Already have an account?
Get back to the

Kate And William’s Wedding Photographer Reveals What It Takes to Capture the Perfect Pics


In the Instagram era, unflattering photos never seem to disappear. But one group that never seems to have a bad moment is the royal family. Even if you don’t have their budget, royal photographer Hugo Burnand is here to share some tips on how he captured the royals’ perfect wedding images in an interview with Town and Country — including that iconic family portrait which almost didn’t happen — so you can try too.

1. Do a full dress rehearsal dedicated to your photos.

“We did dress rehearsals with stopwatches using endless staff from Buckingham Palace to fill in as family members, so we knew we had just enough time,” Burnand explains. “The flypast was at 1:30 p.m. and we couldn’t over run, even by a minute.”

2. Get the jelly beans on hand.

What do you do when you have lots of hungry and restless children posing for photos they’d probably rather not be in? “I told them all that they would get jelly beans if they were good. Bribery is good — but you can’t give in to bribery if they haven’t done their job,” he said. “By the end of the shoot there were hardly any jelly beans. It wasn’t just the children who were eating them.” Oops.

3. Prep the photo room not one but three days in advance.

“We had three weeks of serious pre-production organization and then three days right before the wedding when we set ourselves up at Buckingham Palace inside the throne room — it became our home,” the photographer explained.

4. Make sure there are women in the camera crew.

“It was important for me to have female influence on my team, otherwise it becomes a bit school-like with lots of men standing there in their morning coats,” Burnand revealed. “It can feel threatening, perhaps not to the older generations but to the younger ones.” He added that his mom, a fellow photographer, was on hand to help. 

5. Make sure you’ve prepared for all the potential disasters.

Burnand made sure the shoot was a success by being prepared for, well, literally everything. “If you really do have everything in place — you have practiced a bulb exploding and how quickly you can change it; you’ve practiced the lens freezing, the camera freezing, and how to coax a child away from hiding behind a curtain. Our preparation was so tip-top that all we really wanted was for it to happen, we were like ‘Come on, test us, test us,’ so it wasn’t scary, it was incredibly exciting.”

6. Save the best photo until last.

Amazingly, everybody’s favorite picture from the big day almost didn’t happen. Burnand adds, “We finished with three minutes to spare so I asked Catherine if we could do the shot we had talked about previously. And she turned to William and said, ‘What do you think?’ And he said, ‘Let’s go for it.’ So in three minutes she sat down on the steps, Sarah Burton put the dress out perfectly. That was a very spontaneous picture,” he added. “That little detail there [points to Kate’s hand touching William’s knee] and William leaning in there, all these things were not directed, but a result of a good relationship with everyone.”

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Grazia.

More From Woman’s World

Meghan Markle Gives Birth to Her Royally Adorable Baby

Is Princess Eugenie Pregnant?

Prince William Reveals Charlotte Had a ‘Rowdy’ Birthday Party

Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menu items. Use right arrow key to move into submenus. Use escape to exit the menu. Use up and down arrow keys to explore. Use left arrow key to move back to the parent list.