I had the good fortune to be hired to take photos of Twickenham Carnival on 17th June this year. An opportunity, that as a local, I was not going to turn down.
The job came about off the back of my photos I took in Richmond Park of the Queen’s visit for her diamond jubilee. This itself was fortunate as I was performing at the venue earlier that morning as part of West London Brass on the main stage. The Queen wasn’t scheduled to arrive until mid-afternoon and I had previously set my mind to head back and take some photos of the event but the miserable weather that alternated between heavy rain and hail combined with very un-summer temperatures meant I was in two minds. However, covering myself in waterproofs including a relatively new pair of wellingtons, I felt determined this was a very rare opportunity I shouldn’t pass on.
I opted to just take the telephoto lens and small bag and set off on my Vespa – which is a fantastic vehicle for photography especially when parking is limited. I was fortunate to have arrived with my favourite lighting; large black storm clouds smothered the skyline but the sun was still shining through, filling the camera with colour. This allowed for the shot of the helter skelter, which I had to run into position before the sun disappeared and clouds burst releasing and inevitable discharge of hail.
I was slightly dismayed when I overheard someone say that the Queen had been and gone, but upon walking back to the main stage and seeing the large crowd watching the Royal Ballet School perform I realised she was still here. I managed to get a few photos of her walking past the stalls but then the hail came again. But instead of worrying about the impact of this much water getting on my camera I decided to brave the elements and keep snapping. My favourite photo of the day was of the two female police officers who were shivering and getting absolutely drenched but were determined to stick it out and not seek cover much like some of their male colleagues. Sometimes the more interesting photos come when you least expect it.
After publishing the photos on this site that very evening I used Twitter to get the word round and alerted local Twitterers from Richmond and Twickenham that these photos existed. Fortunately I received many positive responses and with their spreading of the link I managed to accumulate over 200 hits that day. One of those hits coming from the stage manager at the Richmond Park event I’d met briefly that morning. Cue Twickenham Carnival…
See the portfolio… The Queen in Richmond