October 18th 2013. And I’m suited and booted off to my first ever awards ceremony at Innocence in Newmarket. The occasion? The Velvet Magazine awards.
The night included 38 businesses from local boutiques to motor dealerships being awarded for being ‘First’ or ‘Highly Commended’ in their relevant categories, as voted by Velvet Magazine’s readers. I was in the photography category. And faced some tough competition. At the time I was working out of a photo studio owned by Bury Bridal Rooms, Velvet Wedding Suppliers and Accessories winners in 2012. It was owners of Bury Bridal Rooms, Noel & Debi Bond, that originally put my name forward for the nominations.
I considered myself with no chance of winning. Although I am confident in my work and ability I knew I was up against some very very good photographers. The previous 5 years had all been won by the same photographer. Just the experience of being at an award show excited me and it was an honour to be there. Even if I picked up the highly commended award I would have been surprised such was the competition.
Once they read out the highly commended award, which I must admit I was hopeful for, I thought that was it. And as the photographer who had won it the last 5 years in succession wasn’t named, it seemed very unlikely that he wasn’t walking away with a 6th award. I even turned to Debi and Noel and said, “Well it looks like someones winning 6 years in a row. Thats amazing.”
How wrong was I! All I remember is my name being read out, my jaw dropping in amazement and high pitched screams from Debi and her friends. I couldn’t believe it. I did not know what to do.
I froze on the spot. Debi, seeing this, was pushing me forward towards the stage telling Noel to go with me. My speech was very short as I was not prepared.
“Wow! Thank you everyone that voted for me. I am speechless. Really don’t know what to say! Noel is the owner of the studio I work from. I’m sure he would like to say a few words?” I said nervously in the hope Noel would take over and give a more assertive speech.
Noel leant across to the microphone to say, “Thank you!” and that was all. Thanks Noel lol
I’ve never really been one for entering competitions and award shows. But I do have to say my Velvet First for Photography Award 2013 sits proudly on my desk.
Unfortunately Bury Bridal Rooms is no longer in business as Debi has moved into a very successful high class estate agent. But I am forever thankful firstly that I got to work with two amazing people and that they helped me win my first award.