LEN DANCE FRPS, FIoD.
Len Dance was born in Bow in the heart of the east end of London.
He began his career with the London News Agency Photos Ltd in Fleet Street in 1953. He went through the darkrooms, learning about chemicals, processing, printing etc. trained by thorough professionals. At this time he also attended the London College of Printing and Graphic Arts studying for City & Guilds Intermediate. He was called up for National Service in the RAF in 1957-1959. He resumed his career with London News Agency when his National Service ended in 1959. In 1960 he won an award in the British Press Photographer of the Year awards for a stunning picture of HRH Princess Margaret on her wedding day to Anthony Armstrong-Jones. Who later became Lord Snowdon. This rapidly established him in the forefront of the press photographers at that time.
He proceeded to photograph all the Royal family, President Kennedy at Buckingham Palace, Yuri Gagarin the first Russian spaceman and many other statesmen. He photographed the Beatles, Marilyn Monroe, Peter Sellers, Sir Cliff Richard, Sophia Loren, Sir Michael Caine, Frank Sinatra, and a host of other celebrities. After leaving Fleet Street he began a career in the commercial field taking portraits of multi national chairmen which led to his commercial and industrial work. He began to travel the world photographing chairmen of multi national companies and carrying out commercial and industrial assignments. He gained his fellowships in the British Institute of Professional Photography the Royal Photographic Society, The Institute of Directors and The Master Photographers Association. During the next ten years he was to win the IIford £1,000 print awards four times and twice winning ‘The Photographer of the Year’ award with the BIPP. During this time he lectured nationally and Internationally.
He took the famous ‘bucket shot’ of the NatWest Tower dangling from the end of a crane situated at a height of over 650ft on top of the tower. He kept the picture under wraps for a year, waiting for the crane to be taken down so that no-one else could repeat the shot. It published in over 135 countries worldwide.
During this time he travelled to over 50 countries. He photographed Dame Margaret Thatcher in Downing Street and travelled with her government to the Ukraine and Russia. He photographed HRH Princess Anne in the Ukraine and was the first western photographer to be allowed inside the Kremlin.
After some fifteen years of travelling the world, he totally changed tack and decided to go back to his love of portraiture. He opened a studio in Leigh-on-Sea and ran this for sixteen years he sold it in 2009. Len Dance now lectures, mentors, judges and conducts photographic training.