Now that we’ve had a day or two to recover from the onslaught of cute that was the unexpected release of Princess Charlotte’s first royal portrait (with bonus Prince George, looking utterly dapper and too grown up), it occurred to us that what was most amazing about this shot is not who’s actually in it…but who took it!

That’s right folks – following in the tradition begun with George, whose first snap was courtesy of Grandpa Middleton, the Cambridge’s second child had her official royal baby portrait taken by an amateur, this time her mother. That just one picture turned out beautifully is a miracle, but at least four, all with glowing light and children like, not screaming, is quite a feat, especially by an “amateur”, albeit enthusiastic, photog like Kate.

So we grabbed a real, professional photographer (Barb Simkova, associate photographer at Tara McMullen Photography) to get her to spill the secrets on how Kate did it…and how we can look as cute as the royal baby in our next official portrait too!

Q: How did she manage to get George and Charlotte lit in such a miraculous looking glow?

A: The light in the image of Prince George and Princess Charlotte is coming from a window. To get similar results sit your subject facing toward a window receiving indirect sunlight. The key to getting best lighting results is to turn off all other lights in the room. Light from outside is cool while a lightbulb is tungsten or golden orange. Turning off lights behind your subject means they will be lit by the same colour of light and will make sure there aren’t distracting elements in the background.

Q: George and Charlotte look like perfect angels, and not the no-doubt squirmy, easily distracted children they reall are. HOW?!

A: To capture cute images of children plan ahead and make time to take pictures when they are generally at their happiest (fed, well-rested and in play mode.) Usually these times fall in the early afternoon. Next get the help of your partner and have them entertain the child while standing behind you so that when the kids are laughing at dad it looks like they are laughing toward the camera.

Q: Charlotte is obviously naturally adorable,but did Kate do anything in particular to really highlight her scrumptiousness? Anything I can do to make the kids in my life look just as good?

To get the best shot place yourself at eye-level or just slightly above with your kids. As you can see in Kate Middleton’s images, the photos are taken as if you are having a conversation with the kids and not just pointed downward from a standing position. Finally, consider your cropping: many amateur photographers make the mistake of getting too far or too close. Kate’s images aren’t cutting off George at awkward body parts, include a little visual room at the top of his head and generally have balanced space on either side of the two children so that the images don’t feel lop-sided. 


Prince George’s all time best looks
Kate Middleton is a total monster