Trek Fan and Pro Photographer Kickstarting Star Trek Portraits Book and Exhibition

Through his work, portrait photographer and long-time Star Trek fan Rory Lewis has had the opportunity to direct and shoot portraits of many of his icons, including Sir Patrick Stewart and William Shatner. Now, in celebration of Star Trek’s 50th anniversary year, Lewis is looking to expand his collection of Star Trek cast portraits with plans for a printed book and a traveling exhibition.

Over the course of his career as a portrait photographer working for magazines and newspapers, Rory Lewis found himself assigned to direct and photograph some of the most iconic names in Trek in intimate portrait sittings. Working one-on-one with the stars, Lewis attempts to capture displays of raw emotion in his own style.

One of our favorites is a series of Brent Spiner. “Brent is a wonderfully talented Actor,” Lewis told TrekMovie. “I directed Brent to assume expressive poses, both pensive and thought provoking. Brent is a natural in front of the camera, and in such a short time we created some wonderful portraits.”


With 2016 being the 50th anniversary year of Star Trek, Lewis decided that it was time to lay the groundwork for a bigger project. “After these two portrait sittings [with Sir Patrick Stewart and William Shatner] I thought wouldn’t it be amazing to shoot all of the Star Trek Cast in my own unique style. I began writing letters and making calls and started to arrange sittings.”

But, it proved expensive for Lewis who turned to Kickstarter to help offset travel and production costs. “[With] many of the actors living all over the world it became a difficult project. Hence I came upon Kickstarter, engaging with other fans to help create this project offering them rewards they could not find anywhere else.”

Thanks to funding from earlier Kickstarter campaigns over the last year, Lewis has already produced some stunning work. To date, he’s created portraits of:

  • Sir Patrick Stewart (Captain Jean Luc Picard) Star Trek the Next Generation
  • William Shatner (Captain James T Kirk) Star Trek
  • Brent Spiner (Data) Star Trek the Next Generation
  • Andrew Robinson (Garak) Deep Space Nine
  • Rene Auber Jonois (Odo) Deep Space Nine
  • Steven Berkoff (Hagath) Deep Space Nine
  • David Warner (Chancellor Gorkon) (Gul Madred) Star Trek the Next Generation
  • Mark Margoulis (Dr. Nel Apga) Star Trek the Next Generation
  • Robert Picardo (The Doctor) Star Trek Voyager
  • Armin Shimerman (Quark) Deep Space Nine
  • Richard Herd (Admiral Paris) Star Trek Voyager
  • Jonathan Frakes (Commander William T Riker Star Trek The Next Generation
  • Jeffrey Combs (Weyoun) (Star Trek Deep Space Nine
  • Walter Koenig (Chekov) Star Trek
  • Harry Groener (Tam Elbrun) Star Trek: The Next Generation

If Lewis meets his goal of £2,000 (about $2,800 US), he promises to add an additional 4-25 portraits, with the final number depending on how much money he is ultimately able to raise. The book, which will contain all portraits funded thus far plus any extras funded by the current campaign, is scheduled to be released October of this year, with a traveling exhibit hitting the road in 2017.

Sir Patrick Stewart

Jonathan Frakes

Andrew Robinson (Garak) and Robert Picardo (The Doctor)

Lewis says that he intends to put the portraits on display in both the US and Europe next year. “I hope to display the project at the Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas in 2017 and bring the project to conventions in Europe next year. It will take another 6 months to complete all the portraits with successful funding.”

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Fantastic! Photographic portraits for the ages!

Thank you Rick, i’m glad you like them, Rory Lewis Photographer

Pretty boring stuff. Too much Photoshop manipulation too.

But it’s for posterity.

I use very little manipulation on my images do my subjects look plastic?

Always nice seeing their faces ^^

Thank you Mellivar x

I want to feed my kids and pay for their college. Can I have some money?

Do you have a good idea to kickstart? It’s not wrong to ask for support if the objective is reasonable. It’s not panhandling, if that is the implication. Rather it’s part of the new sharing economy.

Aren’t we supposed to be idealists in the mode of our favorite franchise?

He’s creating a product. If people want it, they’ll buy it in some form. You’re right that some of these projects need support, but there is an uncomfortable number of celebrity-driven projects seeking funds. “The sharing economy” seems to work suspiciouly like the old economy.

No one is forcing people to contribute. I see no difference between this and most other solicitations for voluntary contributions to worthwhile or interesting causes, such as to art museums.

a lot of men on that list

So what?

Their will be female cast members, I have portrait sittings arranged in September.

Can you drop a few names?

Not jazzef by the work.
But I wish him luck.

I meant to say, not JAZZED by the work,
Sorry about that.

As with all Kickstarter projects, I would be very careful on this one, ESPECIALLY given the same project appears to have been solicited (and failed) several times previously – see: Caveat emptor! (Or beware of Romulans bearing gifts… YMMV)

Well, whats a good Kickstarter project to invest in then?
I would prefer one connected with Star Trek.

Well, you don’t actually invest in crowdfunded projects – it’s more of an unsecured donation, on the hope they actually produce the reward promised. If you’re looking to give away a few bucks, you just need to search a few crowdfunding sites and pick one you like. As always, let the buyer beware. Folks who shoveled cash Mr. Peters way learned that lesson the hard way. They thought they were buying a fan film, what they got was a start up studio.

Wow. That is actually kind of a concern. He’s kickstarted this & TIMES ALREADY– some successful, some not, yet he keeps wanting more money to make it. Not accusing him of any impropriety, but at best he didn’t do enough work to figure out exactly what he needed to bring this to life.

Problem is, for example, for the people who pledged for previous successfully funded campaigns. When you pledge, you expect the product will be made and you will receive it. Now, it looks like at least 7 times he’s gone back to the well to make it a reality, and you have to wonder, will he make it at all, even if his intentions are good?

7 times*– what happened to the edit button?

It has been solicited 3 times, twice successful which funded over 14 Photoshoots, with a 4th successful campaign it will fund several more.

i think it´s the naked artsy teen girl in the middle of their pictures that is quite distracting, making all of them look super old. :)

basic mistake.

All subjects are over eighteen, thank you very much.

The photos look boring.
Nobody is smiling or showing any emotion at all.
Perhaps if the stars in the photos were encouraging fans to participate I might be interested.
If the book is ever published, I will take a look at it.
But, I have my doubts this funding effort will get that far.

yes, they don´t have to act “Galaxy Quest” like, they could be actually happy or something. more “boldly go”

My style is inspired by Renaissance Portraiture i’m an acquired taste, not much smiling i’m afraid.

Please don´t feel offended by our grumpiness, this is how us old nerds show love. We´re still here watching it, like the old men on the Muppets. :) Your work is great.

Mr. Lewis does need to be careful – if this is a for profit venture, he really needs to not have it associated with the 50th Anniversary, unless it’s properly licensed. Crowdfunding your working capital doesn’t buy you immunity from TM and CR laws.

I didn’t know that.
Good to know.

I’m actually not quite sure where this sits in terms of infringement. Certainly labeling his book and campaign “Star Trek” are potentially problematic, but maybe there is wiggle room in “fair use”, as this is deemed more of a documentary, which usually is permitted.

I’d think he’d be okay under ‘fair use’ by labeling it ‘portraits of performers as seen in Star Trek’, avoiding copyrighted stylized representation and such. If it’s covered in Trek imagery, not so much. Of course, if it’s licensed, there’s no problem at all…….

I’m not really quite certain, because i’m no copyright expert. But all the talk over Axanar has taught me quite a bit from several who are. For example, from what i’ve learned, a documentary film about Trek would be fair use as long as they stayed away from certain things, and from what it looks like, this would be OK? Not sure.

Either way, the obsessive down-voting (particularly of innocuous comments) proves my point (written elsewhere) of the harsh and hateful negativity permeating this forum.

Sad to see Trek fandom take this disappointing turn.

You have hit the nail on the head thats whats happening :)

The project is not associated with CBS and final book will not carry the Star Trek Name, or be associated with any CBS Copyright. These are licensed images I’ve captured that will be presented in a limited edition book.

Thank you for the clarification, Mr. Lewis!

Where are the portraits of the Star Trek women? Nichelle Nichols still looks great 50 years on…

You’re not the only one wondering about that…..

Maybe there’ll be a portrait series “The Women of Star Trek”.

Would’ve been nice for CBS to do a nice coffee table book of high quality portraits of the different cast IN uniform. But hey, a kid can dream I suppose…

I could get behind such a coffee table book from CBS.

No Women!

yeah, where´s Terry Farrell? she smiling would be a good contrast for these stern old men.

Their will be several female sittings don’t worry!

That’s all fine and good, but what about the women? ;p

Looks dry, vaguely Mysogynistic & Racist as itis exclusively all old white guys looking stern & authoritarian. Cold.
No creativity. No interest.

You’re kind of an asshole, hmm? Learn to read, he’s going to have female subjects, too.

i’m actually mixed race, my father is African Black and my Mother British White, I am currently arranging sittings with cast members of all ethnicities and backgrounds. Unfortunately I can only arrange sittings when they are available its pot luck at the moment.