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One Pro Photographer’s Opinion of the First Royal Baby Portraits

Prince William and Catherine just released a set of cute family snapshots of them with their adorable new baby, Prince George, and their dogs. They decided to break tradition and send personal snapshots captured by Prince George’s proud grandpa, Kate’s father Michael Middleton, instead of hiring a pro.

The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge and Baby Prince George

Professional photographers everywhere (including some named in this CNN article) are going nuts over the whole thing, totally flabbergasted that they didn’t hire a professional to do the job, criticizing them like crazy since the photos are just chock full of technical errors. Obviously, they could afford it, so what gives?

Personally, this is not a surprise to me. William and Kate both seem to take matters of their privacy very seriously. Prince William has been in the public eye since his own birth, and after his experiences with the paparazzi, I can see why he would want to maintain a level of privacy for his family. I think that these photos are great for PR — they are showing their countrymen that they are regular people — a normal, happy young couple who just had a baby and asked grandpa to take some photos to commemorate the event. It makes me feel like they are just like us!

The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge and Baby Prince George

Let me tell you, I don’t doubt AT ALL that they let this moment go by without hiring a professional photographer. I strongly believe that Will and Kate value photography — private photography. They hired lifestyle photographer and Middleton family friend Millie Pilkington to take candid shots and informal portraits during the royal wedding. These shots were never made public and are now part of William and Kate’s private collection.

I think that the royal couple would do the same with their newborn’s first portraits. If I were them, I wouldn’t want the pomp and circumstance of a very public newborn session either, so I imagine they hired someone with a full NDA agreement and purchased all rights to the images.

As for Michael Middleton’s images? The photos are sweet and casual, and while they may not be “perfect,” they are real images from a real family. It is refreshing to see real family snapshots as a first official photo rather than photoshopped celebrity images of a baby that have been sold to the press.

What do you think? Are the photos awful or cute?

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Mike AllebachAugust 20, 2013 - 4:36 pm

horrible photo. Absolutely horrible.

karen lisaAugust 20, 2013 - 5:18 pm

It’s not perfect, Mike, but it looks like the same kinds of photos that millions of people around the world take with their new babies. As I said, it’s not technically perfect by our professional standards, but it’s “real” and relatable.

AmyAugust 20, 2013 - 5:21 pm

I think they are cute. People really need to just leave them alone already and give them the privacy they deserve. There are more pressing matters to be concerned with.

Larissa PrusakAugust 20, 2013 - 5:27 pm

The pictures are perfect. It shows a man and a woman in love with their beautiful baby. What else do you need? Will the right light, technic, lense change anything? No.

MTYAugust 20, 2013 - 5:38 pm

I agree. These photos are sweet. And they are not going to hurt the photography industry. I’m quite positive they have hired a professional for additional photos that they may or may not share with the public.

NatalieAugust 20, 2013 - 7:55 pm

Last night I was talking to my bf about Will & Kate. We both agreed that depending on what generation you were raised, you either LOVE them, or find something about them to criticize.
Since William and Harry were more a part of OUR generation, it seems like we grew up with them, and they have more of the modern values and lifestyle choices that we have, which makes them relatable. (I am 29)
I find them to be a breath of fresh air, and I personally feel that it’s very likely that they will cherish these pictures more than any professional picture taken in a “setting”.
Will & Kate are great!

KimAugust 20, 2013 - 10:29 pm

If it were a pro, yes, I would be disturbed. BUT since it was by the new grandpa, I think it’s adorable! It’s very down-to-earth and relaxed. I don’t blame them for wanting a little semblance of privacy.

Hannah Woodard PhotographyAugust 21, 2013 - 10:18 am

I think they’re sweet, and honestly, for non-pro photos, they ain’t that bad. Grandpa knew mostly to turn their backs to the sun, put them in the shade, pose them a bit, etc. Is it professional? No, but it’s a very nice shot.
I will also agree that having a non-professional first portrait released is very much a PR move on the part of the couple. I really love that they’re decreasing the (apparent) distance between the royal family and everyday people.
Hannah Woodard Photography´s last blog post … Camille & Jon // A Greenville, SC Wedding at Zen

John GillespieOctober 16, 2014 - 5:01 am

The photos are really good!

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