It’s funny isn’t it, what can happen in ten years? In 2011, I was working as a staff photographer for the Press Association, based in Stockport. After leaving in 2014, I now split a lot of my work between sports photography and working as a Cheshire Wedding Photographer. In that time I have had many people ask me about what it was like to photograph the Royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. So, as it is their 10th wedding anniversary on 29th April 2021, I thought I’d answer some of the most common ones on this Royal Wedding blog.
“Did you really take that picture?”
This is usually followed up with “..or did you copy it from Google?” Clearly, that would be stealing!
The short answer is, “Yes.” Since I began doing wedding fayres in 2019, the picture above has gained the most attention. Of all the pictures I have taken in my 25 years as a photographer, it’s probably the one image that I think may still be looked at in 100 years time. I hope so anyway.
Also, I’d like to think that it doesn’t put people off. It’s certainly something that I’ve not seen on another photographers stand. Daft as it may sound, I often see people discussing the picture from a distance, wondering why there is a picture of Royal Wedding on my banner. It does though allow me to get talking to people about their own weddings and what they have planned for it which is the most important thing to me. After all, every Bride’s wedding day is their fairytale moment, so they themselves should feel like a Princess.
“What was it like to photograph the Royal wedding?”
The whole thing was rather mind blowing to be honest and it’s probably the question with the longest answer! I began by calling my picture editor, Martin Keene, at PA, telling him that I was more than happy to come to London to be involved, even if I ended up standing on a street corner. A few weeks before the wedding he called to explain that I would be part of the pool of photographers and would be inside Westminster Abbey, in the Organ Loft. This meant very little to me, but the fact I was inside the Abbey left me dancing around the house! I was delighted to be involved in such a big news event and to be placed in such a privileged position.
The day itself began with a 3.30am alarm and a short 10minute walk from the offices to Westminster Abbey. I and other members of the media working inside, had to meet at 5am to be taken through security and into the Abbey. At around 8am I was taken into the Abbey and to my position in the Organ Loft, where I was to stay until the end of the ceremony. I had to stand at the top of a small stairwell within the Organ Loft, surrounded by members of the London Chamber Orchestra as well as Fanfare Trumpets played by members of The Royal Air Force. Beneath me were the choir stalls. The pictures I took were sent from the camera to the picture desk. Once the newlyweds had left the Abbey, I made my way to the PA offices. Having made sure everything was ok, I got back on a train to Stockport and was sat on my sofa watching the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge drive to Clarence House in their Aston Martin.
“Which part do you remember the most?”
Easiest question to answer but the hardest to talk about. Due to where I was standing, the tree lined aisle behind me prevented me from being able to see the arrival of Catherine Middleton. I knew though that the bride to be was making her way into the Abbey, as the Choir had begun singing “I Was Glad.”
I have always loved the sound of choir and orchestra. I don’t know why it is, but it has the staggering ability to make the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. As the Bride and her Father began to walk beneath the organ loft, the choir and orchestra reached a crescendo of sound. Above the loft is a vast roof space. I’ve said before, that it felt like the music went up but then came straight back down, crashing around you.
A truly unforgettable experience. It is the only reason I can come to that explains why I had tears rolling down my cheeks at the time. I still get emotional about it now whenever I watch that part of the ceremony back or hear ‘I Was Glad”. I later made the mistake of telling my fellow photographers that I cried at this point, which has led to years of ribbing from them.
“How nervous were you?”
When I look back I don’t ever remember feeling nervous about the whole thing, even though I was in a ‘pool’ position which meant I was responsible for providing PA with images from that spot that would be shared amongst other media outlets and distributed around the world. I did have concerns about making sure I didn’t miss certain moments and there was always that feeling of not wanting to let people down, but I get that on all jobs!
I do remember the conductor from the orchestra telling me that my camera ‘was clicking too loudly.’ We then had to have a short conversation about there not really being much I could do about that. I resisted the thought to tell him maybe the orchestra should play louder!
“You must be expensive then?”
Having researched a lot of wedding photography costs I like to think I am reasonably priced and competitive alongside other North West wedding photographers. I always offer couples a meeting so that they can ask more about what my packages involve and for me to hear more about their wedding. The easiest way to arrange one of these is to drop me aline through my Contact Page and after that you can tell me all your plans for your very own wedding day.