Royal Rewind: Kate Middleton’s Photography

Royal Rewind: Kate Middleton’s Photography

I was planning on making this post a ranking or a poll to determine Kate Middleton‘s best photography efforts, but I couldn’t figure out how best to do that, so instead I decided to do another Royal Rewind feature to take a look back at the evolution of Kate’s photography skills.


Let’s rewind the clock back to 2012, when a fresh-faced Duchess of Cambridge’s South East Asia tour was highjacked by the release of photos of her sunbathing nude in France, revealing both she and her husband had shirked their jobs – as Paralympics ambassadors and as an RAF SAR helicopter pilot. Two months after returning from that trip with the embarrassment of nude photos hanging over her head, in November 2012, Kate released a series of seven photos she had taken while touring the Borneo rainforest in Malaysia. The release of those photos clearly did not go to plan, as her attempt at photography was largely panned by fans, journalists, and photographers. Overall, the critic response to the photos was: they would have worked better in color, and they should have been sharper in focus.

Four of the seven photographs were in black and white. Oddly enough, the black and white photos were the only ones taken from inside the rainforest; the other three, which were in color, were aerial shots taken during her flight. So Kate sapped the color of the rainforest right out of her photos – including a shot of an endangered Borneo Orangutan (which I had to be told about because when I first saw the photo I had no idea that black blob was supposed to be an orangutan).

In the collage above, which features four of the seven photos: Top L is of an endangered Borneo Orangutan; Top R is an aerial shot of a palm oil plantation; Bottom L was taken during their flight; Bottom R is of a tree in the rainforest.

Overall, my feelings on these photos are that they are fine for a total amateur (and I think I’ve taken way better photos than these), but I hope she got color photos of the rainforest to keep for memories.

Prince George holding Princess Charlotte taken by Kate Middleton Prince George looking at Princess Charlotte taken by Kate Middleton Prince George smiling and holding Princess Charlotte taken by Kate Middleton

The reaction to Kate’s Borneo photos was so negative that Kate didn’t release any more of her own photography until she shocked at least me by releasing four photos of a then-1 year old Prince George with his then-two week old sister Princess Charlotte in June 2015. These were the first photos released of the new Princess after she left the hospital.

The reception was… better? I thought these photos looked miles better than the Borneo photos since the subjects were, you know, in color and visible. Although many people commented on how the photos are blurry in parts. I took it pretty easy on Kate, saying “we have to be nice to Kate’s second attempt at photography so she’ll keep releasing photos of George and Charlotte” and chalking up the blurriness to “following a current trend” of “subject in focus, background blurry” (that I see all the time on Facebook) since their faces are in focus while their extreminties aren’t. Many people, including myself, also commented on how the white on white on white is blinding (because of how the light is hitting it) and boring.

The major criticism about these photos didn’t seem to be about the photos themselves, but about the method of their release. These were the first photos KP released that were released on Twitter before being released properly to the media.

Overall, though, there didn’t seem to be the same backlash over these photos that Kate got for her first set of photos. They were a good second try.

Princess Charlotte six months old 2 Princess Charlotte six months old 1

At the end of November 2015, KP randomly tweeted out two new photos of Princess Charlotte taken by Kate, who finally learned that color exists – although she was still blurring portions of her subjects.

I again was pretty nice, saying I thought these were better than Kate’s previous attempts at photography, though I was shocked that they released photos at all. I still really like the photo of Charlotte smiling at the stuffed dog. In fact, looking back over all these photos, the one with Charlotte and the toy dog is probably my favorite photo Kate has released.

Prince George starts nursery school 1 Prince George starts nursery school 2

KP dropped another random nugget on us in early January 2016 (after claiming George would start nursery school “before the end of January” leading everyone to believe they meant the end of January) in the form of two photos of Prince George’s first day at nursery school taken by Kate.

This time Kate went all out on the color: taking the photos in front of the mural on the outside of the nursery building. And shockingly for Kate, all of George was in focus in the photos. So her photography skills have gotten better over time.

The relationship with the media, however, declined as the royals continued to release Kate’s photos on social media and barring the press from important life events of the (possible) future King of the UK.

Princess Charlotte - Official Photographs Released Ahead Of First Birthday Princess Charlotte - Official Photographs Released Ahead Of First Birthday

Kate’s most recent attempt at Professional Photographer were four photos released in May 2016 to mark Princess Charlotte’s first birthday.

I was so happy for Charlotte to finally be wearing a color other than pink; little did I know that blue would then become the new oversaturated color in her wardrobe. The photo of Charlotte in blue on the chair was my favorite of this set, although that one with the toy dog is still my favorite one of Kate’s photos, even though it’s more blurry.

Kate’s photography skills have gotten better over time, so I’m interested to see what her next attempt at photography will look like. I’m interested to see if KP releases any more of Kate’s photos this fall the way they did last year, and if they’ll release a new Christmas photo or just use a photo taken during the tour for their Christmas card and not release a new photo.

Princess Charlotte - Official Photographs Released Ahead Of First Birthday Princess Charlotte - Official Photographs Released Ahead Of First Birthday

Photos: HRH The Duchess of Cambridge

90 thoughts on “Royal Rewind: Kate Middleton’s Photography

  1. Hmm… interesting topic, KMR.

    Back in her Jigsaw days, Kate opined that she might open a photography gallery, so clearly she has been on that art form for a decade or more. I wonder why she never undertook a course of some description to give her a thorough grounding in technical and composition skills. She certainly had the time and money to do so. There are some fantastic design courses in the UK and practical study would have opened the world to her. Maybe it’s the idea of being a photographer that appeals rather than the hard yards. That would certainly fit her pattern of behaviour. It’s nice to see pictures of the children as they grow; they are typical family snaps though too posed, too static for my taste. Trying to portray an image of perfection misses the opportunity to capture the child’s personality.

    1. Considering that Kate was supposed to have been working on her photography for years and was talking about doing an exhibition of her own work during her girlfriend years, I’m surprised Kate’s photography skills aren’t better than they are. Those first Borneo shots, especially, were very amateur – to the point that I’ve honestly taken way better photos with a disposable camera. Though I do think her skills have gotten better since she’s been releasing her own photos.

    2. I never heard that before, her opining about opening a photo gallery. Seriously? That’s so grandiose given her lack of talent. And given her lack of work ethic and experience. And given her lack of curiosity. And given her lack of business know how. Etc. Etc.

      My gosh, so many empty words signifying nothing.

      1. This is what she had mentioned to her Jigsaw workmates. Goodness knows why she thought she possessed the skills to do that though there are plenty of rich young things running around whose parents set them up in business. But yes, too much talk and not enough action.

        Also, didn’t Kate claim that she had lessons from Toscanni and he later denied it? It was either him or someone equally famous.

      2. Totally agree.

        The awfulmess that is the middletons climbing, where evrything is fake phony and lack credibility – from giving ‘I am a prince a normal ‘family’ , one that is climbing over the world to become more royal than the BRF, to professionalism, hardwork and giving back.

        The cheap wares at PPs, keen to …. party planning advice, hosting American TV shows, to failed boom! taking over royal households, cooking classes, the list goes on, with this s incredible uselessness.

        Yet we have someone like Prince Harry’s Meghan, doing it all – appearances cooking on the Today Show with the cohost loving the food, performing, serving the needyin global causes….

        Carol the middletons need to retire from PR land, and stop hurting ‘w and w. Recent People article about carol Middleton, imply she is the royal wife waity backbone! while we have Prince Harry on Tour -looking as good as a Monarch. But whiny and w middleton shows snowflake cannot take care of her home with many staff, nor it seem her kids and Prince without mommy dearest around.

    3. Jen/KMR: Kate’s university dessitation was on *Lewis Caroll’s photography.

      *Lewis Caoll is better known as the author of Alice in Wonderland series of books, but he was also very interested in photography and especially photographing the children that inspired his books.

      His photographs of the children are posed tableaus which is reflected in Kate’s photos of her children.

      I imagined since she chose photography for her dessitation, she might know more about photography in general or in detail to enable her to order to judge and write authoritatively on another’s work.

      Judging by her efforts, not so much.

      Further, in order to facilitate the lie that she worked at Party pieces, her PR would often say that she worked on the photographs for the website.

      In reality credited to someone else AND her surprise on the vogue shoot that it took so long to set up shots.

  2. She is just a regular mom taking photos of her kids. She doesn’t understand composition, the one third rule or much of anything. There is too much damn beige in the photos with Charlotte and the one with George and Charlotte. The only reason why her more recent photos seem to look better is because the baby humans in them exhibit personality.

    The horrible nature pictures show how she doesn’t know any of the basic techniques. I don’t claim to be an expert but I took a photography course in high school, back when you also used film and how to develop it, as well as which apertures work in which lighting, and she doesn’t have any of that skill.

    Usually you can’t screw up with black and white and yet that blurry orangutan photo is horrible. It looks like a mistake.

      1. I honestly thought the orangutan was part of the tree at first – just another leaf.

    1. Yes, she is just that. A regular mum taking photos of her children. There really is not much to the photos. The children are cute, but most kids are, right? I didn’t really see much of their personalities. Of course, infant Charlotte, was too young to be showing that, but in the older photos, they were too prim for me.

      Look how Charlotte blossomed into such a little star on the Canadian trip! I’d like to see Kate capture some of that spunk in any future snaps that she releases. And, George really is quite a little imp. Would like to see some of that in future shots, too.

      1. I think babies, even a day old can show personality.

        G showed personality early.

        His christening photos/ video outside the chapel still make me laugh because he is so determinedly grumpy and unimpressed with everything around him.

        He was much more docile afterwards and smiley happy for the official post-christening photos at CH.

        I don’t know if it’s Kate’s inexperience, but every other person who has photographed those kids has made them show their personalities.

        She also fusses constantly and tries to temper their natural instinct/movement on the occassions we have seen them in public so i imagine that’s how she approaches photographing them too.

  3. Kate is an example of “just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” Every fauxtographer out there thinks that all you need are a DSLR (or an iPhone) and filters and BOOM! you’re a professional. My husband IS a professional and these imposters make him want to cry.

    Judging by Kate’s lack of ability to say anything intelligent when she’s around art of any type, I really have to question her “keenness” and studies. But I guess when you know you’ll never have to hold a real job in life, you don’t need to prove that you earned your degree in art history.

    1. If she was really into photography she would list the type of camera, lens and film speed with the photo. Using a camera phone isn’t being a photographer.

      And the constant sharp foreground blurry background photos of her kids is just dull.

  4. My 19 year old son spent 10 weeks working with a charity in the Borneo rainforest this summer. He has no photographic experience and a pretty cheap camera. His photographs are stunning, the colours of the sunsets and sunrises are staggeringly beautiful, and the best photos are of the night sky with no electrical light to distort the beauty.
    His very amateur photos put Kate’s completely in the shade. I’m sure she had an expensive camera and all the lenses. Perhaps she just didn’t see the beauty with her naked eye so couldn’t capture it on film?
    I love all the photos of the kids, it’s great to see them growing up, but they are only family snaps such as all families have.

    Thanks for this post KMR I hope you and all Americans had a happy family day yesterday.

    1. A friend of mine spent 4 weeks on a mission trip in he Carribean. Her parents had given her a SLR camera before she left, but she had never been someone who likes to take many photos and eork with lighting and stuff. But the photos she took while she was on the mission trip were also great (better than Kate’s borneo photos) even though she had not taken any course or something like that before.

      1. I think M you have to see the beauty to capture it. Too much photography is done without really looking. Your friend and my son have experiences to be cherished.

  5. The Borneo photos made me physically cringe. And her composition often leaves much to be desired– I always want to take them and recrop them so that they fit elemental design (what someone referred to above as the Rule of Thirds). But when I’m doing portrait work, particularly with children, I often use a shallow depth of field, which is the technique that produces “blurry” areas. That one is simply an artistic choice that can be used to keep the focus on the subject. It doesn’t necessarily mean that she did anything wrong, per se. That is all presuming that she did it intentionally, of course.

    1. I am not sure she knows she is doing it because the picture of Charlotte in the yard isn’t really a portrait and she does it there too. And the one where Charlotte is in that checked chair is taken from a weird angle so there is just a corner or fuzzy background which looks off.

    2. The royal kids look very cheap and unroyal, considering how much useless middleton spends on clothes with little meet greet events, and the lavish waste on multiple luxury vacations, millions on multiple renovations and tennis court, but refuse to spend to dress the children belonging to the RF and hire a professional.

      1. You may not like them but the clothes her kids wear are ridiculously expensive and a lot probably need hand washing. Any busy mum will look at labels to make sure everything can be machine washed and tumbled! Both children are dressed in a very old fashioned way, some like that I don’t. I would like to see George wearing the football strip of his dads team…Aston Villa. The shoes they wear are typical UK kids shoes…Clark’s . I do hope they go in to have them measured, because it would seem that she doesn’t go to fittings for her expensive designer clothes.

  6. I think her photography is ok – nothing special, nothing dreadful. If it is a genuine interest though, why not connect it to a cause or patronage? I wonder if Kate would be a better patron if her causes reflected her interests – sport, fashion, etc. There are lots of photography charities she could get involved in. Maybe she would come across as more interested and be willing to do a few more visits? Anything’s possible…

    1. Well, she is patron of the National Portrait Gallery, and if I’m not mistaken her last visit there after a long time was to look at the portraits she took for Vogue.

      Imo her insterest in photography is probably a PR attempt to make her seem more cultured, or to have us believe she has hobbies.

      1. She seems far less interested in the thousands of photos and paintings the National Portrait Gallery has that aren’t of her…

        I’ve always thought that as Kate likes shopping and people buy fashion she’s associated with, the easiest way she could support her charities is to be regularly pictured with their reusable shopping and tote bags. The Natural History Museum has great ones. If she was seen with one, they would sell, the NHM would get money, Kate wouldn’t need to break a sweat. Win win!

        I can’t wait for the post on Kate’s interior design/jam making/knitting/potato growing 😉

  7. Of the Southeast Asia pictures, I like the fourth photo and my initial reaction to the second photo is that it looks a marijuana grove, although I doubt if there is any such thing.

    I like the photos Kate has taken of her children. I can’t explain it in a technical way but I will say that vis a vis the photos taken by professional photographers, including Mario Testino! that I don’t see an appreciable difference.

    1. Dear aaa, unfortunately there are marijuana groves, mostly in wilderness areas. These illegal operations destroy the local foliage, contaminant the local water supply due to toxic fertilizers and the operators of such operations leave behind literally a ton or more of garbage and human waste. I have never found anything beautiful about them 🙁

      1. The picture I liked was not the “marijuana grove”.

        Thanks for the info that there is actually such a thing as a marijuana grove.

  8. @FutureCrayon

    I agree, that’s a fantastic idea. Kate’s increasing/varying her appearances lately so maybe she’ll start to add these tie-ins to her charities over time. It was reported that she also sketches so that could connect to NPG? The possibilities are endless.

    This comment belongs on the last post but have to say that I saw a snippet of Kate’s speech – IMO she has definitely improved. She still does the pauses but they seemed to be briefer.

  9. I don’t get the point of releasing those Bormeo pics but I actually like the pictures of George and Charlotte. And I also think the pics got better. I’m not an expert and maybe those would be far better taken by a professional photographer but they are still nice and look good imo. And to be fair some pics takrn by professional photographer don’t look great either.

    1. Part of the problem, from an industry standpoint, is that “professional” has become extremely relative, at least here in the US. There are tons of moms who get a decent camera and think that makes them capable of being on par with someone who has worked hard to perfect their craft. I think that’s part of why there’s been such a push back on Kate’s photos. The one I found most hideous, though, was the photo taken by Michael when George was tiny. The entire background was totally overexposed! Shooting into a darker background is one of the first things one should know.

      1. @ Em

        Or if K&W wanted to have a family member take the photo of George, why not Prince Andrew? Don’t know if he’s taken courses or trained but he’s a good photographer. Don’t know how to link but he published a book of photography in the 80’s; some great stuff in there.

        1. Because William feels he’s a Middleton and despises his family?

          I pretty much despise Andrew, too, but I’ve seen some of his portraits and they’re not that bad but AFAIK he had training and really enjoys it as a hobby.

          1. Do they get money for the pics? I thought I read somewhere she was donating the money to charity? That could fall into the same category as Williams’s mysterious charity for his salary tho. ?

          2. I’m not completely sure how everything works behind the scenes, but having gone through a photo agency to get Kate’s photos of her kids, I can say that they were released as handouts for free so I didn’t have to pay to purchase them.

  10. I really like all the pictures of her children. The only problem is it was promoted as Kate the photographer instead of Kate the proud mom who took cute pictures. I’d be happy to post those pictures in my house if I were Pippa, Charles, Carol, Harry, etc.

    The Borneo shots are not good. If she gave her relatives and friends those pictures, they are probably stashed away in an album or box.

    1. I so agree Anne. That was my problem with them. The photos of the kids were nice but it was annoying how they were pushing Kate as this great photographer. When really it should have just been about her being a proud mom since she is far from a professional photographer. It was the narrative that drove me nuts.

  11. I would have been embarassed to release those Borneo photos.

    The children photos are, as pointed out above, cute snapshots. The point of them was to publicly snub the professional photographers that should have taken these important first photos. For someone who aspires to the art, Kate certainly didn’t show respect for the talents who make a living doing it. Goes along with the odd altering of clothes, failure to seek advice about public speaking. Kate doesn’t understand or respect hard working professionals.

    And just like the Vogue shoot, it’s all about me. Nobody wants to see Kate dressed up in her farmer fantasy. They want to see the princess; it’s part of her job.

    Off topic: Does it seem like there is very little coverage of Harry’s tour? It’s hard to judge here in the US. Is it press payback or just lack of interest?

    1. Yes, I’m surprised about how little we are hearing of Harry’s tour here in the US. The only mentions have been that gaff by the Antigua PM, and how he wasn’t able to call his girlfriend on Thanksgiving because he was on a boat with no internet. Which was silly because why would a British citizen remember an American holiday?

      1. Harry showed some kind consideration to children who were waiting outside their school to see his car drive by. He stopped, got out and visited with the darling kids!
        The teacher/principal said he was wonderful and reminded her of the Late Princess Diana, who always related to everyone so well. He was also seen on a beach releasing baby turtles into the sea. Looked so kind and caring when doing so. I saw the photos on the DM, but other than that, I agree, not much coverage.

        Of course, Meghan was featured in a photo making her own T’giving turkey. Even though she is an actress looking for PR, I would be a bit more low key if I were truly interested in Harry. I don’t know. I like the idea that she is into such good causes, but she irks me when it comes to her almost childish behavior when it comes to Harry. She’s 35. Grow up. I’m referring to the bracelet issue and the two bananas together post she made. Come on, be happy in your relationship and don’t make it seem like you are in it for the media exposure.

    2. The press has a tendency to elevate whatever Kate does to something grandiose when she is in fact quite mediocre. From her looks, to her speech giving abilities, to her photography skills, she is just average, and in some cases below average, but the press has to overhype her to sell the princess story. Maybe the sugars can’t see through it but the rest of the world can.

      1. +1. It is just the general obsequiousness towards ‘royals’ that is so ridiculous. But it’s a nice bubble for Kate et al to live in; they never have to reflect on anything if they told they’re the bee’s knees. No wonder they’re a mess.

    3. One of the many problems of being surrounded by yes men, is you start to believe how everything you do is wonderful and excellent, even terrible pictures. They need to find someone who brings them back to reality.
      If Kate had any real friends they’d bring up her wardrobe.. My friends and I would never let each other go out in some of her outfits/hairstyles

    4. Judging by William’s sanctioned article in the DM today, i think we have our answer as to why Harry is not being covered.

      That letter also indicates there is an ongoing row behind the scenes about Harry’s letter. Richard Palmer, amongst many other reporters said as much.

      William is sort of apologising publicly though mea culpa he is putting the blame on Meghan and absolving Harry.

      The press can be this petty. They dare not thwart the heir no matter how badly they think he treats them, but the spare? Pfft!!

      No coverage for Harry.

      1. Since the reaction to Meghan has generally been positive except for posters at Royal Dish and some DM commenters, this suggests that Will is not liking the fact Harry and Meghan are stealing the thunder from him. He is just like his dad in that he doesn’t like others getting positive attention from the press.
        And he really doesn’t like how Harry stood up for his girlfriend in a public way that Will has yet to do. This was a romantic gesture whereas Will basically ignores Kate.
        The American press will always support Meghan and by connection Harry if they remain together. Will and Kate don’t stand a chance and he hates that.

        This makes me root for Harry and Meghan to work even more.

  12. Kate’s photos don’t really send me! The pictures of the children are ok, and the main thing was that we got to see them and they looked cute. Any mother who has a camera on hand can get equally cute pix of her kids. Little ones are very photogenic and when they are involved in a cute activity and you pick up your camera and shoot, the results are adorable and sometimes hilarious. These photos, I guess, were intended to be more than candid shots. I would love to see some of her candid ones. They probably outshine these.

    Interesting subject, KMR. If Kate really was serious about being a photographer, it would take a lot of work. I doubt she has the interest, or time, to do that.

  13. The only thing special about Kate’s photography is that they feature the rarely seen royal children. That’s it.

    Promoting Kate’s photography “skills” plays perfectly to accommodating William’s paranoia about privacy and to Jason Knauf’s strategy of bypassing the media altogether. Jason can phrase it as a “doting mother” using her photography talent to share sweet moments directly with the public, but it’s really all about image control. Hissy fits result if any true candids not santioned by KP are taken.

    And all this talk in the media about how Kate could have been a professional photographer in another life really gets on my last nerve. She completely wasted her “other life.” She had plenty of time to develop any raw talent (if any exists) or interest. But no. Personal growth and development would have gotten in the way of doing sod all but partying and pursuing Big Willy.

    1. Yes, this. It’s keeping the media out of their lives. No photo calls, no media, to appeal to William’s obsessive need for privacy and his natural paranoia.

      Kate I’m sure wouldn’t like the photo calls, though, because look how she tries to control the children to look perfect for their image. Shoving George out of the way in Canada so she could get the pose with her and Charlotte right. Lecturing the poor kid who wanted to see airplanes to pose for photos. Etc. It would show how little control they truly have over their children and ruin the doting SAHM image she promotes.

      1. I always remember them at the balcony for Trooping the Colour. Charlotte was visibly bothered by all the noise, yet Kate just stood there holding her and grinning like crazy.

  14. Tanks for the post thanksgiving laugh KMR! I don’t know if it was intentional or not but this post still made me chuckle!=)
    I didn’t really pay much attention to them during the Borneo tour so the pictures were a 1st look for me.
    I applaud them for releasing some pics to social media but they need to find a balance between the two. Print media is stuggling and I know the royals (at least the BRF) don’t sale papers like they used to. I’m sure things involving kids do so why not release some to social media and some “exclusive” to the general media. I know the Spanish and the Dutch royals still do some sort of formal press photo thing. I’d think it would be a win win for the Brits to get back on board.
    Most of us here love how the Swedes do things with their kids. Part of the reason it doesn’t bother me about the social media releases is they have their kids at more functions or it appears that way becuase of the recent influx of babies into the families. Plus, it makes people feel for connected to them. George and Charlotte, not so much
    Hope people are not going crazy at the stores today!!

  15. What I know for sure is that Princess Charotte is a beautiful baby. Also I think Kate deserves some credit for not giving up! After all of the criticism she received most in her position would have given up!!!

    1. Of course, considering how Prince Hwrry Meghan seem to get along. … Now the middleton attack on Prince Harry Meghan has began and which seem to be so on…. Part 1 and 2 already by People Mag PR of the great km keeper and royal caretaker that is carol – Part 3 in the Daily mail speaking for whiny bill mddleton (kanauf letter) of ‘hot head’ brother should not confirm he is dating Meghan. Seems more jealousy of the stalking for 10 year wait-y middleton family project – compare to the very normal (and monarch heir -like ), Prince Harry has held a matured mutual caring relationship.

      1. “considering how Prince Hwrry Meghan seem to get along”

        We’ve never even seen them together. How do we know how well they get along?

        “Prince Harry has held a matured mutual caring relationship.”

        Again, we’ve never seen them together. We have no idea what their relationship is like.

  16. I just wish Kate would lay off the heavy Photoshopping in some of her photos. Just leave your DSLR on automatic setting and point and shoot and I’m sure the results will make you happy Kate.

    And after the photos we saw that were taken by Testing? Sorry but IMO they were horrible, which surprised me as I usually like his work. Did Kate do to those photos what she does to her “bespoke” clothes? Did she Photoshop them herself? And was the photoshopped Christmas photo of the family last year Kate’s work as well?

    1. The Testino shots were terrible. As was the shot they released for Mothering Sunday ahead of the Oz/NZ tour. I also thought the Alps photos weren’t great. Honestly, the only photos of George I’ve liked were his first birthday ones at the butterfly exhibit.

      1. The Testino images were so rigid, making everyone look very plastic. Well, I guess they were trying to project an image of 1950’s perfection… the images were uncomfortably fake.

        I may in a minority, but I loved the Annie Liebovitz set of images, though I’m a fan of her work anyway. I loved the tableau established injected with with nuance, humour, pathos, humanity.

        1. Oh no, I disliked those. They seemed so sterile because of the background of white cement.

          1. I know, KMR. Having him sit on the cement was horrible! He looked like a little boy in some back alley.

            On a different note, Cathy, it’s good to read your words again. I was worried about you because of quakes in NZ. Are you ok? Were you near the areas that were in the midst of them? Earthquakes are very scary!

          2. I never remember the cement until someone mentions it because i’m so captivated by his expressions and general demenanor.

            In all other pics of him, he feels restrained and set up in a tableau, so i notice the background more.

          3. Well, everyone sees things differently. The photo appears so cold to me and I have seen expressions on little George’s face that I like more. I found the photo very sterile — not one I related to in a positive way, , but to each her own.

          4. I’m going to agree with Jenny that everyone views things differently. I thought the December 2014 photos were cold, whereas I thought his personality and warmth came out more in his first birthday photos with the butterflies.

          5. Hi Jenny
            Thank you for thinking of me.

            I’m fine and my family are all fine. We all live in the North Island of New Zealand and the big earthquakes of the last few years have all been in the South Island. Luckily (if you can say such a thing about an earthquake) this time round the earthquake happened in a rural area. It was very big though and the land has moved about 1 metre in some places. It does make you think though and I guess a lot of people are waiting for another one to follow, like what happened to Christchurch. Here’s hoping it doesn’t come?
            I have been in small earthquakes as we lived in Wellington when I was little, they often have small quakes there. So we would have earthquake drills as well as fire drills at school.
            So I’m all good, I hope you and your family are all well too? This coming Christmas will be a fun one at your house I’m sure. Is Miss Madeleine getting excited yet?
            Thanks again for thinking of me!
            Sending you cyber hugs from New Zealand!

  17. I like this post, KMR. I have never seen those pictures from Borneo, and I must say they are awful. I thought that Kate’s job at Party Pieces was to be a photographer. One wouldn’t know it but looking at these pictures. If you hadn’t said that was an orangutan I never would have known. I thought it was a part of the tree. Those pictures are dark and gloomy. But I do think that the pictures of Charlotte for her first birthday were better so she is improving.

    To Herazeus: I didn’t realize that Kate wrote her thesis on Louis Caroll photographer, I mistakenly believed she wrote about illustrations from Alice in Wonderland. For someone who studied and researched photography at St. Andrews, then claimed to have a job as a photographer at her parent’s company, isn’t it odd that Kate seemed surprised by all that went into setting up the Vogue photoshoot? She made a comment that she was surprised the photographers were doing so much to set up the shot. Shouldn’t she know better? It seems strange to me.

    But I agree with an above comment that the very worst photo was the one taken by Mike Middleton. The lighting was terrible. I know nothing about photography but I have taken better pictures of my dogs on my cell phone than that picture. And I mean I really know nothing about photography. Couldn’t Mike see how bad the light was in that picture? For one of the first ever pictures of the future King that was an awful choice. Most new parents who aren’t famous invest in some newborn photos from a professional photographer, so why wouldn’t Will and Kate do it? They really seem paranoid about letting anyone take pictures of their kids. It is ridiculous. The Swedish royals do it right. They have released some wonderful, professional pictures. Like the ones of Victoria holding Oscar right after he was born. They were in the palace but the pictures didn’t feel too formal. She didn’t have too much makeup on. She just looked like a happy new mom.

    If we could go back in time and get a different photoshoot for George, I would have loved it if Will and Kate purchased a traditional bassinet (or had one retrieved from the royal vaults like they did with the pram for Charlotte’s christening) sand then recreated the wonderful pictures of the Queen with Charles. A picture of Will and Kate placing a newborn George in a pretty white bassinet would have been a lovely newborn photo. If Kate really has an interest in photography surely she must have seen the pictures of the Queen with all of her babies in their bassinets.

    Hope that link works!

    1. That is too intimate for privacy obsessed William and Kate. It doesn’t mean they don’t have one of those because Kate was papped shopping for a moses basket whilst pregnant with G and she visited a number of nursery decorators that specialise in traditional nursery styles that include bassinets like the one in the link.

      1. Yes, I remember the moses basket. Kate and Carole were seen shopping for one. I had never seen them before. I prefer the bassinete (spelling?) more. I agree that it would have been way too much to ask William to let any of the public into their lives for such a loving moment as the one in which HM gazed at her newborn son. That made the Queen so relatable to her subjects. I think Wiliam and Kate have cheated the public out of many special moments with the children. Such a shame, too.

        Typing with a major toothache. Pardon my typos and lack of being able to concentrate better.

    2. The chances Kate actually wrote that paper on Lewis Carroll herself are very slim. She was known to copy notes from her classmates, even incorrect answers and so it’s likely she paid someone to write that paper. I mean the creepiness of Lewis Carroll and his troublesome interactions with kids were definitely out there when she was at St Andrews. I know because I was aware of them during my English lit undergrad days and I am not much older than her. So to write a paper about his photos was really a joke on her, because it has since been definitely confirmed that he had taken nude photos of children, confirming the suspected pedophile tendencies that were whispered about prior to that.

      1. A number of academic (theses (to PhD level) have been written about photographing children, from historical images through to contemporary artistic work. The work of Lewis Carroll has generated a good deal of scholarship, though nudity of children in itself is not pornographic. This too has been copiously written about and discussed for a long time. However photographing children is a rich vein from an art history perspective and Kate would have found plenty of research for her thesis. At Kate’s level original research would not be required (reserved for a PhD).

        Accessing electronic versions of postgraduate theses has been mandatory for about ten years or so, but not in operation at the time Kate and William went through. I may be incorrect but I read somewhere that at St Andrews they call their 4th year of study a Masters, so both W+K would have graduated with that award. It beggars belief…

  18. Those queries about Lewis Carroll’s photographs of children have been around for decades. To be fair, the thesis may have covered them, has anyone seen it?

  19. This was a curious article to read, partly because I do photography as a (longtime) hobby.
    What seems like simple photo is anything but simple. Photography is VERY technical and it takes the right lighting, depth of field, camera lens, positioning of the subject, camera settings, and a lot of other things for a ‘good’ photo to be produced. Portraiture of children and animals are probably the hardest to do since the subjects don’t sit still and usually don’t listen to commands.

    I can’t detect a lot of post processing on these photos, so I don’t think Kate used a program to digitally manipulate the photos and I think these are the raw photos. If so, she a better photographer than most commenters give her credit for. Most professional photogs do a lot of manipulation to the photos, particularly portraiture (I do as well), so the fact that she can put out a decent photo without retouching in Photoshop, Lightroom or some other photo program is really remarkable.

    If anything, she needs to work on lighting the subjects better so there less shadows. If I had to guess, I would say she is shooting with a off center flash (for front lighting) and utilizing natural light from windows, etc. A few off camera flashes to backlight and sidelight wouldn’t go amiss.

    The rest of the stuff people don’t like/do like is a style thing…the depth of field (that ‘blurriness’ or out of focus feel), the muted natural color palette, composition of subjects, etc. Taste is very subjective in photography, particularly in portraiture. Kate uses a very shallow depth of field and despite what some may think, she actually has this technique down, particularly in the last four sets of photos. The muted/neutral colors is a style thing and from what I can see from the home decor in the shots (I assume these are taken in one of their homes), she prefers neutral colors so this is what she would pick for her children’s portraits. While I’m not personally a fan of this look, there are tons of people who are. Likewise, the composition of subjects is good in all but the outside photos (the two of George on his first day of school and the one of Charlotte pushing the cart), but since I think she doesn’t use a post processing program, she wouldn’t be able to crop them anyway.

    I could go on, but I’ll stop. 🙂

  20. As a photographer (7 years training), I can assure you that I, and most professional photographers find Kate’s attempts laughable and embarrassing. Even the most recent photographs where she has obviously spent a lot of money on a high-performance digital camera, the photographs remain badly composed, and sometimes even badly exposed – particularly those taken outside, which clearly shows she has no clue about aperture and shutter speed, but whatever.

    If this was something she just decided to do willy-nilly without ever mentioning any interest in photography prior, then we could forgive her for her inexperience, but for it to be something she’s been “passionate” about since her degree days is the strongest signifier as any that Kate doesn’t have the ability to commit to anything. Photography requires technical skill and commitment, unless you’re naturally gifted, which clearly she is not.

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