A magical photograph of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle beaming at each other under an umbrella has been going viral over the past few days after the couple’s first appearance together in public after they stepped back as senior members of the Royal Family (popularly called “Megxit”). Now the photographer behind the shot is sharing details of how it was made.
Getty Images photographer Samir Hussein has been photographing the Royal Family for over a decade, and he arrived at the Endeavour Fund Awards in London last Thursday to find a dark and rainy situation.
“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,” Hussein tells British GQ. “Little did I know these elements would come together so spectacularly to produce a timeless image of the couple.”
After learning of where the couple would be dropped off to enter the event from their press officer, Hussein positioned himself in the official photographer’s pen so that he would be able to shoot them head-on. When they showed up and began to walk toward Hussein, he noticed a camera flash being repeatedly fired from the crowd behind Harry and Meghan.
“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,” the photographer tells British GQ. “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 says he immediately transferred the shots onto his laptop, held his breath, and was delighted to find that the photo was sharp.
“I’ve taken many photos I’m really proud of, but in terms of the huge interest in the subjects and the response I’ve had, this is probably the most iconic photo I’ve taken,” Hussein tells British GQ. “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.”
Image credits: Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images