Prince William and Kate Middleton with family
Prince William and Kate Middleton shared their Christmas card for 2023 photographed by Josh Shinner. Photo: The Prince and Princess of Wales/X The Prince and Princess of Wales/X

The photographer who took the family portrait of Prince William and Kate Middleton for their Christmas card said he enjoyed the experience thanks to their children.

Josh Shinner took to his Instagram page to share some behind-the-scenes anecdotes from the pictorial. He posted the photo he took of the family and wrote: "It was such a pleasure to photograph The Prince and Princess of Wales and their family for the Christmas portrait this year."

He added: "Without doubt one of the most relaxed and enjoyable sittings I've ever had, and I now have a whole new set of jokes that are right on my level thanks to the children. A huge thanks to the @princeandprincessofwales for having me."

A commenter asked about the children's funniest joke to which he politely replied: "Keeping those to myself I'm afraid!"

Another wrote: "I'd love to see the edit 😂 How many hundreds of silly faces did the children pull?"

He also did not provide any more details when another asked: "If you don't mind, can I ask who made the choice to go b&w? And did they make their own wardrobe choices? Trying to imagine how different the protocol would be with royalty".

Shinner responded: "Thanks very much. 😊 I'm afraid I can't give any details though!"

He also shared insight into his creative process and posted a sketch of what he had imagined the composition might look like. The drawing showed just Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince George standing up while both Princess Charlotte and her younger brother Prince Louis are seated on the chair.

Shinner wrote: "I gave up trying to draw faces long ago, and I felt like attempting to draw the @princeandprincessofwales was something that could only end in dismal failure, but this was the starting point for the final composition..."

Some thought the final family portrait turned out better than the initial composition. Netizens complimented Shinner on his work with one writing: "A very talented photographer you are. You captured the PERFECT photo!! Everyone looks authentically natural, relaxed and confident.. all with their eyes on the camera, with a sweet sincere smile. Love this so much, thank you."

Another commented: "I love seeing a casual photo of the family! It's wonderful" and a third chimed in: "Such a beautiful picture of a beautiful family 😍😍😍😍 Congratulations and well done."

Prince William and Kate Middleton have since shared the photo on social media and called it their Christmas Card for 2023. While there have been compliments, the photo also received criticism from eagle-eyed royal watchers who pointed out some alleged Photoshop fails. This includes Prince Louis' missing finger, and Shinner did not respond when asked about it. But some have also explained that he had his hand spread out on the arm of the chair so it looked like he is missing a digit.