Moment that mattered: The royal baby is born
The birth of the royal baby was always going to be a big job for us photographers. The summer is usually quiet: parliament is on half-term, everything is shut down and there’s usually not much work. I went there as a freelancer and I don’t think the papers realised that the press pen at the hospital [a designated area set up for members of the press] opened as far in advance as it did. So I phoned The Times and said ‘do you want this coverage, because the pen’s open?’ I think within half an hour of the pen opening, everyone had marked up their spots.
I got my tent by tweeting. I didn’t want to sleep in a chair, because that is just uncomfortable. I had been shooting the Rolling Stones at Glastonbury and I’d seen these pop-up tents. So I tweeted the manufacturer and said ‘I’m on the royal baby story. It’s going to be huge and I’m going to be the only guy camping here.’ So they couriered down a tent for me.
The camaraderie in the press pen was brilliant. There was loads of bonding. I had an iPad down there and we had plugs, so sometimes we were just watching a movie or Netflix. Towards the end I did start to wish she’d hurry up and have the baby but you kind of get addicted to the anticipation. I certainly do. I’m very competitive as a person. I don’t want to switch off and then Getty or Reuters get the shot.
I live close by, so I went home every day to shower, get some sanity and get changed. But part of me was always panicking about being away from the scene. I was texting people the whole time, saying let me know the second something happens. You’ve put all this effort into it so you don’t want to mess it up.
After Kate arrived at the hospital, the scene went mad. Everybody turned up at the job at six in the morning and for the next 36 hours everybody was twitching. We were told there was a VIP visitor arriving and it would maybe be Kate’s parents. So we’d all run back onto our ladders. We had seen a car seat getting taken into the hospital so we knew Kate and William were going to come out and put the baby in it. We thought we’d have maybe ten seconds and no flashes. But actually they came out, they walked around, and everyone got their pictures. They were really good to the media. People were clapping because nobody was expecting that.
Financially it was worth it, and it was fun. It’s kind of crazy to wait outside a hospital or on a street and call it fun, but it was. I got good photos. When [Kate] came out she looked better than she’s ever looked, because I suppose all the pretences were gone – she had just had a baby, hadn’t she”
Ki Price is a freelance photographer specialising in portraits. His work can be seen at kiprice.com
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