Kevin Coombs

Kevin Coombs

London, United Kingdom
Chatham, United Kingdom
“Get up early and always carry a camera. Always.”


I usually cover news and politics.

One Shot

. London, United Kingdom. Reuters/Kevin Coombs
“The picture was taken during Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton in 2011 and shows some of the many royal fans who were waiting for the newlyweds’ carriage to pass by them on Parliament Square in London. Most had been waiting for hours to catch a glimpse of the royal couple. Many, like the woman wearing the paper crown, kept looking towards Westminster Abbey in anticipation of the royal couple appearing, even though it was another 45 minutes until they would.”


My earliest memory of photography is the smell of the yellow wrapping from a roll of 120 Kodak Tri-X Film.

I taught myself to photograph with some basics from my father when I was 9 years old.

It was a revelation to me that a picture could be captured and transmitted around the world by wire or radio - so the idea of shooting something and sharing it with the world was a huge pull in wanting to become a photographer.

My first Reuters assignment was to shoot pictures of a Swedish pop band who were visiting a school in Kent. It turned out that the guy who organised the visit was none other than my old music teacher.

The assignment that left the biggest mark on me was covering the death of Nelson Mandela. I’ve never seen queues so long of people who turned out to pay their respects.

Photojournalism is important because someone who is trusted has to show the world what happened.

My biggest lesson has been that while sometimes it is important to shoot close, sometimes it’s better to step back.

My advice to any photojournalist starting now would be get up early and always carry a camera. Always.

Behind the Scenes

Kevin Coombs is covering the aftermath of the first Gulf War and the oil well fires in Kuwait in 1991.
Kevin Coombs is taking pictures of the queues of people to see the body of Nelson Mandela in Pretoria, South Africa in 2013.