Kate’s decision to photograph her own children takes chance away from experts, says royal photographer


Hannah Millington

·Lifestyle Writer, Yahoo Life UK

Fri, 30 September 2022 at 2:30 pm

Catherine, Princess of Wales visits St Thomas Church, which has been redeveloped to provide support to vulnerable people on September 27, 2022 in Swansea, Wales. Today's visit is the first time the royal couple have visited Wales since becoming Prince and Princess of Wales following the death of Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles III ascending the throne. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
The Princess of Wales is known for taking her own photography of her family. (Getty Images)

The Princess of Wales has been criticised by a royal photographer for taking her own pictures of her children rather than giving the chance to others who could benefit from the opportunity.

Kate, 40, is known for photographing and then releasing snaps of Prince George, nine, Charlotte, seven, and Louis, four, to the public on special milestones like birthdays.

“All the work I got with the royals really elevated my career; nowadays, someone like me just won’t have the chance,’ said royal photographer John Swannell, according to MailOnline.

“Those chances should be given to young English photographers.”

Prince George is pictured smiling for the camera on a UK beach in a photograph released to mark his ninth birthday. (The Prince and Princess of Wales/PA)
Prince George on a UK beach in a photograph released to mark his ninth birthday. (The Princess of Wales/PA)

In 1993, Swannell was awarded a Fellowship of The Royal Photographic Society, one of the youngest members to achieve this. In 1994, Diana, the then Princess of Wales, personally commissioned him to photograph her with her two sons, the new Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex.

However, despite his other comments, Swannell also acknowledged that there are some benefits to Kate taking her own pictures of her children.

“In some ways, though, Kate is probably right to do it herself. She’s not a great photographer, but she just snaps away, and with kids it’s easier if you know them,” he said.

The young royal, surrounded by bluebells, was snapped by the Duchess of Cambridge in Norfolk this weekend enjoying the outdoors.

Charlotte and pet dog Orla appear in one of three pictures released ahead of the princess turning seven on Monday.
Princess Charlotte in Norfolk with pet dog Orla appear in a photo released ahead of her seventh birthday. (The Princess of Wales/PA)

The mother-of-three and princesses passion for photography didn’t start when she joined the Royal Family in 2011, as she had produced her undergraduate thesis on photographs of children while at St Andrews.

But she did become the first member to take the first official photographs of a royal baby in 2015, memorably the snap of newborn Charlotte being held by her big brother George.

In 2017, Kate accepted a lifetime honorary membership of the Royal Photographic Society, which recognised her “talent and enthusiasm”.

The young royal has been snapped by the Duchess of Cambridge enjoying himself in the dunes of Norfolk, which are a popular attraction for tourists who flock to the county each summer.
Prince Louis in the dunes of Norfolk in a photograph to mark his fourth birthday. (The Princess of Wales/PA)

Notable more recent images taken by Kate include George on his ninth birthday shared in July earlier this year, Charlotte on her seventh birthday shared in May, and Prince Louis on his fourth birthday shared in April.

And to mark her husband William’s 38th birthday and Father’s Day in 2020, a photo was also released featuring George, Charlotte and Louis all playing with him in the garden.

To mark the Prince of Wales birthday, shared on 21 June 2020. (Princess of Wales/PA Images)
The Prince of Wales with George, Charlotte and Louis, shared on 21 June 2020. (The Princess of Wales/PA)

Meanwhile, royal expert Camilla Tominey said for The Telegraph last year, “The paparazzi – there’s no market for them anymore because the Duchess comes out with her own family photos and they’re far more valuable to the press than images taken at a great distance with a long lens.”

She added, “That’s how they’re [Kate and William] going to strike the balance, they’re going to give in order to receive a degree of privacy back.”

Award-winning photographer Bronwen Sharp also previously told FEMAIL,”No other photographer would be able to capture the same connection she has with her children. There is a real warmth and love that is present in her work.

“She has a natural ability to capture humanity with a great eye for composition and colour.”

But, likely relatable to other parents, Kate spoke last summer about how her children had asked her to “please stop taking photographs” during a conversation with a finalist of her Hold Still photography contest.

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge holds a camera as she takes part in a a photography workshop with the charity 'Action for Children' in Kingston, southwest London on June 25, 2019. (Photo by Chris Jackson / POOL / AFP)        (Photo credit should read CHRIS JACKSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Kate takes part in a a photography workshop with charity Action for Children in Kingston, southwest London, June 25, 2019. (Getty Images)

She was discussing a photo taken by Ceri Edwards, of her daughter Poppy hugging her father Mark before his shift as a paramedic in Newport, south Wales.

Kate praised the black-and-white image’s “strength, courage and resilience”.

But, also during the phone call, published on the Prince and Princess of Wales’ YouTube, she asked if Ceri was a photographer, to which she replied, “No. Well, Mark would say otherwise just because I do take a lot of pictures of the family.”

Kate then laughed and responded, “It’s like me. Everyone’s like, ‘Mummy, please stop taking photographs’.”

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