Photographer Greg Williams has announced the release of his first book, Greg Williams Photo Breakdowns: The Stories Behind 100 Portraits (Whalen Studio Editions | HarperCollins)
Featuring an exclusive foreword from his friends Gary Oldman and Gisele Schmidt, the book reveals the stories behind memorable photographs of some of the most famous people in the world. Why does Joaquin Phoenix look so relaxed eating a vegan burger right after winning an Academy Award? Why was Cate Blanchett’s daughter running through her legs in a hotel at Cannes?
As a regular contributor to magazines such as Vanity Fair and the official photographer for the Oscars, Williams enjoys unprecedented access to international talent, ranging from Brad Pitt to Beyoncé, shooting them at home, on set, and backstage at prestigious award ceremonies. Furthermore, his unparalleled ability to build a rapport with his subjects has resulted in some truly singular photographs.
In Photo Breakdowns, Williams details key techniques and tactics that he has developed throughout his extensive career and shares how he captured some of his favorite moments. Whether describing how to frame a shot, leverage the lighting, or understand exposure, Williams emphasizes the importance of using photography as a means to tell stories and highlight the person behind the personality, with a focus on authenticity, believability, and imperfection.
Greg Williams established his reportage style as a photojournalist in the 1990s—covering war zones in Burma, Chechnya, and Sierra Leone. An assignment for the Sunday Times Magazine gave Williams his first access to the film industry and he has now shot “specials” on over 200 movies, including four poster campaigns for the Bond franchise. Williams has also enjoyed exclusive access to the BAFTAs, the Golden Globes, and the Oscars and is a regular contributor to Vanity Fair and Vogue as well as his own publication Hollywood Authentic.
In addition to his prodigious photographic output, Williams is also a filmmaker, principally with his first-person documentaries, and a product designer—his limited-edition Leica Q2, in partnership with Daniel Craig, is Leica’s fastest selling large-scale edition.
Williams has a keen interest in “the democratization of good photography.” His education platform, Skills Faster, is home to his highly successful Candid Photography Course, which focuses on taking better photographs with your phone. He also recently invented the G-Grip, which allows you to hold your phone and shoot it like a traditional camera.
After 30 years in the business, Williams’s talent and brand relationships are second to none. He publishes exclusive images to over 1 million followers on Instagram and on gregwilliams.com. Greg Williams Photography operates from a studio/ gallery space in Mayfair, London.
Greg Williams Photo Breakdowns: The Stories Behind 100 Portraits
Whalen Studio Editions | HarperCollins
Publication date: May 2023
Hardcover: 224 pages