In the process of writing a blog on the upcoming Royal Wedding, I realised that I had enough shots from one of my marriage-related assignments to make a separate blog, so here’s some work from a visit to the Wellington Barracks in central London.
With the media demand for wedding-related stories getting to a state of frenzy, the likes of which not being seen since the last feeding time at One-armed Bob’s Piranha Farm, the military has arranged a whole series of trips to various military bases to see how the preparations are coming along for the big day. With the Coldstream Guards and the Scots Guards both involved in the Royal Wedding ceremony, the day’s visit involved seeing what this entailed.
I’m guessing that most of the young soldiers that were lined up for the visiting media today, weren’t really expecting this kind of attention when they signed up for Queen and Country. Thankfully, everyone played along nicely, with the biggest problem being trying to work in the same room as television crews. It’s such a pleasure to shoot with people who get in your shot during the photographer’s time, then demand silence and privacy during their time. Grrr…
While there were quite a few set-up shoots, arranged by the Ministry of Defence, I also got the chance to get behind the scenes as members of F Company of the Scots Guards prepared to take part in the traditional “Changing the Guard”. On these kind of visits, it’s the norm to be chaperoned at all times and steered gently away from the locations that would actually make the best frames, so it was a real joy to be able to poke around uninhibited.
My trouble, as always with jobs involving the armed forces, is working out how to ask the relevant question of identification; should I ask what rank? which regiment? which brigade? Whichever I choose is usually met with a polite look of pity for my ignorance and a lengthy explanation of where I am and what I’m doing. This may sound patronising but I appear to need it. Every single time.
Having been in London for close to a decade, it’s been a real pleasure to see the things that the tourists queue for hours to witness, with the Changing the Guard ceremony being one of them. When you live in a city, it’s a shame that you often overlook what happens right in front of you. Thankfully the combination of beautiful weather and the need to cover the tourist angle has resulted in me being able to wander around in the sunshine, shooting whatever catches my eye. Bliss.
Now, back to writing about the main event…