Millie Pilkington: Photographing dogs, movie stars and the Royal Family

Portrait photographer Millie Pilkington joins James Fisher on the Country Life podcast.

Millie Pilkington is one of Britain’s best-known portrait photographers, with her work regularly appearing in Country Life as well as dozens of other publications.

We were truly delighted that she joined James Fisher on the Country Life podcast this week to talk about life behind the lens.

She talks about how she turned a hobby in to a dream career, one in which she has dealt with everything from incorrigible dogs to taking private family pictures for the Prince and Princess of Wales.

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The secret of a good photograph, she explains, isn’t just technical — it’s emotional. ‘Yes, you want to have nice light, you want to have a nice composition, you want to think about how all of this marries together, how it’s going to draw people in,’ she says.

‘But actually the real thing that takes a photograph to a different level is this mood, this emotion, this spirit. And if you can connect with whoever you’re photographing, you might not have the perfect crop, or the perfect light, or the perfect something. But that photograph, if it talks to you in some way, if it brings an emotion to you, then you’ve got some home of someone else feeling that too.’

Millie Pilkington tells the tale of capturing this picture, which happened in a moment of pure spontaneity after she’d packed up her gear at the end of the shoot. Credit: Millie Pilkington for Country Life

You can see more of Millie’s work on Instagram and at her website,

Episode credits

Host: James Fisher

Guest: Millie Pilkington

Producer and Editor: Toby Keel

Music: JuliusH via Pixabay

Special thanks: Adam Wilbourn