- On Thursday, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made their first public joint appearance since announcing they'll step back from royal life.
- They arrived at Endeavour Fund Awards in London sharing an umbrella amid a rainy backdrop — making for a now-viral snapshot captured by photographer Samir Hussein.
- Hussein shared a statement with British GQ magazine telling the story behind the viral photo.
- Hussein described it as "one in a million" because all the elements aligned, including "perfect timing, great lighting, strong symbolism and amazing subjects."
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Before taking the viral photo of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Samir Hussein, who's been photographing royals for more than 12 years, said his "hopes were not high."
Markle and Prince Harry were on their way to the Endeavour Fund Awards in London Thursday night for their first public joint appearance following "Megxit," their announcement that they'll be stepping back from royal duties and giving up their official royal titles in April.
Because of poor weather conditions and tricky lighting, Samir Hussein, the photographer behind the rainy snapshot of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, didn't expect to capture the Royals in a photo that's quickly become a symbol of the couple's new chapter.
"It was pouring down with rain, which can be very tricky when shooting flash photography and also meant Harry and Meghan would be under an umbrella, which usually means it's hard to get clean photos of the couple," Hussein shared a statement with British GQ magazine. "Little did I know these elements would come together so spectacularly to produce a timeless image of the couple."
Hussein said he spoke to the couple's press agent and learned where they would be dropped off before entering the venue.
"I positioned myself in the official photographer's pen in the best place possible to capture the couple head on," Hussein said.
He described how he positioned himself to capture Prince Harry and Markle with crowds of people standing behind them.
"I managed to maneuver myself to line up the flash behind them and then had to work quickly, with just a second or two to get the shot, as they smiled wonderfully at each other," Hussein said. "Immediately, I downloaded the photos onto my laptop and that image jumped straight out at me. I held my breath as I zoomed in to check if it was sharp (with the rain pouring and many flashes firing, it's easy to end up with soft images). Thankfully, it was sharp and I knew I had a truly special shot."
Hussein described all the elements that he feels made the picture his "most iconic photo," saying that "perfect timing, great lighting, strong symbolism and amazing subjects" made for a memorable shot.
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