Celebrity portrait shooter swaps supermodels and A-listers for doctors, nurses and other NHS staff at the front line of the war against the virus

Portrait photographer to the stars, Rankin, has unveiled a series of portraits of doctors, nurses and other NHS staff who have been responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. He apparently took the portraits as a “mark of respect and thanks” to the NHS, which marks its 72nd anniversary this year; rather than being confined to some swanky gallery, the collection will be seen across the UK at bus stops, roadside billboards and popular pedestrian areas including the Piccadilly Lights in central London.

“As the coronavirus pandemic began to unfold, I was moved by the incredible efforts of people across the NHS and I wanted to document who they are and their role in fighting this disease,” Rankin explains. “Taking a portrait is a unique and intimate experience, even with social distancing in place. Everyone had their own inspiring story which to them was just doing their job.”


The subjects include an ICU consultant, a midwife, a psychiatrist, a hospital porter, and a ward cleaner. One of those photographed is Emma Kelly, a Covid-19 critical care nurse at the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. “At first, I thought it must be the wrong Emma as I feel like I’m just doing the job I have been trained to do. While all of us who work for the NHS do the job because we want to care for and support our patients, it is lovely to be recognised in this way and to be able to share our stories with the world.”

For more background and the full list of portraits, see here.