BB: Do you have any kind of standout photographs or moments from your career?
Samir: There's been so many. In terms of the Royals, I love going on tours with the Royals, because they're a lot more relaxed. They're in more interesting locations and scenarios. We went to India and Bhutan with William and Kate, and that was just absolutely stunning for pictures, just two amazing countries. We went trekking up a mountain with them, and it was just so beautiful and breathtaking. So from a personal point of view, that was really special. More recently, I took the picture of Harry and Meghan walking through the rain which went viral. And that was a really pleasing picture to get. It's one of the last jobs they were doing before they were stepping down as Royals, so to get a really strong picture like that, that was so well received by the public and so well used, was really special.
BB: What kind of advice do you have for photographers looking to get into entertainment photography?
Samir: I think it's the same whatever genre of photography you want to get into. I'd recommend studying the leading photographers in that genre, and ask what makes them so good? What is it about those pictures and what is it that you can try and not copy, but try and learn from? And get to those heights yourself. I think you've got to be quite critical about your own pictures, and look at ways that you can improve as a photographer, and just set really, really high standards. And you can only do that by comparing yourself to the best.
I think it's a great idea, if you can, to try and get a mentor that works as a photographer, or someone who's very well-established in the industry, so that you can talk to them about a career path, and maybe they can critique your pictures and you can learn ways to improve your photography. We're all learning the whole time. I think to have some kind of mentor or someone you can speak to in the industry is really invaluable.
The other thing I would say is, particularly with press photography and the media, is you've got to collaborate with other photographers and people in the industry, and also with agencies, with newspapers, magazines, with websites, because these are the people that are going to help you get the access, and the access is absolutely key to what I do. You can be the best photographer in the world, but if you haven't got that access to these famous faces, then you're not really going to be too successful.
I work a lot with an agency, Getty Images, and they help me a lot to get access. But if you're just starting out, you're not going to have a big name in the industry, so it might just be a local newspaper or a website or magazine, so try and get in with them and ask them, what kind of jobs can I do? Maybe do smaller jobs that other people aren't doing, just get your foot in the door with them, building up contacts and relationships with people in the industry, because you look at any big photographer that's made it in this way, they've been working with a good agency or they've been working with really good publications that really help them with access.