Royal Navy Imagery

Wherever you find the Royal Navy or Royal Marines on operations, you will find a Royal Navy photographer capturing vivid imagery to tell the Navy’s story

For nearly a century the men – and later women – of the Royal Navy’s Photographic Branch have been charged with capturing the actions of the Senior Service on operations, training and exercises around the globe.

Formed in 1919 initially for reconnaissance and intelligence purposes, the official photographers quickly developed a sideline – producing pictures for their shipmates to snap up.

Today the photographic branch is busier than ever, recording the Royal Navy and Royal Marines at work – and at play – and supporting front-line missions.

After completing intensive training at the Defence School of Photography at RAF Cosford, photographers move to Royal Navy, Royal Marines or Fleet Air Arm bases to work alongside their colleagues.

They frequently spend six or seven months deployed with ships, squadrons or Royal Marines, sending images and video footage back to the UK for use by the nation’s media.


The Royal Navy Imagery Database is a collection of images and video taken by Royal Navy photographers

This database contains all the latest imagery from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines on operations around the globe.


Joining up as any other rating into a particular trade such as logistics, engineering or warfare specialists, or marine, RN photographers work hard to excel at their chosen field before being accepted into the Photographic Branch.

If you are interested in transferring to the photographic specialisation, please read RNTM 026/16 and BR3 Chapter 92, or speak to your nearest regional photographic unit.

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