Duchess of Cambridge visit to Hornsey Rd Children's Centre
Photographing the Duchess of Cambridge
This was an interesting shoot, I was told I was chosen for the shoot because I am a calm & capable professional photographer and would be just what they needed to meet and photograph the Duchess of Cambridge. Always nice to be complimented on my way into a shoot!
Hornsey Road Children’s Centre
The shoot itself was at the Hornsey Road Children’s Centre which the Duchess was visiting to find out about the project. The brief was for me to follow the Duchess and document her visit. The press corp were going to choose one professional photographer to come in too, so I would be working alongside them. The rest of the press corp would be camped outside. I’ve seen the press at events before and to say they can be intimidating is an understatement, a calm head was definitely needed. Security and protocol had to be taken into account too as there are certain things you are allowed to do and things you are not allowed to do in the presence of a royal. Though interestingly I suspect the duchess would have been game for most things and looked quite out of place in the glare of the cameras. Where she looked most natural was chatting to the mothers at the centre, talking about their lives and experiences, some of them quite traumatic.
Before the day, as with any shoot there were plenty of preparations to go through. The most important of which was to prep for the challenging lighting at the centre. With mixed lighting throughout I had to be on the ball on the day and make sure my exposures were spot on. Fluorescent lighting is not good for skin tones, so it’s important to factor that in, however, when you add in some tungsten light too it means I had to use auto colour correction rather than being able to adjust for just the one type of light. Auto is generally very good, and getting better with every new camera, though there is only so much it can do. As a result getting the exposure perfect really helps with the adjustments I need to make in my post processing. I also had to make sure I had backup cameras in the centre as I needed to travel light, but have any necessary extra gear nearby in case of an issue or a lens I particularly needed. I wasn’t sure before the shoot if I would need my telephoto lenses or whether I would be allowed to get close enough to use wide angles, so having the option was useful.
Access to the Duchess
The duchess herself was very charming and while I had certain constraints, ultimately I was surprised how free I was to photograph her as long as I didn’t step on anyone else’s toes, literally and figuratively! Getting on with other people on a shoot is imperative as ultimately it is that that will often mean you will get a shot, or not. The very people you have been talking to ten minutes before can be the ones that make it possible for you to get a shot, or if they don’t feel confidence in you then they may stop you or get in your way rather than help you. I try to be professional and helpful on every shoot I am on, partly because that is the way I am, but also because it is imperative that as a London event photographer I inspire confidence.
Work as a London Event Photographer
Once again an extremely enjoyable and interesting shoot. Part of the joy of being an event photographer is getting into new situations and using your wits and problem solving to get the best shots. If you’re interested in seeing some more of my work you can check out my blog. In particular, you might enjoy these blog posts, Build UK Build a Smart Future event and the CPA Spring Lunch.
If you have any questions then you might want to check out my FAQ’s. There are loads more photos and assignments on my site for you to see. You can also get hold of me through my contact page.