© Michael Shelford

tel: 07961 068759 e: michael@michaelwharleyphoto.com

I specialise in advertising, portrait & editorial work for the entertainment industries & beyond.

Whether it is for a film, a show or a brand, I love to tell stories in my shots; using all my expert lighting & creative skills to make bold, atmospheric pictures that balance narrative with visual impact.

Recent highlights include: photographing Gemma Arterton, Gugu Mbatha-Raw & Penelope Wilton for new feature film Summerland; Alice Lowe for acclaimed horror-comedy Prevenge; an award-winning series for Connor McPherson’s The Weir; Tom Burke for Don Carlos, and all the ad imagery for major new Max Martin musical & Juliet.

I’ve also shot nearly 50 sitters for my Free Flow ‘Fro Natural Hair project, a series of environmental working portraits on commission in India, and worked on campaigns with the learning disabled charity Access All Areas and on ‘The Attitudes‘ in support of theatre charity Acting for Others

I bring precision, technical skill and creativity to each new brief. Happy to art-direct if required, I’m just as excited to work as part of a creative team.


An AOP member and Fellow of the BIPP, I was awarded Gold Award in Portraiture and the title 2018 BIPP ‘Photographer of the Year’ for these The Weir images. Read more

Clients include: Lionsgate, Embankment Film, Shoebox Films, Organic PR, Kaleidoscope Film Distribution, Picturehouse Cinemas, The National Theatre, English Touring Theatre, Original Theatre Company, Dewynters, Dressing Room 5 PR, Young Vic Theatre, Sonia Friedman Productions, Menier Chocolate Factory, The Kiln Theatre, The Globe Theatre, Access All Areas, I AM Marketing, Sellador, Polka Theatre, Metta Theatre, Exeter Northcott & Rose Theatre Kingston, Yvonne Arnaud, EMG Ents, Theatre Royal, Stratford East, Cut & Mustard (Endemol Shine Label), The Arcola, DEM Productions, Triumph Entertainment,  The Watermill Theatre, Glynis Henderson Productions, Samuel French Publishing,  Nick Hern Books, Playdead Press, W.W. Norton, The Luna Cinema, Penguin Random House & Live Canon


I grew up in a vicarage in Hull where you were as likely to be having tea with a Bishop as sharing breakfast with a newly minted ex-con or answering the phone to someone in need. Useful social skills to learn for a portraitist… Later, I read English at Merton College, Oxford, studied acting at the RCSSD, and worked as a successful stage actor for 6 years. I retrained at Photofusion in 2007 and have been a photographer since 2010, shooting out of a busy studio at Make Space close to Waterloo, in Central London.

I live in Brixton, with my screenwriting/ directing partner, a borderline addiction to coffee and the albatross of a lifelong love of Liverpool Football Club. I can often be found in Brockwell Lido.