Picture credit: Sam Pelly
ROYAL WEDDING EXCLUSIVE: Hugo Burnand has this week been officially named as photographer for the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William. Hugo?s passion for photography began as a youngster, developing pictures in a kitchen made into a makeshift darkroom. When he was seven he won the Cheam School Photographic Competition. Hugo now runs a studio in Notting Hill, London. With just over a week to go before the big day, Amateur Photographer tracked him down to find out more?
AP: What was your first camera and when did you get it?
HB: Aged seven. I bought a very simple camera in the local chemist shop with some money given to me by my grandmother ? I remember what it looked like, but I do not remember the make. Quite soon afterwards I was given, as a birthday present by my mother (photographer Ursy Burnand), an Olympus OM-1n, which I still have and keep for good luck. When I turned professional I was very lucky to get my hands on a mint-condition Hasselblad, which I bought at a police auction of unclaimed lost/stolen property.
AP: What camera gear will you be using on the big day?
HB: A Hasselblad H4D-50 ? the best! * (see below)
AP: Do you have a favourite gadget in your camera bag?
HB: It?s always good to have an elastic band ? never quite sure why, but they often come in useful. On my very first job as an assistant, I was involved in a corporate photo shoot for [chemical company] Ciba Geigy in Basel, Switzerland. Everything went extremely well (it was a four-day shoot) and I was rewarded with a Swiss Army penknife by Ciba-Geigy, and that tends to come on most UK shoots (but airline restrictions force me to leave it at home for foreign trips, which is a shame).
AP: When did you start developing films in the kitchen darkroom?
HB: I think it was around the age of seven ? although I had watched my mother developing and printing since as long as I can remember.
AP: I read that you are not nervous about the shoot. You must feel excited?
HB: Definitely very excited ? just the thought of it all makes me smile!
AP: If there is one thing you most hope for on the 29th what is it?
HB: Sunshine, to lift everyone?s spirits even higher.
AP: What is your best piece of advice for those starting out?
HB: Keep shooting. The problem with digital cameras is the sense of security that you already have ?the? image ? I think one should shoot just that little bit extra (in the old days, I?d say shoot that one extra film). It is often then that the magic appears.
* The Hasselblad H4D-50 is a 50-million-pixel medium-format DSLR