Photographers' Blog

The Royal couple say “I will” and I won’t (…be photographed)

The dust settles in London as scaffolding, media platforms and gantries are dismantled and the world’s news organizations pack up and leave town. Their job complete with hundreds of news programs run, and countless special supplements and newspaper and magazine fronts globally filled with memorable photographs from the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29th.

I was one of the Reuters photographers assigned to an official spot and ringside view: outside of Westminster Abbey as the happy couple emerged immediately after the actual ceremony. Light cloud gave good even light and an unfettered view meant after months of team preparation and logistical headaches, me and my colleagues/rivals in our spot got the right frames transmitted in speedy time for that part of the day and the Palace got the images of record they wanted.

Job done.

36 hours earlier, after 10 hours perched precariously high up on a set of steps shooting between narrow iron railings, in the fading light on a handheld 500mm lens with 2 x converter, through two side windows of a couple of police vans positioned to prevent news media getting a picture, I took the second frame of William, Kate and best man Prince Harry. They were 200 meters away, walking into a discreet back entrance to Westminster Abbey to conduct a last minute rehearsal of the wedding ceremony.

Which picture was the most rewarding? Which picture the most important? Which picture stronger?

The actual wedding frames we all shot: outside the Abbey, the Balcony kiss and the open-top Just Wed car drive – these will get used again and again and it will be those images that are ingrained into the collective public memory.

Click and kiss

Good kisses are like good pictures, they come in the most natural way, without words or permission. What would happen if you asked permission for a kiss or a picture? The answer would likely be ‘no’.

On the streets of Australia, stealing a kiss can sometimes be a lot easier than taking a photo.

The nation has an obsession with rules and a fear of media, a very bad combination for press freedom. Warnings are everywhere: “No trespassing, offenders will be prosecuted,” “No entry,” “Private.” Every time you put a camera to your face in a public place, some local official will intervene: “What are you taking pictures of? You can’t take pictures here without permission.”

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