john haynes photography image
John Haynes started taking photographs in 1963 after seeing Henri Cartier-Bresson’s book The Europeans (Les Européens), teaching himself photography with the aid of the American photographer Andreas Feininger’s book Manual of Advanced Photography whose focus was on the thought behind the taking of a picture, rather than on any technical aspect.

After working for two years with The Sunday Times he decided to specialize in Theatre Photography.

He was the in-house photographer for The Royal Court Theatre, Hampstead Theatre, and Michael Codron Ltd, from 1970 – 1994. During that time he also worked regularly for: Cheek by Jowl, Joint Stock /Out of Joint. LAMDA, Robert Fox Ltd, RSC, The Tricycle Theatre and for many other London managements, including Shakespeare’s Globe.

He has photographed over 200 productions for The National Theatre under the artistic direction of Laurence Olivier, Peter Hall, Richard Eyre and Trevor Nunn.
john haynes photography image

Exhibitions and Books

1972: "Up North": an exhibition of photographs of the West Riding of Yorkshire influenced by the novels and plays of David Storey. Photo-essay of psychiatrist R.D. Laing published in Life Magazine.

1986: "Taking the Stage": (Thames & Hudson) With an introduction by Lindsay Anderson was published, accompanied by an exhibition at The National Theatre, which travelled to the Colnaghi Gallery in New York and The Moscow Arts Theatre, where the entire exhibit was stolen.

1998: Was made Annenberg Fellow by The Beckett International Foundation at Reading University, accompanied by an exhibition at the University.

1999: Exhibition "Beckett on Stage", Barbican Concourse Gallery

2001: 2 Portraits of Samuel Beckett included in the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland , Dublin

2003: "Images of Beckett": in collaboration with Samuel Beckett’s biographer James Knowlson: (Cambridge University Press), and accompanied by an exhibition at "The National Theatre"

2012: Exhibition: Portraits of R.D Laing at Inverleith House, Edinburgh, as part of Scottish artist Luke Fowler’s Turner Prize nominated exhibition, "All Divided Selves"

2015: November 2nd - 6th KING’S COLLEGE CAMBRIDGE – SAMUEL BECKETT – IN DIALOGUE WITH KINGS COLLEGE CHAPEL, a multi media event. Projections of John Haynes’s photographs of Samuel Beckett and his plays onto the Chapel walls

2017: Exhibition "Across Time" Carousel, Baker Street

2018: Exhibition "Taking the Stage" CarouselSeven Dials

2018: Portraits of Joe Orton, Mike Leigh and Samuel Beckett, included in the collection of National Portrait Gallery, London. Visit

2020: All About Photo magazine L.A. Visit

Currently, he continues to take photographs and is particularly interested in shadow, light and the random

Married to the psychotherapist and writer Jane Haynes since 1965. He has two children Tanya and Alexander


john haynes photography image

Robert G. Langton

Time Out

It may be that what really makes Haynes's photgraphs exceptional is that he has not only passively reflected a part of our theatrical tradition, but that his work has somehow contributed to it.
john haynes photography image

James Joyce

Literary Suppliment

A major contribution to the way we see modernism.... the photo's show us not only what Beckett's play's looked like in original production, but also what Beckett wanted them to look like. They are the closest we can get to seeing them realized in the way he had envisaged them today.