Royal Photographer Tim Rooke Reveals His Favourite Photo Of All Time
If anyone knows how to take a photo worthy of a place on the palace walls, it's Tim Rooke.
Not only has he taken his fair share of snaps for the House of Windsor, he's also currently travelling Down Under with the Duke and Duchess Of Sussex.
Despite being completely and totally flat chat, Rooke, who is Shutterstock's Royal Photographer, managed to set aside some time to chat with ten daily and offer some tips and insights into what makes a perfect photograph -- and how an amateur can achieve one.
Firstly, do you have a favourite royal photograph?
I’ve had the privilege of photographing a number of royal weddings and momentous occasions over the past two decades, and each one is quite special. I do have a few unforgettable memories from over the years. For example, we were on a walking tour in New Zealand when a baby was shouting so Harry decided to shout back at the baby. It was so funny and I’m so glad I was able to capture the moment on camera.
What kind of things do you tell your subjects to help relax them when photographing them?
First and foremost, I always make sure my equipment is prepared -- you need to be prepared and not over complicate it so the person in front of the camera is feeling at ease. And I also need to stay composed as I won’t have a chance to capture certain moments again if I mess it up! I don’t speak with them much but simply behave professionally and with decorum.
Do you have any funny anecdotes you’d like to share?
The time Prince Andrew Duke of York was made an Honorary Chief, wearing a grass skirt doing a hula dance in the South Pacific was quite funny. We don't always get pictures that are different so I love it when these opportunities come about.
How hard is it to get the ‘perfect shot’?
In the end, all the planning, all the professionalism, and all the equipment in the world isn’t enough to make perfect moments happen on their own -- or to capture them. There are other challenges involved, and sometimes getting the shot comes down to timing and craft. It’s challenging with royal events, they’re not like red carpet events where you might have better control of the environment. You can’t always predict where the royal subjects might go, so it’s quite hard to anticipate the best position.
Who would you love to photograph -- and they don't have to be a royal!
It’s very hard to choose someone that isn’t a royal. I really enjoy capturing the royals whilst travelling to new locations around the world and exploring ways to photograph them in different environments and different lights.
For example, I love travelling with Sophie, Countess of Wessex, as she does a lot of philanthropic work to raise awareness about preventable blindness. I managed to capture the perfect shot of Sophie in Bangladesh, sitting in the middle of a group of women wearing beautiful, colorful saris. This produced an amazing picture that captures Sophie in her element and I’m very proud of it.
Another thing I love about it is that on trips like this, I’m not competing with other photographers for the same picture. I was alone with the Countess and able to build more of a rapport.
What photography tips can you give someone like me, an amateur, to try and capture a photo worthy of a place in a palace?
Anticipate every possible scenario in capturing great moments, be prepared by checking your equipment is ready and working, you have extra battery power and memory cards and always look at the weather ahead of time. Finally ---be lucky, because with every great moment captured there will be a drop of luck involved!
To see everything Meghan and Harry are getting up to on their Australian tour follow our live blog here.
Feature Image: Tim Rooke/Shutterstock