About Ellie

Ellie Kurttz - Photographer

Brazilian-born London-based photographer Ellie graduated with distinction from Central St Martin’s School of Art and Design in Art Photography in 2002. Considered one of the foremost theatre photographers in the UK, Ellie has worked with most leading British theatre and dance companies including the The Royal Shakespeare Company, The National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, Young Vic, the Almeida Theatre, Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the Rambert Dance Company. Ellie was made the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Artist-in-Residence in 2006 – 2007 and has documented their work for more than a decade. In 2011, Royal Mail issued 10 stamps commemorating the RSC’s 50th anniversary. Ellie’s work featured on 4 of the 10 stamps.

Ellie’s photographs have appeared in Vogue, the New York Times Magazine, the Guardian, the Independent and Time Out (London) and many other publications. She has participated in more than 40 exhibitions, including Shooting Shakespeare produced by the V&A and Globe to Globe at the Shakespeare’s Globe. She has worked in North and South America and across Europe.

As a former ballerina, Ellie has a strong understanding of movement and this is visible in her stage photography. Her performing arts and portrait images are dynamic and distinctive and display a genuine passion for the arts and the person. Ellie’s images capture, create and unveil moments of great theatrical beauty.

2014 saw the opening of Ellie’s first solo exhibition Shakespeare in Brazil. Launched at the Centro Cultural Banco do Brazil (CCBB), Shakespeare toured Brazil for 5 weeks, visiting Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte and Brasilia. More than 18,000 visitors have seen the exhibition. Ellie‘s book Shakespeare Photographs was published the same year.

In 2015, Ellie became an Ambassador of Spectaculu, a unique arts education school in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Ellie is delighted to be associated with a social enterprise that supports young marginalised people to reach their artistic potential.

In 2016 Ellie’s exhibition Shakespeare, opened at the Brazilian British Centre in Sao Paulo as the official opening of ‘Shakespeare Lives’ celebrations.

Ellie’s body of portraiture work has seen her shoot Al Pacino, Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Patrick Stewart and Dame Judi Dench. From this body of work emerges a composition of space, light, movement and colour. Able to disarm and create a connection in an instant, Ellie creates works that portray the true persona and essence that lies within.


‘ Her contribution to her field is undeniably profound ‘.

– Actress Mariah Gale

‘ Ellie’s intuitive ability to understand the spirit and intention of a theatrical piece, a wildlife photographer’s patience and a sports photographer’s sense of opportunity for capturing the moment that counts and for her disarming warmth and irreducible humanity, all of which have made her my favourite theatre photographer ever since we started collaborating in 2004 ’.

– Sir Michael Boyd

‘ Her human subjects are at ease and her lens can read their thoughts. She is remarkable…There is a clarity in the way she can create an image which, even though she may be seeing the person or scene for the first time, peels away layers to reveal something ineffable ’.

– Lady Susie Sainsbury

‘ Ellie brings such a precious sense of seeing because the click of her camera is like the wink of the lover’s eye. And as Shakespeare remind us in one of his most well-known sonnets, “When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see” ’.

– Professor Paul Heritage

Current and past clients include:

  • ACASAGringoCardia
  • AKA
  • Almeida Theatre
  • Birmingham REP
  • Hampstead Theatre
  • Headlong
  • Historic Royal Palaces
  • Young Vic
  • Lift Festival
  • National Theatre
  • PPP (People’s Palace Projects)
  • The Print Room
  • Rambert Dance Company
  • The Royal Shakespeare Company
  • Shakespeare’s Globe
  • Sydney Theatre Company
  • Soho Theatre
  • Sonia Friedman Productions
  • WIA (Women in Architecture)
  • 14-18NOW