Official royal wedding photographer Alexi Lubomirski only had three minutes as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left their afternoon reception to capture the moment. Despite the time crunch during a hectic part of the day, he ended up shooting one of the royal wedding’s most memorable photos: the black and white still of the newlyweds sitting on the stairs, grinning wide in marital bliss.
“So after we’d done the set up [the family] shots, then we all went to the reception, and if the couple were going to have any energy after that, we were going to go into the rose garden and just take some intimate quick shots,” Lubomirski told reporters on Wednesday. “So eventually we went out there, we had about three-and-a-half minutes to take some pictures, because everything was like clockwork, and it was just one of the those magical moments, when you are a photographer and everything falls into place.”
The New York City-based photographer, who also took the prince and the former Suits star’s engagement pictures last fall, said the ambiance helped create the magic.
“You have Windsor Castle in the background, the sun is setting just over the top of Windsor Castle behind them, it is just the most serene beautiful light,” he continued. “They are in love, walking around this beautiful garden, and then we walked around for a bit, and then just got pictures of them. And they are in this elated state of mind.”
But it was actually after Lubomirski decided to wrap up the shoot that he scored that perfect black-and-white shot of Harry, 33, and Meghan, 36.
“I said finally, ‘Okay, let’s go back. You can go back to your thing now, but listen, just before you go in, let’s sit down on these stairs,’ ” Lubomirski recalled. “And she just slumped in between his legs, and there was this moment where they were just laughing because they were joking about how they were exhausted and finally it’s all over. And they just looked at each other and they were just laughing, and it was this just beautiful moment.”
He continued, “And when you are taking the pictures, you know you have something, but obviously you haven’t got time to look at it. So it wasn’t actually until I got back to the hotel that I looked at it, and it was just amazing — a very happy moment.”
This article originally appeared on PEOPLE
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