AS A photographer for the rich and famous, Cambridge Jones has taken iconic portraits of musicians, actors, politicians and royalty.

As part of the Photography Oxford Festival he will be sharing his glamorous experiences on Friday at a talk with BBC Arts editor Will Gompertz.

The event, called Capturing Characters, will take place at the Story Museum, which Mr Jones supported this year with the 26 Characters exhibition.

For one of the Oxford museum’s most popular exhibits yet, he transformed authors, including Philip Pullman, Terry Pratchett and Malorie Blackman, into their favourite children’s story characters, see below.

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WHO’S A PRETTY BOY?: Philip Pullman as Long John Silver    

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SCHOOLBOY: Terry Pratchett is Just William

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CONVICT: Michael Morpurgo as Magwitch from Great Expectations

The Oxford-born and educated photographer, 46, said: “The talk won’t have a structure as such.

“We will start with 26 Characters, why I went about it and how, and then we will probably branch off to other topics, like our fascination with celebrities.”

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Some of Mr Jones’ previous subjects include rap artist P Diddy, actor Anthony Hopkins and the Queen, but he admits that actor Al Pacino and former Prime Minister Tony Blair were some of his favourite people to photograph.

He said: “These are people you get to know.

“I’ve shot with Tony Blair for 15 years, I like to think I’ve covered the real man.”

Now based in London, Mr Jones said: “For a brief moment of time you have extraordinary access with these people.

“They don’t quite know who their real friends are – they have to be slightly wary.

“Photography cuts right through that, you’re both just trying to get the best portrait possible.”

While his work is usually trying to reveal the truth behind celebrity status, Mr Jones admitted that his work for the Museum in Pembroke Street was slightly different.

“This was contrary to most of my work – I’m not looking for the real Philip Pullman, I’m looking for the exaggerated Long John Silver.

“I wanted the authors to throw themselves into it so much that they became unrecognisable. But to do that I needed to meet the real person and persuade them to do some of that stuff.”

As one of the star attractions of Oxford’s three-week photography festival, Mr Jones has plenty of tips to share for any budding snapper.

He said: “Move in another five feet – get closer.

“Also, with any kind of photography, work out what aspect of it is you’re interested in – is it the photography?

“If you’re doing this for the subject matter, not the art, then you may be focused on the wrong thing.”

  • Photography Oxford started on September 14 and runs until October 5 at a number of locations.
  • For further information visit
  • Tickets for Capturing Characters cost £7.50 and can be bought at or by calling 01865 305305.

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