned by Bob Geldof to photograph his wedding to Paula Yates, Brian was then brought in to take the exclusive official pictures of the all-superstar Band Aid line-up organized by Bob as they got together to record the sensationally successful fund-raising hit single Do They Know It’s Christmas? to help the victims of the Ethiopian famine. Exclusive backstage coverage of the Live Aid and Live8 concerts followed and Brian eventually went back to Ethiopia with Bob to photograph the work that had been carried out there as a result of the money raised. Other glamorous weddings followed - Sting to Trudy Styler in Dorset, David Bowie to Iman in a cathedral in Florence, Liza Minelli to David Gest in New York, Joan Collins to Percy Gibson in London and David Beckham to Victoria in an Irish castle. Band Aid returned in 2014 to raise funds to fight Ebola in Africa and once again Brian photographed the official line up for Sir Bob Geldof.
The late Princess Margaret’s son David Linley asked Brian to take the official photographs at his wedding to Serena Stanhope and it was on that occasion that he photographed members of the Royal Family for the first time. He went on to photograph Her Majesty the Queen Mother at Clarence House and Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret at Kensington Palace. He was then commissioned to produce the official portraits marking both Her Majesty The Queen’s 70th birthday and, later, the Golden Wedding Anniversary of her marriage to His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. Brian has also been commissioned to photograph the Duke of York, the Duchess of York and most recently the wedding of Princess Anne’s son Peter Phillips to Autumn Kelly at St. Georges Chapel, Windsor. It was there that he first photographed Kate Middleton.
For some years now Brian has worked closely with Twiggy and his pictures of the supermodel are among the photographs he has on show at The National Portrait Gallery in London. Images of Mick Jagger were recently on show at the prestigious Recontres D’Arles exhibition in France and at the end of 2014 Brian had his first exhibition at the Royal Circle of Art in Barcelona. His archive represents one of the largest individual collections in the U.K.
© Brian Aris 2017