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Alexi Lubomirski: Portrait of the royal wedding photographer

Royal wedding photographer is also a Polish prince

The high-fashion photographer who took the Harry and Meghan's iconic engagement photos also took the couple's official wedding portraits. He just happens to be royalty,himself -- and so much more

"My job is a blessing. …I get to take pictures of … beautiful people, in beautiful places, around beautiful things," says Alexi Lubomirski.

His vibrant, provocative images appear to be in perpetual motion – much like the man himself.

"I think that my subjects generally read my excitement," he says. "I'm like, "OK, the light's amazing. It's fantastic. Oh my God. … It's amazing. Amazing!"

Not a wedding photographer by trade, you're more likely to find Lubomirski in far-flung corners of the globe shooting high-fashion models or world-famous celebrities.

Born in London and raised in Botswana, the award-winning photographer now lives in New York City with his wife and two sons.

"I love your story.  So tell us.  How did you get this job?" "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King asks Lubomirski.

"I was actually in England visiting my mother. She was having a rather complicated operation. …And the doctor had given us rather dicey odds on whether … my mom would make it," he says. "And so he said, 'It's gonna be a 10-hour operation.' …   We were sitting by the phone panicking. // 121835 And then 10 hours 45 minutes the phone rings.  And so we all jump on the phone and they said, "Is this Alexi Lubomirski?  This is Kensington Palace calling."

"Whoa," says King.

"My initial reaction was … it was my best friend pranking me," he continues.

"Had you had any dealings with Kensington Palace?" King asked Lubomirski

"No. Nothing. No. No. No," he says. "And they said we'd love talk to you about a project. It would be great if you could come down to Kensington Palace ... and meet us."

His mother's operation was a success, so Lubomirski headed to the palace for a job interview like no other.

"It was very informal. They're just a young couple in love," Lubomirski says of meeting the couple.  "It's the most beautiful thing to see. And I'm a cheeseball so I love that kind of stuff."

"Me too," says King. "I love love!"

The prince, the fiance, and the photographer hit it off, says Lubomirski, bonding over Botswana in Southern Africa.

"Because I grew up in Botswana, and Harry has a close connection to the country," he says.

And they shared a vision for the official engagement photos.

"We really wanted somehow for their personality to come through the pictures," says Lubomirski. "And I just basically said to them, 'Listen, when I look at you guys look how cute you are together. …Every few minutes you kind of zone off into each other.'  …This is what I wanna capture. …I don't wanna treat you like still life's."

Alexi Lubomirski was hired.

"Now, this was my favorite," King tells Lubomirski, looking at a royal engagement photo. "There's such a tender intimacy here. " Alexi Lubomirski

"Now, this was my favorite," King says, looking at an engagement photo. "There's such a tender intimacy here. "

"That was the last shot of the day … Just -- you know, wrap her up,'" Lubomirski explains, snapping his fingers. "… and there was this beautiful moment. They were hugging. And looking at each other and smiling."

"What were your impressions of them both?" King asked.

"Just lovely, young, normal people," said Lubomirski.



Still, there's nothing ordinary about meeting a prince – unless, of course, you happen to be one yourself.

"I didn't know if, being that you're a prince and Harry's a prince, that maybe you guys had that princely connection," King quips.

"We had a secret handshake," he jokes. "No, no, no."

"My father is a Polish prince, and I was told about it when I was 11," Lubomirski says.

He had a regal title – His Serene Highness – but no royal riches, said his mother.                                                     

"She very quickly doused my flames of excitement by saying, 'Listen, there's no more -- there's no more land. There's no more palaces, castles," he laughs, "riches, arts, armies, whatever."

"You just have a name, Prince," King points out.

"You just have the name. So very naively I said to her, 'Well, what's -- what's the point of the title then?'" he laughs. "And she said this phrase to me, which has stuck with my forever. And I always thank my mother for this. She said, 'If you wanna be a prince in today's world, you have to be a prince in your heart and in your actions.'"

Lubomirski is taking action -- to help the poorest of the poor, as an ambassador for the charity, Concern Worldwide.

Royal wedding photographer travels for global charity

He's also a published author.  There's "Princely Advice for a Happy Life," written for his two sons.  And "Diverse Beauty."

"We all know that Meghan is biracial. Does she exemplify in your mind a change in how we see beauty?" King asks.

 "I think that it is slowly changing," says Lubomirski.

Frustrated by the narrow perceptions of beauty, primarily in the fashion industry, Lubomirski created the book especially for young girls.  All proceeds go to charity. 

"I wanted to go against the limitations that I found in magazines," he explains, "and show as many different skin colors, and sizes, and types of beauty in inspirational … high fashion pictures."

He's determined to make a difference – another common bond shared with Harry and Meghan.

"They're very welcoming, very gracious," he says. "You feel listened to when they're talking to you, so really just good, good people."

You might say Lubomirski is cut from the same royal cloth – not just a prince, but a prince of a man.

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