I’ve been asked to attend a fair few Royal visits to Kentish towns over the years on behalf of the local newspaper, and for the most part us press photographers are usually given strict instructions on what we can & can’t do.
It kinda goes against everything you love as a photographer, not being able to get near your subject or not being given any creative freedom at all. On royal visits we’re being told to ‘stand there’ and ‘don’t go past that line’.
We’re never allowed to speak to them either.
I was asked to attend a Royal visit in Tunbridge Wells by The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip. I thought ‘here we go’ lets just get the standard shot from a distance – job done.
But right the off things were different. It was somehow strangely informal. I was allowed to do what I wanted, as The Duke mingled with people I even found myself wriggling between him and other people sheepishly saying ‘excuse me’ !
I didn’t have him all to myself of course, but I was really pleased to get an informal shot – he’s not known for smiling much in photos but I was really pleased to be able to get closer and grab a natural looking photo of the Duke smiling.
All in a days work.