Well, the photo of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the latest addition to the Royal Family has certainly caused a stir, and I’m not surprised. For years we have been trying to educate people on the advantages of using a professional photographer to record the important stages in life. Be it a new baby, a wedding or a special birthday, you do need to get it right. Now Mr Middleton, Kate’s father is as far as I can see, just a family member not even with a professional camera. Now, every family needs it’s share of informal snaps taken on phones and compact cameras, there is no problem with that. However, this was an official family photo to be seen worldwide, so why, oh why, oh why have they used this quite awful set of photographs? Bad choice of location, sun streaming across parts of the body while other parts are shaded. The main reason for the photo is to show the new heir, George to the world, but he is so insignificant in the photo he may have stayed in bed. The only thing in focus is the dog, and it looks like the photo is all about the dog, and not the child and family. It’s overexposed in the background and on parts of the couple, and underexposed where light was needed.
However as a positive, this surely has sent a message all over the world about how a bad ‘photographer’ can ruin your special photos? If ever one photograph sent out a message saying ‘book a professional’ this is it. Someone who knows about exposures, use of locations, adding lighting, and more importantly composing the picture so it tells the story it is supposed to.
I have heard everything today, including “he has captured a rapport that nobody else could have”. Bullshit. A good photographer will interact with his subjects and get emotions from them, but also capture it properly. If this look in Kate’s eyes is so special, surely it would be nice if her eyes were in focus and exposed properly? I saw the phot taken by Lord Snowdon of Prince William with Charles and Diana and as well as being a well taken photograph I dare anyone to look at Diana’s eyes and say he didn’t capture her personality perfectly.
I also heard the quite laughable comments on BBC News by Terry O’ Neill who was somehow trying to kiss ass and justify these images, saying the photo taken EIGHTY SEVEN years ago of the now Queen as a baby, was “a bit old fashioned”. Just about the most stupid comment I have heard in a long time. Something almost a century old is “old fashioned”. Hmmm, I’m sure the photographer in the 1920′s is a bit gutted he never did a cutting edge 21st century portrait like Mr Middleton, but wait, he was using century old equipment…..and , oh everything is sharp and well exposed…..
Cecil Beaton photographed the Queen with Prince Charles as a baby in 1948, which was an informal shot, despite us being told that todays images were somehow cutting edge because they were informal. Yes 65 years ago people could still do this….. and they didn’t have Photoshop or Camera RAW to play about with.
So, the message is, book a professional and get the job done properly. This is something, as we can see here, that will live on for generations and become family heirlooms.
If you would like to find out more about our portrait work, please go to the website www.captiv8.uk.com