Misan Harriman, Harry and Meghan’s pregnancy photographer, shot to fame and captured BLM protests

Exempted from the formalities that accompany a traditional royal baby announcement, Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, approached a friend to reveal their news on Sunday.

The result was an underrated, black-and-white portrait of the couple staring into each other’s eyes under a wintry sun, with Meghan’s hand resting gently on a bump hitherto hidden from the public.

But for the photographer who captured the shot, the announcement of Sussex’s second child was just the latest milestone in a storytelling career.

Misan Harriman, one of the couple’s friends, said he shot the image remotely on an iPad. Harriman is based in London, while the Sussexes live in California after their split from the British royal family last year.

Harriman's image was released Sunday.

Harriman’s image was released Sunday. Credit: Twitter / @ misanharriman

“Me, I was there at your wedding to see this love story begin, and my friend, I’m honored to catch it growing,” he wrote on social media after the release of the image. “Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on this great news!”

Last year, Harriman became the first black photographer to shoot the cover of British Vogue’s very important September issue.

This spread included footballer Marcus Rashford, model Adwoa Aboah and a number of other prominent campaigns and was titled “Activism Now: The Faces of Hope.”

It was an appropriate task for Harriman, who first became a professional photographer in 2016 after a career in finance, and whose images of Black Lives Matter protests shot him to prominence in 2020.

“Through my lens, I have seen the beating heart of London,” Harriman told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in August after a series of photos he took during protests in the city went viral.

The one that featured English youth hockey player Darcy Bourne outside the US Embassy held up a sign reading “Why is ending racism a debate?” Come to symbolize the city’s demonstrations during the summer.

Misan Harriman: ‘My pictures are about hope’

“It feels like the winds of change have finally blown in the direction I’ve been waiting for,” Harriman told CNN.

Both Harry and Meghan have done that spoken in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and Harry has reflected on his own unconscious bias and on the historical actions of the British Empire by subjugating black populations around the world.
“I have had an awakening as such because I was not aware of so many of the problems and so many of the problems in the UK, but also globally,” he said in October. “I thought so, but I did not.”

The couple’s shot was not the first time Harriman had been called to present a royal message to the world.

In 2019, he conquered Princess Beatrice of York and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, again in black and white, to accompany the announcement of their engagement.
“You can not be nervous when the subjects are so comfortable,” Harriman told Vogue of the experience. “I call my lens the truth-seeker, and that’s exactly what was caught, two people who have found their safe haven in each other.”
And his photograph of Harry and Meghan also reminded – whether intentionally or not – an official photo from their wedding in 2018, shot by Alexi Lubomirski. That picture also shows the couple lying in an embrace moments after they got married.

No due date was specified in the couple’s announcement, but Harriman’s image showed a prominent bump.

“We can confirm that Archie will be a big brother,” a spokesman for the couple said Sunday. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very happy to be expecting their second child.”

The announcement came almost exactly 37 years after Prince Charles and Princess Diana announced that they were expecting their second child – who happened to be Prince Harry.

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