Back in October I took a bit of a last minute decision to enter The Wedding Industry Awards, something I’d considered in the past but somehow never got round to. Well. I’m still in a state of mild shock because much to my amazement I only went and won the Regional title! To be named Best Wedding Photographer in the East of England 2018 in The Wedding Industry Awards has totally blown me away and is something I’m immensely proud of. Paired with winning my first Fearless Award this year has been pretty special for me so far.
To give you a bit more information, the TWIA (as it’s commonly know within the industry) take place every year and is a pretty unique competition. It’s not just for photographers. There are categories for videographers, venues, wedding planners, florists, caterers, bands and pretty much every wedding supplier you can think of. And unlike some other awards, the winners are not purely decided upon by a panel of industry experts but also by your clients from that year. Those clients are asked to vote and leave detailed feedback about their experience with you. This feedback is considered alongside your portfolio to pick the winners. That’s what makes TWIA such a special thing to receive.
Regional Finalists were announced at the end of October and I was absolutely delighted to have been shortlisted. That was genuinely as much as I’d hoped for as I knew I was up against some seriously stiff competition with so many talented photographers shortlisted. The awards took place on Wednesday 15 November at The Granary Estates, not that I can tell you much about it. I was having a take away curry with my friends Toby and Karen in Sussex whilst in the area for a commercial photography job in the area. It wasn’t until I was tucked up in bed in my hotel room when my phone started buzzing with messages of congratulations that I even remembered it was happening! Like I said at the start it really was a huge unexpected surprise and I don’t think it’s really sunk in even now. A huge congratulations at all of the other East of England Regional Winners, I wish I could have been there to celebrate with you.
I now go on to the National Finals at Cafe de Paris in London on 17 January 2018 where I’m up against the other 6 Winner Regional, most of whom are good friends of mine. That is something I really love about this industry, I have made so many good friends with incredibly talented photographers. The support we provide to each other in what could be a very isolated and lonely job is brilliant and quite unique. The evening promises to be one hell of a party and a great opportunity to celebrate together, no matter who wins the National Title.
So I’ll start to wrap this post up now with what is really the most important bit. As personally rewarding winning awards is, nothing beats the feedback I receive from my wonderful couples. It hopefully goes without saying that I couldn’t have achieved any of this without them. Not just those whose weddings I have been trusted to shoot this year but every couple over the years I’ve been doing this. Because it’s their moments, their emotion and their love that drives me. It’s why I do this job. It’s why I love shooting weddings. So a massive thank you to all my couples for your support, you’re the best and I love you.
I’ll leave you with a few photos taken this year that I think sum up my style. The sort of images I endeavour to capture at every wedding I shoot. Authentic story telling photos blended with beautiful creative portraits.