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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Houston Rogers

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Dates:  1901 - 1970
Born:  South Africa
Active:  UK
A musician turned photographer, Rogers photographed the leading names in the theatre, ballet and opera from 1934 onwards but is best known for photographing them in situ, on the stage, during a live performance.
[Courtesy of Pam Roberts]
The reminisences of a music student:
As a student at the Royal College of Music, I was encouraged to find amateur orchestras in which to play to gain experience in orchestral repertoire. I was invited to join one such orchestra that met on Saturday mornings, hence it’s name - the Saturday Morning Orchestra. We met at the Royal Academy in the Duke’s Hall and there, as principal oboe, I met Houston Rogers (known as Bill) who was playing second oboe. I have very fond memories of him. That was the circa 1963/4. I had no idea he was such a well known photographer. In fact, I had no idea he was a photographer at all. I knew him as a musician. I must have muttered something about needing professional photos for my career and he immediately said he would take them, which he did. I was exceedingly grateful for them.
I remember he told me to phone him at his studio and I asked if he had a pencil as I would need to write the number down. “Oh, you won’t need to!”, he said with a twinkle in his eye. “Just think of an owl - it’s Belgravia 2820 - towittowoo”.
[pers.comm. Jennifer Paull to Alan Griffiths, 15 July 2022]
As his mother and daughter remember:
His sitters would come to his studio and he immediately would put them at ease by choosing (very carefully) what music he thought they would enjoy. Although he was a shy man he would surprise people at the end of a talk on photography by taking his penny whistle out of his back pocket and playing a jolly tune on it!
[pers. comm. Peppy Peters to Alan Griffiths, email, 9 April 2013]

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Unidentified photographer
Houston Rogers 
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