Chris Jackson tells us what life is actually like as a royal photographer

If a photo generates laughter, sadness or some kind of response in the viewer you know you have done your job!

Christopher Jackson is the official Getty Images royal photographer, travelling round the world with the royal family to document their work, events and historic moments. Obviously he was there at the royal wedding, but he also documents the charity work, the official visits – even the football matches. Thanks to British Airways we had the chance to find out from Chris himself what shadowing the royal family around the globe is really like, and the one thing he never leaves home without.

Travel forms an integral part of what I do. Over the years I’ve travelled to over 100 countries from Pakistan to Sierra Leone, the Galapagos Islands, Australia and many more!

My favourite recent trip was with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to stunning Stockholm and Oslo but more recently I was with the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall in Athens and Crete. It was fantastic to experience some of the vibrant Greek culture and even sample some Minoan cooking!

I’ve been doing my job for around 15 years and travel forms part of my regular yearly diary. In quiet periods when I’ve been in the UK for a while I certainly miss it and during frenetic times where I have been away from home for months it can become too much! I’m lucky to be able to do what I do and I think it’s really important to appreciate the privilege of travel within your working role – something I never take for granted!

Read also: 5 ways you can still get the royal wedding experience

It’s very easy to concentrate on shooting when you are documenting a historic moment but I think it’s so important to occasionally look up from the camera lens and appreciate the enormity of what’s going on around you. Just don’t miss the shot!

I’m very much there to record the day to day engagements of the British Royal family, those big historic moments, annual diary events that have remained unchanged for decades and even centuries such as Chelsea Flower Show, Royal Ascot, The Garter Ceremony, Trooping the Colour etc. I also travel on all royal tours with the Royal family as well as working with a number of Royal charities which is certainly one of the most fulfilling aspects of what I do. I try to capture those momentary interactions, fleeting emotions and something that the viewer will associate with.

I never travel without a pair of noise-cancelling headphones – essential for all those long-haul flights!

Read also: Would you dare dine on Mount Everest?

I would love to return to Paro in Bhutan, the people and the landscape blew my mind the first time round!

Photographers, always make sure you travel with spare equipment. I will never forget the stress after my laptop packed up in the Solomon Islands! Most importantly travel with your equipment so if anything goes wrong you always have it with you.

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Emma Chong Johnston

Emma is a new mum, compulsive shopper and cityslicker through and through. Perfect holiday: shops, sunshine and gelato (and maybe a babysitter).

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