I have often been encouraged to enter award shows and competitions. Back in 2013 a friend nominated me for the Velvet Magazine First for Photography Award. I attended the awards evening not expecting to win. The award had been won by the same photographer for the last 5 years on the trot! I would have been completely overwhelmed to have just received the Highly Commended Award. Imagine my surprise when they called my name out as the winner.
Award shows and competitions are great to be involved in and enter. And I do enjoy them and the ceremonies. It’s a great chance to network and meet other highly regarded suppliers in the Wedding Industry. It’s just not always easy to find the time to fit them in. There are often many forms, questionnaires, information and work to be submitted. These days there are many awards that are based more on someones popularity rather than their actual work or service. How often do you see a post on social media begging you to click on a link and vote for someones service?
But this is why The Wedding Industry Awards caught my attention. The only people allowed to vote for you here are your Bride and Grooms. Only 1 vote is allowed per couple. And they have to answer a series of questions and give you scores for for different parts of your service. Only those that score high enough on their tough scoreboard make it to the Regional Finals held all across the country. The winners of each category in the regional finals go up against each other in the National Finals.
Last year I entered The Wedding Industry Awards for the first time. And after a few months of contacting every couple who’s wedding I had captured in the last year, all 43 were happy to put their vote in for me. And score me with enough points to make the Regional Finals. I was over the moon. It’s very satisfying to know that the people who hire and rely on my services respect and love the work I do for them.
Again, as with the Velvet Awards, I did not expect to win. I was up against the very best in the region and some truly outstanding Wedding Photographers. I was just so excited to be rubbing shoulders with the best and to experience my first Wedding Awards Ceremony. Champagne and canopies. Living the dream.
The awards ceremony took place at Granery Estate Barns on the 16th November 2016. As a photographer I work alone. But luckily I have made some great friends in the business. So I met up with good friend Paul Chaplin, owner of Wedding Party Events, and the rest of his staff for the awards ceremony. A great bunch of lads. Wedding Party Events is a Disco/DJ Wedding hire company, and in my opinion the very best in the business. It was a great, fun filled night.
On the morning of the awards I realised it was exactly 5 years to the day since I went self-employed as a Wedding Photographer. I have to admit, there was a slight thought of “just maybe!” But I refused to let a superstitious thought get the better of me. I’m not sad to say I didn’t win the award. I’m proud to have entered and been accepted. It was an experience I’m hoping to enjoy again this year. And despite not winning, all entrants receive a score card which shows what you scored on average for each question your clients have to answer. This also shows the average score for answers in your category. I was totally gobsmacked when I saw mine later that night. I would have never imagined I would score so high. Six of my seven scores were above the average score. Two of them 10 out of 10’s. I could have cried. I didn’t! But I could have.
You can see my score card below. I am extremely proud of this. And it gives me a great foundation to build on. For me these scores are not something to sit on, but something to continue to improve. This could be tough as it seems I have set myself a high standard. But thats something I believe we should all do in life. Set high standards that meet our abilities and continue to improve them.
Finally I couldn’t write this post without saying a massive massive thank you for all that voted for me. Obviously I could not have done this without you all and your kindness. The scores and comments that you all left make me very proud and happy to know you all. And it was an absolute privilege to capture every moment of your special days. I send you all my sincerest thanks and wish all of you all the happiness in the world.