Q: How often do you get to travel in your line of work?
A: Travel forms an integral part of what I do – Over the years I’ve travelled to over 100 countries from Pakistan to Sierra Leone, the Galapagos Islands, Australia and many more!
Q: Tell us about your recent travel.
A: Due to impending BREXIT many of the recent Royal tours have been to European Destinations – It’s been
fantastic discovering places a little closer to home. My favourite recent trip was with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to stunning Stockholm and Oslo but more recently I was with the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall in Athens and Crete. It was fantastic to experience some of the vibrant Greek culture and even sample some Minoan cooking!
Q: How has travelling with / photographing the British Royal Family changed you / your life?
A: I’ve been doing my job for around 15 years and travel forms part of my regular yearly diary. In quiet periods when I’ve been in the UK for a while I certainly miss it and during frenetic times where I have been away from home for months it can become too much! I’m lucky to be able to do what I do and I think it’s really important to appreciate the privilege of travel within your working role – something I never take for granted!
Q: Tell us of your most memorable travel experience with the royal family.
A: It’s very easy to concentrate on shooting when you are documenting a historic moment but I think its so important to occasionally look up from the camera lens and appreciate the enormity of what’s going on around you -Just don’t miss the shot!
Q: Tell us of the hardest hurdle you’ve gone through to becoming a royal / professional / one of the most well-known photographer(s).
A: I think the biggest hurdle in the early days was financial. During my time studying a BSc in Physiology at the University of Wales, Cardiff I had a darkroom down in my cellar and worked with the fantastic student newspaper at Cardiff University. I finished studying with the normal student debt but it was getting another Graduate loan on top of the previous student loan that enabled me to purchase the digital equipment I need to work day to day as a photographer when I moved up to London. This was definitely a bit of a worry at the time and meant I spent a good part of my twenties paying it off but it enabled me to get my foot in the door and do what I needed to do to become a photographer.
Q: Exactly what it is you want to convey with your photographs (and how do you actually get your photographs to do that?)
A: I’m very much there to record the day to day engagements of the British Royal family, those big historic moments, annual diary events that have remained un-changed for decades and even centuries such as Chelsea Flower Show, Royal Ascot, The Garter Ceremony, Trooping the Colour etc. I also travel on all royal tours with the Royal family as well as working with a number of Royal charities which is certainly one of the most fulfilling aspects of what I do. I try to capture those momentary interactions, fleeting emotions and something that the viewer will associate with. If it generates laughter, sadness or some kind of response in the viewer you know you have done your job!
Q: What is the one thing you carry around with you that you cannot travel without (besides your camera and equipment)?
A: A pair of noise cancelling headphones – Essential for all those long-haul flights!
Q: What’s the one city in the world you would always love going back to? (and why do you keep returning)?
A: I would love to return to Paro in Bhutan, the people and the landscape blew my mind the first time round!
Q: Any travel tips for photographers out there?
A: Always make sure you travel with spare equipment. I will never forget the stress after my laptop packed up in the Solomon Islands! Most importantly travel with your equipment so if anything goes wrong you always have it with you.