This is my small tribute to Caradog or 'Ray' as I knew him. My mentor and friend......Mark
Caradog Williams was born in the village of Bedwas, South Wales in 1931. After primary school, he attended the Epsom school of art and crafts and completed a foundation course at the end of which he specialised in Lithography and illustration gaining a National Diploma in Design.
In 1951, Vogue with House and Garden magazine ran talent competitions for artists, writers and photographers. Vogue’s studio manager visited the school to encourage students to enter. Caradog couldn’t attend, but a friend retrieved some work from his locker and a few examples where taken to Vogue’s London office as a competition entry, ( without him knowing). He was given a commission to make a still-life of jewellery, and then work as an assistant at Vogue’s shaftsbury avenue studio to gain experience. Within a year he was put on a retaining contract as a Conde Nast photographer. He was twenty two. Caradog was expected to work on all the group’s magazine‘s titles. If the editor liked the work then a studio was booked, cameras, assistant and all film supplied.
For the next twenty years his credits could be seen on Vogue food pictures, accessories and portraits. He had the opportunity to photograph many famous faces, such as Leslie Caron, Dudley Moore, Terrance Stamp, Hattie Jacques, George Best and later Cecil Beaton at his Wiltshire home. For House and Garden his work involved set building, photographing houses and gardens with their owners, as well as merchandise still life pages.
In the early sixties he was joined by Brian Duffy and David Bailey who started working for Vogue. With the arrival of colour supplements he had his contract amended to enable him to
undertake features for the observer, telegraph, and times colour magazine and to continue working with Robert Carrier on food pictures under the pseudonym Avray.
After moving to Bath, he briefly taught at Bournemouth college of Art, designed and printed bookplates and completed many drawings and paintings. Shortly before his death in 2011 with the help and printing skills of Mark Lewis, they had been printing some of his early unpublished work, some of which can be seen here.