Benedict Cumberbatch was photographed by renowned portrait photographer Jason Bell at London’s Hampstead Heath for a portfolio in Vanity Fair.
The portfolio, Phase One, is part of Vanity Fair‘s Hollywood Portfolio.
A video shows behind the scenes of the photo shoot:
“I like to have a sort of narrative in my head which you don’t necessarily get when you look at the picture, but it informs the mood of the picture,” Bell told Vanity Fair. “On this occasion I am imagining that he has been at a ball, he is probably drunk, and he is going home with his dog. That is the story in my head for the picture. It helps me decide where light should be and even how I print. And it helps him to think about something rather than just: ‘I’m having my photograph taken.’”
Bell likes to create a story to get a more collaborative team effort during photo shoots.
“It is a collaboration with all the guys doing the lights and the smoke,” Bell said. “I’m not doing it on my own. I’m the captain of the ship. He [Cumberbatch] got very involved and there were things he wanted to do which I always really like”.
Among the ideas Cumberbatch contributed to the shoot include jumping into the lake while fully clothed.
“We plan a lot of it and set it up but always when the person is in camera and I start shooting is when I really decide,” Bell said.
This year’s Hollywood Portfolio includes 44 British icons.
“My favorite thing about working for Vanity Fair is the creative freedom,” Bell said. “They are fantastic at saying: ‘What do you want to do? Okay, do it.’ That is obviously an exciting thing as a photographer to be allowed to do what you want.”
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