The Royal Wedding Photos Critiqued

Jared Polin, better known as “The Fro,” recently released a video where he reviews a few of the royal wedding photos taken by famed Photographer Alexi Lubomirski. As this was not just a wedding, but a royal wedding watched by millions around the world, the pressure to execute flawless images I can only image was tremendous for Lumbomirski.

When Polin uses a word such as a snapshot to describe a royal family portrait, that doesn't lend itself to the level of expertise one would expect from someone such as Lumbomirski. Polin describes the second publicly released photo of the newlyweds with the children with words such as “awkward," "snapshot," and "just say cheese!" The final image Polin reviews is described as “Harry where’d your hand go?” I must admit that was the first thing I noticed in the image. Cutting body parts off with regards to how you frame your image can kill the photo, and in my opinion, that happened with this image.

Were there better options for wedding photographers versus Lumbomirski, who is in fact not a specialist in regards to weddings? Sure, but at the end of the day, if the newlyweds and royal family are happy with the images, who are we to judge? Now that we know where The Fro stands, what’s your opinion on the royal weddings photos?

Check out Lumbomirski's work on his website here and Jared Polin's here.

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Alexis Cuarezma's picture

he's also photographing movie stars that perform well in front the camera. He doesn't have to deal w/ politics, family drama and 10 children being in the photo. He also doesn't have a limited amount of time to get X-number shots. It's well known that some of the royal people hate having their photos taken. You're comparing apples to oranges.

Ryan Cooper's picture

At the Oscars where he has to photograph hundreds of actors over the course of an hour or two? He has seconds to photograph each. And trust me, actors aren't always great at being photographed while often showing up with ego and attitude for days. You're right, it isn't exactly the same, but my point is that Selliger has things like lighting and composition dialed in and exquisite before an actor even sets foot in his space.

Alexis Cuarezma's picture

You do realize when Mark Seliger did the wedding photos for a rock stars a few years ago everyone was talking smack about his work too back then.

And with high end event like this, as you mentioned, you never know if he was allowed to scout out the area beforehand or if they changed it up last minute. For all we know they told him you can't plug in lights, and you can't take photos near a window for security reasons. Both of those things are 100% possible.

I don't know why photographers default to blaming everything on the photographer first as they didn't any preparation.

Ryan Cooper's picture

Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of most of Seliger's work, personally. I was merely giving an example that when you don't have much time with the subject the bridge is gapped by preparation.

But yes, exactly why I mentioned it, we don't know the full story. So long as he met the needs of the client, he did his job.

Though, I will always be of the camp that if the shoot goes sideways, it is always the photographer's responsibility. However, I likely wouldn't have been able to do better in the same situation. In fact, I'd have probably screwed it up worse.

I think the photos are fine. If you are going to make a comparison about photos of the Royal Wedding, shouldn't everybody be looking to the photos taken by the late Lord Lichfield who shot the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana to compare and contrast the style and substance of the photos and the styles of the photographers? I have the book "Lichfield A Royal Album" in front of me now and there is a fair amount of snapshot quality photos in it. If I am not mistaken, Lord Lichfield wasn't a wedding photographer either.

Corey Roberts's picture

this guy is whats wrong with Photography in 2018, Fro you felt the need to justify your critique so many times saying oh im never going to BUT............yes but you didn't and thats the end of the story. There is something called empathy which you seem to lack, maybe just stick to teaching beginners how to make a photo and thats that.

I've never seen the Fro's work until after I read some of these comments. His work has nothing to do with the fact that I agree with his critiques and I enjoyed his delivery. My personal critique was a lot harsher than The Fro's and my results would have been a lot worse than Lubomirski's.

There is an unlimited number of wedding photographers to choose from. If I saw these photos as the only photos in a portfolio, I would not have hired them for my wedding.

The comparison (in the video and comments) to crappy Instagram quality photos may have been intentional -- something casual and modern to connect to a modern era. Less "stuffy" photos may help the common-folk connect with the family.

Jonathan Reid's picture

There aren’t enough 🙄 emojis in the world for this guy.

Peter Timmer's picture

He had 25 minutes to shoot all the official portraits, so no time at all.

Given the fact that children are hard to control and easily get distracted i think he did a very good job. I also actually think the lighting is pretty ok, it's got some nice rembrand lighting on most of the faces which actually fits a royal family. Now there are a lot of things that could have been done better but with the fact in mind that he had so little time het did a pretty good job and i think the newly weds are happy with this shot.

Now you can say he should have set up lighting beforehand but we don't know anything, when dealing with Royals it can be very nitpicky and everything is scheduled. Maybe the room was not available long before the shots had to be made. Maybe it is not allowed to put lighting above their head or in certain places because of escape plans.
I know for instance the Dutch royal couple visited a ceremonial ship launching once and all electric sliding doors had to be kept open because they could fail and stay closed, causing delay or blocking escape routes.
Now imagine a wedding like this, everything is planned to the second and silly rules like this will definitely be something you are forced to abide by.

Cutting of the hand does look a bit awkward but i can imagine this being the best shot of their expression, and sometimes you have to make sacrifices.
Now scrolling through the portfolio of Jared it is obvious he makes sacrifices in every photo he takes and that's ok, because photo's have to tell a story and sometimes imperfect factors can make a photo interesting. And while Jared is an average Photographer (skill wise) it is ok for him to critique. It's his right to do so..

And if these were my photo's i would accept his critique and i would also be frustrated especially because of the hand.
Stuff like that still happens to me from time to time and the only thing to do with it is learn from it.

Now if you look at the engagement photo's you can clearly see there was more time and they could pay attention to the details, so in the end i do think it was a matter of not enough time.

Robbie Keene's picture

I won't even watch this guy any more. He is a fairly mediocre photographer with a massive ego. He teaches nothing because he knows nothing. All he ever does is negatively criticize. That's his whole youtube channel in a nutshell.

Martin Georgiev's picture

Speaking about attention to detail. Did anyone notice the name of the photographer who took the royal wedding photos was misspelled 3 times in the article?

Nara O'Neil's picture

It's spelled Lubomirski, and props to him, he earned his spot there, and proved why with some great images.

Susana Luzir's picture

It is always difficult to publicly evaluate the work of any other person. When the evaluation is positive, that's okay for everyone. When the evaluation is negative, ups.
I agree about what Fro said about the pictures, but I did not like the way he expressed himself in this video. I believe he didn't do it with the intent to attack, but when we produce content on social networks, we have to be even more careful about what we say.

Ryan Brenizer's picture

Dennis Reggie used to say “Most wedding photographers photograph a princess for a day. I photograph a day in the life of a princess.” Here that is literally true. It’s not that criticisms are useless, but the job and the point of it are almost alien to the nature and purpose of what we understand as wedding photography.

Also keep in mind that if he did take any amazing, incredible, photojournalistic photos … he’s under no obligation to show them to us and it’s very likely that’s not what they want to share. They have no need and have control, and he doesn’t need to either. He’s doing fine with that whole being a handsome prince himself with a heck of a c.v. thing.