The Day I Shot The Queen: A Photo Shoot Story

I’m probably going to be put on some list for that title. I shot The Queen WITH A CAMERA, but now that I have your attention and before the authorities arrive to question me, let me tell you about the time I shot The Queen.

The Queen, obviously. The Queen, obviously.

Early in my professional photography career I was asked to attend The Queen’s Cup by a sponsor of the event. The company sold super expensive watches and were marking the occasion by gifting one of their finest models to Her Majesty. Whilst I would love to suggest I was top dog photographer on the day, it was the final of The Queen’s Cup, The Queen was there, as were other famous faces so there were about 50 photographers. I was tasked by the sponsor to get some shots of the polo and gifting ceremony for promo purposes.

I am no sports photographer but I really enjoyed taking photos of the horses in full polo-ing action. Not really knowing what to expect I remember being very pleased I’d packed a decent telephoto zoom lens as the pitch / field / court / grassy area (Google says field) was massive! Lots of really exciting jousting with hockey sticks was happening literally hundreds of metres away. The field (Thanks Google!) is almost 300 metres long and those horses are nimble. I should try to make myself sound more confident but I was genuinely surprised that these photos didn’t all look terrible and blurry.

As cool as the spectacle was, I was too busy taking photos to make head nor tail of what was going on. What I do know is, a team won and HRH – who up until this point was watching the match sheltered away from view – was to award the winners with her cup, hence the name The Queen’s Cup. I have never been so close to someone so famous that all you want to do is gawk at them. I had to keep reminding myself to take photos and not just stare because it’s not like there was any chance for a do-over if my shots looked rubbish. The crowed during the award ceremony was so big, I only got a handful of half decent photos.

The weirdest part of the whole experience was when she went to leave. Where Liz goes, the people follow but when she went to leave no-one followed. No noticeable security, no entourage. Her car was parked just behind the main pavilion and as she went to get in I was genuinely surprised to see her get into the driver side of the car. The Queen drove herself? I was not expecting that! Like a true pap, I snapped away through the windscreen assuming that all my camera would pick up was a load of reflections. To my surprise, I managed to snap some decent ones which prove The Queen does indeed drive herself around from time to time.

After a lot more professional shoot experience, I would now have a lot more confidence in my shooting abilities. To be fair to my slightly less practiced self, photographing one of the most famous people in the world is not something that happens very often so I was justifiably delighted that my photos turned out not shit.

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