A wedding photography award. On Tuesday evening I made my way in the pouring rain to Farnham castle for the regional finals of The Wedding Industry Awards (TWIA). The London and South East Finals. Awards not just for wedding photography but for all the suppliers who make up this industry.
Now I’ve said it before, I’m never been a big one for entering competitions in the past but if it helps my business? Worth a punt?!? So, my first time to enter this one. As a wedding photographer what is different here is that you are judged not only on your portfolio of images. The reviews and comments of clients over the previous year are important too. Couples whose weddings/civil partnerships I photographed between November 2013 and mid-October 2014 were eligible to add their thoughts. I have to say I was amazed at how many did! And grateful!
Back in early November the regional shortlists were announced. Now, for the London and South East photography category, the shortlist of finalists was not exactly short! Eighty (8…0) photographers were listed. This caused some controversy amongst wedding photographers and I have to admit I found it very strange too. The judges ploughing through that number were probably looking at more wedding photographers than most brides would do. Anyhow that was the number of finalists and some really talented photographers amongst them too, including some I personally know well. So what were the odds? I almost didn’t go on Tuesday – it was raining after all…….but then I got this.
So as the, “Best Photographer – London & South East Regional Winner”, I progress to the Nationals Finals held in London in January. There I will be competing with the six other regional winners ( these are English awards ). I’m not one for ‘blowing my own trumpet’, I was good naturedly teased by several people at the awards for not punching the air and whooping or smiling enough, whatever you do? It’s not in my character – in fact the worst thing is having to be on the wrong side of the camera when collecting the award! My marketing skills are hopeless too. So what does it mean? Well, getting any recognition for what you do is nice. To get it from judges who understand photography and from your clients who are happy with how you recorded their day – well this is pretty good!
What else? Hopefully it instills confidence in prospective clients about my work and way of doing business. Encourages them to place their trust in me to document their wedding day, with the way that I shoot, the way I see. One of the interesting features of these awards is that as an entrant you get to see the comments made about your work. However it appears I have to wait until after the National Finals to see these – so will update then. So, cheers to the TWIA team and judges – I have to say the event was very slick and well run. But the biggest thanks has to go to those couples who let me shoot their days and particularly those that voted for me. Cheers!!
But finally back to the evening itself. As I headed out into the night, the award in my pocket, a text from my wife. We were out of milk, could I get some on my way home?…….back to reality. 😉