Last week, when Meghan Markle returned to the spotlight at the Endeavour Fund Awards in London after weeks of staying out of the public eye, one photo seemed to capture the spirit of the evening.
Rain was falling all around Meghan and Prince Harry, but in royal photographer Samir Hussein's picture, the Sussexes are smiling at one another, completely unbothered by the weather and torrent of camera flashes. They look perfectly content to be sharing an umbrella and heading in to Mansion House to celebrate the achievements of wounded servicemen and women.
The photo almost instantly came to represent Harry and Meghan's resilience and their joy amid the drama of a transition out of their senior royal roles. It also quickly became the singular image from the evening—no small feat when there are multiple photographers taken hundreds of photographs, and those images are instantly beamed around the world.
At the start of the evening, though, Hussein wasn't optimistic about his chances of capturing a great photo, much less one that has already been deemed historic by some royal fans.
"Arriving at the engagement my hopes were not high," Hussein tells T&C in an email. "It was pouring down with rain which can be very tricky when shooting flash photography and also meant Harry and Meghan would be under an umbrella which usually means it's hard to get clean photos of the couple. Little did I know these elements would come together so spectacularly to produce a timeless image of the couple."
Indeed, Hussein used both the rain and the flashes of his other photographers to set up the striking image, which he now refers to as not just "truly special" but even "magical."
"After speaking to Harry and Meghan's press officer, I learnt they would be dropped off short of the entrance to Mansion House and walk around 10 meters before entering the event. I positioned myself in the official photographer's pen in the best line possible to capture the couple head on," Hussein says.
"As they walked towards me I noticed a flash going off from a camera in the crowd behind them. I knew that if that light could be lined up to be right behind as they walked then it could create a dramatic photo, acting like a back light in a studio shot. I managed to maneuver myself to line up the flash behind them and then had to work quickly, with just a second or two to get the shot, as they smiled wonderfully at each other."
Hussein has been photographing the royal family for more than a decade, and has taken numerous notable shots of the Queen's relatives, but he says "this is probably the most iconic photo I've taken."
"It's a one in a million when all the elements you could wish for as a photographer come together—perfect timing, great lighting, strong symbolism and amazing subjects make this a magical photo I am extremely proud of."
You Might Also Like