My Year in Photography: Royals, Politics, Breaking News and More…

2019 has been one of those really strange years when you sit back and look on everything that has happened. We’ve had two Prime Ministers, a new royal baby, countless breaking news events, Brexit debates as fiery as ever, and plenty of controversies.

It marked the year I tracked the new SussexRoyal Instagram account and was first to break the news it had broken a World Record, I photographed the reaction to the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’ first baby in London and Windsor (despite the rain!), I got some amazing shots at Trooping the Colour (some of which I can’t share today but one day will), I photographed a new Prime Minister, new politicians, and a touching event at the National Memorial Arboretum — a military and service charity and location that I’m beyond proud of to support.

But words don’t do them justice, and you’re probably bored already, so below are my top pictures of the year. As ever, I worked tirelessly to capture these, and I thoroughly hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I loved snapping them.

To support my photography, please visit my website to purchase prints, canvases, phone cases and more of my photography. 10% of all profits, forever, will be donated to Parkinsons UK.

As I graduate from University in early 2020, I desperately hope to do this full time, as the one true job I love the most. Fingers crossed.

Here we go!

Right at the beginning of the year I was in Westminster as the first historic Brexit vote in Parliament was heard. Brexit was delayed, to the delight of thousands of protestors outside the Houses of Parliament.
Protestors and demonstrators cheered as the result came through livestreams in Parliament Square.
Police held back hundreds as MPs and Ministers left the Houses of Parliament.
Sajid Javid was photographed leaving the House of Commons — then as Home Secretary under embattled former Prime Minister Theresa May.
Early in the year I was in Birkenhead as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited the area. The Duchess of Sussex was heavily pregnant with her baby at this point.
HRH The Duchess of Sussex enjoyed talking to a lady about her charitable endeavours.
I love how this photograph turned out — that smile is just incredible, and I was so happy with the response I received online.
HRH The Duchess of Sussex smiled as she chatted with members of the public in Birkenhead.
HRH The Duke of Sussex enjoyed speaking and meeting with members of the public. In the background, HRH The Duchess of Sussex is excited as she is gifted a baby toy.
HRH Prince Harry smiles and points at a mischievous young school boy who was joking with him.
He gestured to the boy and asked “why?!” when the schoolboy asked if he could ‘fortnite dance’.
HRH The Duke of Sussex playfully opens a gift bag and asks a member of public if she wanted to gift her camera to him.
This one worked really nicely as a black and white image. I was using two camera bodies and two lenses, one of which was kindly loaned by my university to photograph the occasion.
HRH The Duchess of Sussex gives a cheeky smirk to a schoolgirl who was suggesting baby names for her baby.
Meghan then smiled with more schoolkids as more baby name suggestions poured in. One suggested ‘Amy’ — the name of Meghan’s main aide at the time.
A baby name suggestion seemed to really make HRH The Duchess of Sussex laugh.
And all the while holding her growing baby bump — hiding little baby Archie.
Early this year, and a few more times since then, I photographed one of the rare bare0knuckle boxing events in the UK.
It was a brutal thing to watch, never mind photograph. But it’s one of the oldest sports in the world.
The rules are also strict and regulated, with frequent stoppage by medics.
A fighter takes a breather as a medic checks over his injuries.
The RAF Tornado fighter planes made their final ever flight across the UK, passing over RAF Cosford in an emotional low flypast.
This photograph really made me smile when I checked the back of my camera. Converting it into black and white made for a powerful, historic picture.
For the third year in a row I photographed the RAF Cosford air show — the weather wasn't as sunny or hot as other years, but the planes and performers turned out strong as ever.
…and the slightly worse weather gave way for some great cloud backdrops.
I traveled to Bristol to document TRH The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’ visit to the area. It was a snow=storm, which made for magical photographs.
HRH The Duchess of Sussex looked stunning beaming in the snow. This was one of my favourite events of the year to photograph.
HRH The Duchess of Sussex lovingly placed her hand on Prince Harry’s back as they chatted to schoolchildren in Bristol.
Snow didn’t deter the royals — or the waiting press pack.
HRH The Duke of Sussex enjoyed chatting with a young mother in the crowd — and her child!
The snow made for really special pictures on this day.
HRH The Duchess of Sussex smiled and waved towards waiting crowds in their last visit of the day in Bristol.
On the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, I had the humble honour and privilege of photographing D-Day veterans, their families and friends at a touching service at the National Memorial Arboretum, attended by and spoken to by HRH the Duke of Cambridge.
Who couldn’t feel such burning, passionate, undying pride for our veterans? With my photography, I’m proud to continually support our veterans in this country and across the Commonwealth. It is because of their sacrifice, and the sacrifice of those passed, that we are able to live as we do today.
My photograph as HRH The Duke of Cambridge speaks to veterans and their families at the National Memorial Arboretum service earlier this year.
As part of a photo series I created around Brexit, I snapped away at a wonderful farm in Staffordshire.
Stars of the show? These awesome cows!
Any they were incredibly, incredibly photogenic. They put my selfies to shame.
Attention seeker?
A calf peers through the elders for some food. This one looked too good not to transform into a black and white image.
And surprisingly the smell was bearable.
This one was more interested in my camera than in its food.
A calf is separated into its own pen to keep it safe and to monitor its health as it grows up.
This one worked out so well — and would look good on a book about cows, I guess!
Speaking of royals, it was humbling to photograph TRH the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their visit to Blackpool in Lancashire. Sadly the weather didn't hold out for the royal couple, but it was still a lovely day in a historic place.
This image particularly worked well in black and white. HRH The Duchess of Cambridge has a wonderful smile!
And Prince William enjoyed a mischievous moment with crowds too!
Later in the day I shot this through the arms of fellow photographer, and one of the best in the industry, Danny Lawson.
This was a strange evening in Stoke-on-Trent as I photographed fire crews putting out a fire in an alleyway. A wheely bin had been targetted.
It was only later that I realise that the targeted wheely bin was in fact mine!
I’ve known of the historic and wacky Gloucester Cheese rolling event for a number of years and always wanted to photograph it. With my friend and fellow photographer Joe Williams we decided to go for it!
And it didn’t fail — this looks painful!
Participants climb to the top of a very tall, very steep hill and race to chase after a rolling block of cheese. They fly down the hill, often falling, flying and rolling, and sometimes serious injuries occur.
The winner takes a bite of the block of cheese he won — though it’s wrapped in some sort of wood/ bandaging, so can’t have tasted nice!
I was on call for the news of the announcement of the birth of the Duke and Duchess of sussex’ first baby — a healthy little boy! I raced down to Buckingham Palace to capture the historic and traditional easel announcing the news formally.
Tourists were surprised to be so lucky to be in London on the day the easel was posted. Many thousands paused to take selfies with it!
More selfies!
And then another blessing appeared — the cutest doggo paused outside the easel for pictures with their owner. They made for some really fun shots!
How adorable!
After photographing a charity football match by the Offside Trust me and my colleague decided on an impromptu trip to Bangor to photograph at the pier. The sunset pictures were magical.
The pier, world famous for its views and a beloved spot for locals, had beautiful decking that made for great stock imagery.
Like this one — I can’t help but be in love with this little shot. I was just dreading dropping my phone down that gap and into that water, though.
This panoramic taken by my iPhone turned out pretty well. The quality is worse off than my Nikon, though great for an old iPhone.
This shot of the sunset sky over the pier in Bangor was my phone wallpaper for months. It was just stunning.
I captured The Duke of Sussex alongside the Duchess of Cambridge as they marked Anzac Day in London. This picture went viral on Twitter as not many knew HRH was due to attend the event.
HRH The Duchess of Cambridge wore a vibrant blue alongside the Duke of Sussex at the event in Westminster.
All the way up the country, one of the most beautiful places in the UK, The Prince of Wales visited the Lake District. Here, he spots the most adorable dog!
HRH Prince Charles pauses to play with the dog’s ears — much to the delight of his aides and royal protection, and adoring supporters.
The doggo encounter, courtesy of my good friend Lauren Parkinson, gave great joy to HRH The Prince of Wales. Being surrounded by the love of Corgis will turn any man into a dog lover!
Fans of the royal family turned out in the Lake District to meet the Prince.
HRH The Prince of Wales met a small baby basking in the warm sun.
HRH Prince Charles struck a powerful figure for this photograph, smiling towards me and amassed fans.
After photographing the easel in Buckingham Palace, I raced across to Windsor to photograph the reaction outside Windsor Castle. It was so, so rainy — but the spirit was really high, almost at the level of the Royal Wedding that I photographed just the year before.
International media pilled outside the castle to broadcast the exciting news live.
And media had, once again, set up on the Long Walk — just as they had done for the Royal Wedding — to live broadcast the royal baby news. Sky News, BBC, ITV and more turned out.
Super royal fans also poured into Windsor to celebrate the news. That’s a look of pure excitement!
I was in Manchester for the anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre. A Performance and demonstration was held to mark the 200th anniversary.
Despite the rain (rain is a common theme this year) performers gave a spine-chilling display. Flares were lit outside Manchester Central.
Director Danny Boyle was also in attendance.
Visitors and decendants of the Peterloo victims paused for a moment at the Peterloo memorial.
It was one of my favourite events of the year, and I was humbled to photograph Trooping the Colour from the Queen Victoria Memorial just in front of Buckingham Palace. So much going on in this picture!
Eyes to the sky as the RAF Red Arrows whizzed over Buckingham Palace. It was Prince Louis’ first time on the balcony, joined by parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and older siblings Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
HRH The Duchess of Cambridge laughed as Prince Louis pointed out planes overhead to grandmother the Duchess of Cornwall.
HRH The Duchess of Sussex laughed as Prince George waved his arms about!
Prince Louis waved goodbye to grandpa The Prince of Wales — much to his delight!
The Duchess of Cambridge laughed as The Duchess of Sussex chatted and joked in the carriage at Trooping the Colour.
HRH The Duchess of Sussex struck a powerful figure shortly after the birth of her first son, Archie.
TRH the Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared a royal carriage with The Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall.
TRH Prince William and Prince Charles escorted HM The Queen along The Mall.
HRH The Princess Royal also escorted her mother HM The Queen on horseback.
Alongside them was Prince Andrew — it isn’t far-fetched to udnerstand this is likely to be his last Trooping the Colour for many years, if ever, due to the scandal surrounding Jeffrey Epstein this year and his disastrous and damaging interview.
Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte caused mischief at the window of Buckingham Palace watching HM The Queen arrive back from Trooping the Colour.
HM The Queen dazzled in an elegant and beautiful pearl and cream outfit.
Dozens of media and thousands of well-wishers in front of Buckingham Palace for the balcony appearance of the royal family.
The world renowned Band of the Coldstream Guards marched along The Mall following Trooping the Colour.
HRH The Duchess of Sussex smiles towards husband the Duke of Sussex, shortly after the birth of their son Archie.
The country had another General Election, so I was out across the country photographing the campaigns. Here in Birmingham Jeremy Corbyn launched the Labour Party manifesto.
Candidates and campaigners turned out to Birmingham University for the launch.
For Mr Corbyn, it was a lively and happy event!
With a bright pink/ red backdrop spicing things up a bit for the photographs.
And plenty of picture worthy gestures.
And this…
The worlds strongest man Eddie Hall returned to his home city of Stoke-on-Trent to film a new TV programme.
He was filmed carrying a heavy shed all the way down a long road and cobbled street in the Potteries.
Eddie Hall chatted with other strongmen and directors on plans to get the shot for the TV show.
The worlds strongest man had a laugh with a little boy who turned out to watch the spectacle.
Before posing for selfies outside the world famous Potteries.
School children and onlookers watched as Eddie Hall lugged the heavy shed down cobbled streets.
In Stoke-on-Trent, Jeremy Corbyn campaigned for Labour to try and gain a foothold. Here he is with Mark McDonald, who was one of three Labour candidates in Stoke.
Mr Corbyn looked animated despite a sore throat.
And in my photograph here, looked in very high spirits.
Whilst talking, I captured this photograph of Mr Corbyn holding a ‘vote labour’ sign.
On polling day I spent the day photographing in the rain hoping for festive voters to turn out. I got lucky just once — making it very much worth it!
This unconventional polling station was directly outside major construction works.
From 8pm until 6am I was photographing the election results in Stoke-on-Trent.
Jack Brereton, the incumbent Conservative MP, watched as votes were counted.
The incumbent Labour MP Gareth Snell looked stressed as the count proceeded. He was to officially lose his seat later that evening.
Incumbent Labour MP Gareth Snell walks past incumbent Conservative MP Jack Brereton.
Incumbent Labour MP Ruth Smeeth blasts Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on live news.
First official portrait of the newly elected Jo Gideon MP.
First official portrait of the newly elected Jonathan Gullis MP.
First official portrait of the newly elected Jack Brereton MP.
Jonathan Gullis MP, Jo Gideon MP and Jack Brereton MP celebrate their election victory — the first time in history the entirety of Stoke seats voted Conservative.
The emotion of the night was summarised in my photograph here — as Jack Brereton’s wife embraced him after the results were read out.
I enjoyed supporting the Offside Trust with my photography during their celebrity fundraising football match.
The ex-footballers and workers with the Offside Trust faced off against the actors and cast of Hollyoaks.
The Offside Trust supports victims of sexual abuse in sports — especially historic victims of child sexual abuse in football.
Steve Walters, one of the Trust’s founders, attended the match.
It was a great and sunny day, and raised plenty for the Trust to continue their work.
The Offside Trust football teram posed for a photograph.
In October I photographed the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks under his slogan sign ‘get Brexit done’.
PM Boris Johnson poses for selfies with fans and supporters inside the conference.
Andrea Leadsom strikes a powerful pose in my photograph here.
The Prime Minister’s girlfriend Carrie Symonds enjoyed watching speakers on stage.
Home Secretary Priti Patel looked right towards my camera for this powerful shot.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was sitting beside his Home Secretary Priti Patel during the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s speech.
Carrie Symonds smiled and joked with friends on the front row of the conference.
The Prime Minister and Home Secretary smile and laugh as Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid spoke onstage.
But it might have all been a bit tiring for the Prime Minister, as he appeared to catch some shut-eye towards the end of the speech.
Back on his feet, the Prime Minister gave a rousing thumbs up and cheer.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a booming, entertaining first Conference speech in Manchester.
And was as animated as ever…
Preparing for a Halloween Brexit, this pose was particularly scary.
This is one of my favourite photographs from the day, in a perfectly posed and powerful shot.
The backdrop made for a really great side profile.
What better way to finish the year than by photographing back at the National Memorial Arboretum, documenting their ‘Illuminated Arboretum’ event in the cold of night. I urge all my followers to donate to support the NMA here.
I waited for hours in the cold and rain to photograph the Armed Forces Memorial with the moon directly overhead, right in the middle, just as the beams crossed over it. The shot is breathtaking (above two).
Sensory exhibits illuminated the Arboretum in an event perfect for all ages.
It aims to highlight some of the Arboretum’s military and service memorials to new audiences, and attract more people to the Arboretum in the colder months as it is a year-round place of remembrance.
It was so magical to be here.
Look at all the lights! And a creeping full moon in the top right.
They died serving their country. We will remember them.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me and my photography through 2019. It has been a bumpy, emotional, stressful and wonderful year for me, but it is the support of my friends, family and followers that has kept me going.

As I graduate in early-mid 2020 from University, I truly hope I’m able to secure a job that allows me to photograph for a living — there’s nothing more in this Earth that I’d rather do. And seeing your reaction, hearing your kind words, is all the motivation I need to continue pushing myself.

I’m only 21-years-old, but this job gives me what feels like a lifetime of memories, connections, friendships, experiences and so much more. I love it beyond words.

Happy Christmas, happy holidays, and I hope you all have the most lovely new years possible.

Thank you, all.

To support my photography, please visit my website to purchase prints, canvases, phone cases and more of my photography. 10% of all profits, forever, will be donated to Parkinsons UK.

Journalist and Photographer | Breaking News, Royalty, Politics, Celebrity and more

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