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Royal Wedding: Love through a Lens

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Nikon's guide to getting the best photography on the big day

Wednesday 20 April, 2011: To celebrate the Royal Wedding, Nikon has teamed up with Arthur Edwards, royal photographer at The Sun, to give some expert tips and tricks on how to capture the big day. From finding the right spot at the procession to taking must-have shots at a street party, this guide makes sure you get photos worthy of the family album. Revelling royalists can also check out Nikon's royal wedding procession map, for hints on how to find the best vantage points for photography.

Picture this

According to research commissioned by Nikon[1], a staggering 327 million Royal Wedding-related photos will be taken on digital cameras on Friday 29th April, as the nation aims to capture the big day. A survey of 1,421 UK adults found that:

  • The most coveted photo to get will be the first glimpse of William and Kate as a married couple (35.1%), followed closely by the balcony kiss (27.3%)
  • Nearly half of respondents (49%) said that taking their own shots was their way of recording an historic moment, and a quarter (24.7%) said it would help them have their own memory of it.
  • 65 million photos of wedding-related events will be shared on social networking sites
  • 23% of people questioned plan to attend a street party, and 15% plan to travel to London to view the procession

Expert advice

With over three decades' experience of photographing the Royal family, Nikon professional photographer Arthur Edwards knows better than anyone what should be priority on the big day:

"The balcony kiss is THE picture to get. Half of the photographers missed the iconic balcony kiss in 1981 at Charles and Diana's wedding because they were changing film. We won't be able to use that excuse this time around! All the great things that have happened in this country are marked with a celebratory picture on the balcony."


  1. Get there early and make sure you're in position.
  2. Make sure the camera is fully charged and keep it in your hand ready to take a picture.
  3. Get as close to the action as you can, but don't worry if you're not front row. Take advantage of the super-zoom cameras on the market, so that even if you feel miles away, you can still get up close to the subject in your photos.
  4. Don't be frightened to ask people to move to the left or right in order to get a clearer view.
  5. Shoot the best possible quality setting - photos are not just about volume but you also want as high resolution as possible, so you can make quality enlargements later if you want to. Just make sure you have a few memory cards on you.
  6. Don't just focus on the Royal couple - there will be numerous other top notch guests around, especially entering and leaving the Abbey.
  7. Don't forget to take some crowd shots and pictures of all the venues and, of course, get a picture of yourself there.
  8. Make the most of the HD video available on many of the Nikon COOLPIX cameras, and record the sound of the bells at Westminster Abbey and the parade. 
  9. The route is a lot shorter than the route Charles and Diana took - if you have continuous shooting on your camera then use it, as it could be your best chance of getting a picture of them as they pass by - just make sure you hold it really still. Try steadying your arm against something solid.
  10. Be ready for anything - the beauty of being there on the day is that you're ready to capture the unexpected.

Jeremy Gilbert, Group Marketing Manager at Nikon UK, comments: "Photography has now become so accessible that with such a momentous event on the horizon, it's natural that everyone will want to capture their own memories of it. Nikon's COOLPIX compact cameras are easy to use, yet image quality is second to none so you're sure to capture images you'll want to treasure. On the wedding day, make the most of features like zoom lenses to bring the balcony scene right up close, Vibration Reduction technology to prevent blurring when moving with the procession, and the Smart Portrait System which makes sure everyone looks their best."

Joe Little, Managing Editor, Majesty Magazine adds: "Large-scale royal occasions happen rarely, so when they do it is vital that they are captured for posterity with good-quality, well-composed photographs. The eyes of the world will be on London on 29th April. It is important that we get our coverage - both in words and pictures - just right."

Street parties

There are lots of different ways to capture the big day if you are not heading into London. Arthur advises: "If you're having a street party or another kind of celebration, make sure you try to capture the mood of the nation - get dressed up in your finery and make sure you take lots of pictures of the kids. These pictures will be so important for them in years to come, and when they are older they can look back and say "this is what I was doing when the future King of England celebrated his wedding day". Even if you're taking advantage of the Bank Holiday and going abroad, still make sure you get dressed up for the camera."