It’s no secret that photography is one of Kate Middleton’s passions. The Duchess of Cambridge’s longstanding interest in the medium dates back to her pre-royal days when she was tasked with taking pictures while working at her parents’ company Party Pieces. Since marrying the Duke of Cambridge, Kate, who studied art history at the University of St. Andrews, has had her work seen around the world. The royal mom of three often steps behind the camera to capture portraits of her children on special occasions—i.e. birthdays and first day of school.
Over the years, Kate’s photos have impressed royal fans and photographers alike, including James Whatling, who has accompanied the royal family on tours and engagements. “She clearly has a good knowledge of the equipment she’s chosen,” he told HOLA! USA’s sister brand HELLO!. The Duchess has been seen in the past snapping pictures with her Canon PowerShot G12, and has used her Canon EOS 5D Mark II and reported favorite lens, the 50mm, to photograph Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
“The 50mm lens is a great portrait lens, and Kate has made good use of its wide maximum aperture to create a shallow depth of field allowing the subject to be the sole point of focus,” James said. “This technique shows how proficient the Duchess is as a photographer, shooting all of her pictures manually, with a good understanding of how to use shutter speed and aperture to create the perfect result.”
He added, “Her composition is good, but more important is her choice of background. What a lot of people don‘t do is look at the picture as a whole, including the background and how it might distract from the subject. Kate clearly understands how important it is to take everything into account when creating a portrait, including picking a nice background. That’s a real skill.”
Although Kate has James’ stamp of approval, the professional photographer has noticed a mistake the Duchess makes when photographing her kids. He explained, “She does have a habit of cropping the children’s hands off in the pictures. Perfect composition is so hard when photographing children, but if you step back and give yourself a little more room, then you have a bit of leeway if they step towards you at the key moment. The old photographer’s adage, ‘You can always crop into it, but you can’t add something that isn’t there,’ is always worth remembering.”
Despite the habit, James praised the Duchess as a “very good amateur photographer.” “[She] has produced some really beautiful images of George, Louis and Charlotte over the years. It makes perfect sense for her to do this, children can be a challenge to photograph well and nobody is better equipped to put them at ease and capture them in a natural setting than their parents,” he said. ”What I’m really looking forward to is seeing how the Duchess copes with the ultimate challenge, photographing all three young children at once! With the lockdown and spring in full flow with such beautiful weather, I’m sure she’ll be out in the gardens of Anmer Hall trying to do just that.”