Many people often ask how I ended up being a photographer at the Royal Wedding of Prince William & Kate Middleton. The aim of this blog is, hopefully, to offer a little insight into into the story behind it all.
In 2007 I got the job I had wanted for several years, a staff position as a press photographer with the Press Association, covering the North West. I worked for them for 7 years before leaving in February 2014 to begin working as a freelance, as I had done before 2007. I photographed events across the world that I otherwise I would have only seen on television.
I covered International football in Spain, Switzerland and Austria, Olympics in London 2012, Athletics in Daegu – South Korea, Moscow and Finland, Premier League football, Champions League and Europa League finals, Two Ricky Hatton fights in Las Vegas as well as countless boxing events in the UK, England international cricket matches, The Grand National at Aintree and Six Nations Rugby.
Live News Events
I also photographed live news events such as the Dale Cregan shootings in Manchester, Royal Visits with the Queen and Prince Charles, the Raoul Moat hunt in the North East, Margaret Thatcher’s funeral at St Paul’s in London, The visit of Pope Benedict to Edinburgh, Party Political Conferences, the funeral service of Bury soldier Lee Rigby, the G20 Summit in London, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee where I was working backstage to cover the moment she met the performers who took part and, of course, the 2011 Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
The Press Association have very close links with Buckingham Palace and regularly work closely with them during large scale Royal events.
I remember being stood in my kitchen when I got a call from the picture editor to say that he would like me to come to London to photograph the Royal Wedding. There were no plans yet for what role I would play, but none the less, I had to keep the day free.
Around a week before I was given the plans. I was to head down to London the day before the Royal Wedding, stay overnight, then travel home in the mid afternoon. I was to be positioned in the Organ Loft inside Westminster Abbey. I can still remember the feeling of overwhelming excitement that I was actually going to be INSIDE Westminster Abbey for such a historic event.
I didn’t even know where it was in relation to the alter, but guessed it wouldn’t be too far when I got told I would need a 400mm lens. When I took up my position I was surrounded by every musical instrument you could think of. And the organ. I was perched on the top step of the stairway that brings you into the organ loft, with very little room to manoeuvre. Imagine the most amazing music being played and the sound of it rising upto the roof and then crashing down on top of you. At times, that’s what it felt like. A phenomenal experience.
Throughout the Royal Wedding I was photographing the moments and sending them live from the camera to the picture desk. Many of the images from the ceremony appeared online and in National and International newspapers and magazines over the next few days. The whole experience was, and still is, one of the best events I covered in my time as a press photographer. It was an enormous privilege to be given the opportunity to photograph such a huge moment in English history. Of all the things listed in the jobs I have done above, this is the one event that I feel contains images that will still be looked at in 100 years time.
I hope that it has given you a little insight into my background. Your wedding day is as important to me as the Royal one was. It is the most memorable day of your life and so for me to be able to capture memories for you to keep is a real privilege.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. If you would like to arrange a meeting with no obligation to book, please contact me.
*All images were taken by Dave Thompson and are the Copyright of the Press Association.*