Is ‘award winning photographer’ something you specifically look for or is it a bonus to find that the wedding photographer that you’ve finally found just happens to have a bunch of awards next to their name?
For me as a wedding photographer they’re a validation by my peers and my clients that my creative process is flourishing and believe me each one I get is as precious as my first.
You have to take a leap of faith as a photographer to put yourself out there in the awards sphere. The Fearless Photographer Awards and the ISPWP Awards both attract around 10,000 entrants for each award process. From that only around 100 will get awards. That’s a big pond!
A couple of years ago I had a big reality check on life when I found out that I had cancer (treated successfully). At the time I was also beginning to review what it meant for me to be a wedding photographer.
I want always to give the best of me and my photography to my couples, and so the enforced absence for a year helped me to refocus and realign. And, something unexpected and little bit miraculous happened. I went back to the roots of my photography experience and re-captured, re-established the bold and less conventional style of photography that I had become known for.
What a joy it was to return to my camera and find my perspective once more and on top of that to finally find myself on the list of award winners in both the Fearless Awards and the ISPWP Awards.
3 of my favourite wedding photographs have won awards recently and a 4th middle of last year. They’re awards that couldn’t have happened without the input of each wedding couple simply by enjoying their day and letting me do what I do best – observing real authentic moments and photographing them without intruding on that moment. They capture love, fun, and family moments each authentically and each in different ways.
Let me tell you about them……
The bride getting ready isn’t something that I always photograph but it’s a time that gives a unique insight into the tension, the excitement and the emotions of what the day ahead represents for the bride and her support tribe – bridesmaids, family, makeup artists and florists often making an appearance in the tableau.
This particular photograph expressed for me all of that, from the curiosity of the young flower girl, the concentration of the bridesmaid steaming their gowns and the general ‘buzz’ of conversation and concentration in the room.
I think there’s also something powerful about capturing these moments in black and white, taking away all other distractions and focusing wholly on the people in the room.
With colour stripped away, confidence in composition and your own artistic ability is also essential, as is the confidence in how you process the image to create something that captures the essence of the day. This image won an ISPWP award in the autumn 2019 compitition.
Immediately after the ceremony there’s often a sense of both relief and unrestrained joy that I can see in the faces and actions of the bride and groom and their guests. There’s a sense of each person appreciating their own families and taking a moment to enjoy that privilege. It’s a sense of joy that travels along the generations and this photograph of a father with his daughter brought smiles and tears to the couple and their guests.
This photograph to me says genuine and authentic love in the smiles and actions of each person in the frame, and again the use of black and white enables that focus on emotions. It also won an award in the autumn 2019 ISPWP awards.
By the time the wedding reception party kicks off, people are usually ready to wholeheartedly embrace the music on the dance floor, or alternatively find a quiet corner to rest weary feet and an aching head! It’s one of my favourite times of the day and its one time where I will be in the thick of things amongst the dancers throwing shapes, singing loudly or doing both.
Elegant bride Rebecca had ramped up the energy by changing from her bridal gown into something specially for the dancing. She gave me the perfect opportunity to capture this fabulous moment when she shimmied under the ribbon cheered on by her adoring and enthusiastic guests. This photo has so far won two awards – one in the Fearless Photographer Awards and one in ISPWP.
Cambridge is a fairly unique location for a wedding, and I think my 4th award winner encapsulated Cambridge life with the bride and groom, both Cambridge University alumni stepping on board a punt to be chauffeured down the river to their reception. Unscripted and authentic I love it for its timeless appeal. Whatever happens around us in a turbulent world, there’ll always be a corner somewhere to find love, laughter and joy. This image won an ISPWP award in the summer 2018 compitition.
Each of these photographs is a unique moment in each couple’s day. As award winning images they play a part in validating my creativity and skill as a wedding photographer. But ultimately I love the images because of what they represent from each day and what they mean to each couple, a moment in time that has the power to bring to life unique moments from one amazing memorable day.
Book your wedding photography with me: I have a few dates left for 2020 and would love to hear from you if you would like your wedding story captured in the way that is uniquely you, authentic, unscripted but always creative.
t: 0370 626 5200
m: 0796 303 3266