So, what did they say?

A day in London yesterday for me. First up, a recce at a law firm's offices near Fleet Street, ahead of a corporate shoot in a couple of weeks. Lunch in a greasy spoon cafe in Holborn with a mate and one of the best photojournalists in the UK. Then a few hours to kill. Popped into a museum I've been meaning to go to for years - the Sir John Soane museum. Well worth a visit, a very unique place. Shame you can't take photos there though. A chance to finally see Hogarth's "The Rake's Progress", hidden there behind big wooden wall panels. (I am an art history graduate after all!) Then off to the British Museum for a time, before a quick meeting with a couple to talk about their wedding in the summer and my work. A bite to eat, an hour in the National Portrait Gallery, before off to the Café de Paris, near Piccadilly Circus and the other reason I was in London. The Wedding Industry Awards - National Finals.

As the regional winner for wedding photography, London & the South-East, I was now in the National finals competing against the other regional winners, for the decision of the judging panel. Long and short of it, I was placed as highly commended again. In effect runner up. Highly Commended (an odd phrase) is awarded when the result is close, just as I narrowly beat my friend, Lyndsey Goddard, to the regional award. There were 26 winners and 8 highly commended in the finals, so not in every category. Congratulations to this year's winner, ARJ Photography, in the North West!

Wedding photography trophy

It's nice to get my style of documentary wedding photography recognized like this at wedding photography awards. The interesting thing about these particular awards are that the reviews from clients count too. It's not just what the judges think and the styles they like. Certainly for the regional part, the reviews are important. What they say about me, as a National Finalist, like last year, I only got to see this morning, after the final, so here they are....

General Comments

“Martin was highly recommended, and thoroughly impressed us with his perfectly suited documentary-photography style. He captured the important emotional context during the day and provided photos that comprehensively captured all of the guests. Martin kept out of our way and was not intrusive. I have already recommended him to my friends and colleagues! Finally, we were also impressed by the speed at which he handed-over the photos for us to view (in only a few days!). 10/10 throughout for us.”

“The moment I saw the first photograph that Martin had produced of our wedding day I couldn’t help but squeal with delight! It was absolutely breathtaking and I couldn’t contain my excitement to see all the images. Martin really took on board our desire to have photos that truly represented the day - they are so full of life. It was also very impressive that we hardly noticed him on the day - yet he captured such private moments which we will treasure for the rest of our lives. 10/10.”

“My wife and I cannot be happier with how our wedding photos look - we had some "out of the ordinary" requests such as performing a first-look in a nearby park (rather than at the beginning of the ceremony) which Martin directed and orchestrated seamlessly. Also, much of the day was shot at a venue with very poor light conditions, which I imagine would have affected most other photographer’s work - this was not the case, and he captured the entire event and mood in the most candid way possible.”

“Martin is an absolutely gifted photographer who captured our special day in such a way that it is just a perfectly captured story, instead of the standard set up wedding pictures. He shot the most personal, emotional and truthfully pictures, with a perfect use of contrast, brightness and light. He just perfectly captured the love and emotions. We cannot rate anyone higher than him and we have been to a lot of weddings recently, including celebrity ones and those pics are of lesser quality.”

“Martin appeared to be omnipresent at our wedding and captured so many of the moments that would otherwise have passed by in a blur for us. The quality of his work speaks for itself, and it’s remarkable to note that despite being in amongst the action, he rarely appears in any of our guests’ photos! His photos are truly a record of the day as it happened, unscripted. His search for the best light in and around our venues made our few posed photos perfect.”

“Martin has a quiet confidence in his work which instantly let us know that our wedding photos were in excellent hands. This was only reinforced during our many conversations. I recall seeing Martin only briefly on the day - during the portraits to capture the evening light, the speeches - but every moment and memory of our day is presented in perfect detail in our photos, as though he was everywhere, all at once. He truly captured the story of our day, the laughter and love, not just the images.”

“Martin made us feel so relaxed (and subtly added humour when needed!) all day, and many guests commented on how unobtrusive he was. Our photographs are absolutely beautiful and he documented the day superbly. Martin has a gift of observing and studying people within a relatively short space of time, and then capturing their personalities so perfectly - it was this gift that made our photographs so special. I can’t recommend Martin highly enough - a genuine and extremely talented professional.”

“The photos were fantastic. Martin worked his way around the wedding capturing the natural faces and smiles of all our guests. We also had a range of beautifully organized shots which also looked natural and complimented both the people and the place. He also worked with rich and I to make sure we got photographs that captured us when the rain stopped in beautiful light - in fact looking at the album he made rain look cheerful when it was hammering down but the wedding somehow looked very sunny!”

“Too many people have told us ours are the best wedding photos they have seen for it to be just flattery. Martin knew what we wanted, and was honest enough to tell us what he needed to do to capture that. The result was a series of spontaneous moments captured to make a dazzling whole, which tell the story of the day perfectly. Martin’s given us something timeless and beautiful, all done in the most unobtrusive style.”

“Martin is truly outstanding and a rare find. He captured so many candid, intimate moments without us even realizing he was there. Although we only met on the day, he put us at ease and brought out our personalities in the set up poses or awkward smiles; just pure, relaxed joy and movement. We received the photos the following week - so quickly edited! and he wrote a fantastic blog post, which we have read over and again (as have our families and friends). Really amazing work!”

“We selected Martin because we felt from his website that he would have the informal reportage style we wanted. He was very careful to understand our preferences and requirements. He was very discreet during the event but managed to capture the mood of the day perfectly. We are very happy with the photos.”

“Martin’s images are stunning, capturing the atmosphere of the day beautifully. He blended into the background and managed everything seamlessly. His pictures tell the story of the day, revealing the character of each guest, spotting details - planned or incidental - that take us straight back there. And the final photographs exceeded our expectations - from beautiful atmospheric reflections to a simple crystal-clear view of a smiling face. Delighted!”

“From the first time we looked at Martin’s portfolio, we were determined to have him as our wedding photographer. I had spoken to and looked at so many photographers that I started despairing of finding someone who understood our vision for the day. Martin’s images move us in a way that we cannot describe. The vibrancy, vitality and intimacy of our photos are a testament to his skills. We are absolutely happy with the final result and will not hesitate in recommending him to other brides.”

“Martin was fantastic from the day we booked him, we met many months before the wedding so he could outline his style of photography which we loved, discuss the venue and whole day. We had many conversations up to the wedding day to plan & clarify everything. We are simply over the moon with the photos he provided, artistic and capturing all of the emotions of the day to give us perfect memories forever. His advice was brilliant and what a top bloke too, relaxed and friendly all day. Fantastic!”

“Martin is stress free. So extremely professional and has a naturally calming aurora. We spoke before the day in great detail about our day and whilst he wanted to know the timeline, he was actually interested in us, as a couple. The day went in a flash but our pictures are truly magnificent and better than we ever dreamed of, the blog was superb and our guests are still talking about this now and I know that we could not have picked a better photographer, martin deserves this award hands down”

“Martin was a great documentary wedding photographer. Tony and I have never liked having photos taken so the fact that Martin was able to blend into the wedding crowd was fantastic. We never noticed he was there yet he still managed to capture some amazing photos. When we did go for a few ’posed’ shots it didn’t feel like we were posing and Martin was able to capture some fantastic shots in a matter of moments”

“Martin’s skill is ultimately in being able to create beautiful photos out of any situation. The framing, the focus, the way he uses the light. This is a real art form: to make something from nothing. He doesn’t boss around or have lengthy set ups but is also willing to execute some of our ideas too. His other great skill is being so discreet. A lot of my friends said they just didn’t know he was there, and then you see the photos and know he captured everything, just as it unfolded.”

“A true professional, throughout the day we hardly knew he was there allowing us and our guests to relax, and didn’t interfere with the flow of our wedding. Yet he captured some beautiful moments we would have missed had he not been there. On returning from our honeymoon a package was waiting for us containing a beautifully presented box with a USB containing all of Martin’s shots and a selection of photos that Martin printed himself. He really went the extra mile and is committed to his work.”

Why They Booked
“My now husband spent hours trawling and found Martin his shots were quirky, fun relaxed and just so emotional and booking him was our first booking after the church and we are so, so glad we did. Worth every penny and dare I say more, a great bloke too.”

“As neither of us are particularly confident in front of a camera (which has now changed since we’ve seen what the results could be!), we wanted a documentary photographer, who would capture the day as it unfolded without trying to create it. Martin’s blog with the stories around each wedding and the crisp black and white photos kept us coming back to him. We didn’t want ’art’, we wanted an ’artist’. Someone to capture our day, our family and friends, and our celebration in every detail, in a way that would do our memories of a perfect day justice. Martin gave us confidence that that was exactly what we would get when booking him.”
“We booked Martin Beddall Photography based on his showcase of previous work (on the website and social media pages), classic documentary style, and following an in-depth Skype video call where he made an effort to get to know us a little better and allow us to understand how he works on the day.”

“We booked Martin because of his eye catching and alternative photos. You can see just by looking through his blog that he uses the light during the day to his advantage and manages to capture unforgettable photos by doing so.”

“We were looking for a wedding photographer who covered the Brighton area and when we came across Martin’s portfolio online we knew he was the one as his photographs were head and shoulders above the rest we had seen. The quality of his shots were amazing with a relaxed feel rather than posed which is what we were looking for.”

“His style, professionalism and the beautiful quality photos.”

“Martin was very flexible and seemed genuinely excited about the prospect of traveling somewhere new (North Cyprus) to join us and take our wedding photos. His website had an impressive portfolio of work (which was exactly the style we were looking for) and I also thought the fact that he has a background in editorial photography and photojournalism was interesting. Finally we booked Martin because of his professional manner communicating over email as well as the many positive reviews he has by couples, speaks volumes about the quality of his work.”

“Martin was highly recommended by another professional wedding photographer (who was himself busy on our wedding date). Martin’s online portfolio, journalistic style, manner on the phone, price and past awards were the reasons behind us selecting him.”

“The quality and style of his online portfolio, the awards he has won, and speaking to him on the phone convinced us he was the right person for us.”

“He shot for a friend’s wedding 2 years earlier, and we were so impressed with the photographs that booking him was our first, and easiest decision of the whole wedding. We were not disappointed!”

“He was recommended to me, amongst other photographers, by a friend (who is also a photographer). His website really stood out from the others. His classy, laid back style and the ability to make the viewer to feel as if they were there is quite exceptional.”

“Martin came very highly recommended by good friends. I was blown away by the artistry evident in his online blog.”

“His pictures in his portfolio showed exactly what we loved for our wedding. Someone who can capture a story. Some say a pictures tells more than a 1000 words and Martin just masters that trade.”

“We booked Martin based not only on the quality and range of work on his website, but on his honest and frank commentaries for each wedding he showed on his blog. It was obvious he loves his job and made each wedding he shot very personal.”

“I had seen Martin in action, and the results, from my best friend’s wedding a year ago and so this made it very easy. I knew how he worked and had no reserve or fear of what would come from the day.”

“Seeing his amazing picture albums and photo blogs online, plus all of the effort he goes to made the choice very easy. And after meeting him and discussing the day he made us feel very confident everything would go perfectly, and it did!”

Thank you to all my clients this past year, in particular those quoted above.

Now it's time to crack on with 2016. First wedding tomorrow - and my daughter is very excited, the groom is from one of her favourite bands! 😉

Highly commended award

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