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Clapton SA Melania Trump visit Andrew King Photo event photography

Melania Trump visits Clapton Salvation Army       Event photographer: Andrew        Event location: Clapton Salvation Army Corps

This was an interesting day of event photography at many levels. Donald Trump, then President of the United States, was in the UK for a NATO conference. He brought his wife, who occupied her time with worthy causes. The Salvation Army was approached as a possible host organisation for one visit, and so it came to pass that Melania “dropped in” to the annual present-wrapping session for local schoolchildren.

The visit was a chance to observe the US presidential entourage of Secret Service men and compare their style with the Metropolitan Police armed unit who were also on site. It was also a chance to be part of a full-on press photographer frenzy – and have the privilege of getting some of the best angles going. And it was a chance to see Melania herself. I have to say that her positive interraction with the children was a pleasant surprise. And I had the chance of asking the FLOTUS (and all present) to bleat like a sheep.

Photographically the event was quite challenging. Aside from the usual church hall lighting, flashes from other photographers, scrummage to get the angles and to avoid being shot by a security man, most of the best close photos of Melania had massive window light right behind her. It was hard work at the time and and the edit, but I think that the Salvation Army was happy with results. The key so often is the requirement not to just take the subject but include branding and other elements which locate your subject in the event.

I especially loved indomitable Corps Officer Ruth Gray in her elf outfit. “I never wear uniform when the children come at Christmas and I’m not going to today!”

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All in all an interesting day with a lot of good events lessons learned.

If you would like to enquire about our event photography please call Andrew King today on 07983 787889 or, if preferred use the form on the contact page


Based in London, but frequently found in Surrey and Sussex and the Home Counties in general, I am a freelance wedding, family and event photographer committed to delivering quality images at an affordable price.