Award Winning Wedding Photographers

Blog Article, Competitions, Wedding Package

There…see how easy it is to say or write!?  After all, it really does seem that  every wedding photographer on social media these days is an “award winning” one. Oh my and double gosh, what a talented buch we all are!  Except…

…well except some of it just a load of old tosh.  Put up by wedding photographers in the hope it’ll impress you no end and and you’ll rush to book them for your wedding. I mean, it sounds good doesn’t it? But who’s validating these claims?  No one really. It’s just something that falls to you as a wedding couple to check out…if you can.  It’s easy to be come confused and fooled by all the award claims out there.

So I thought it’d be useful to give you a 5 handy pointers on “award winning photographers” so you are a bit better informed when it comes to booking a wedding photographer…award winning or not.

1.  What is a genuine wedding photography award?

Dodmoor House Wedding Photography Northamptonshire

Well, let’s start by setting out what to expect of a wedding photography award. First off, make sure it’s for the photography itself (we’ll come on to this more later.)  It should consider the quality of the image and the technical ability behind capturing it. Ideally it should also be awarded by photography experts with credentials…photographers who know what they’re talking about. It’s really as simple as that. However…

2. Have they “paid” for the award.

Charlene David Holy Ghost Luton Wedding

Yes, it’s dead easy to buy so called wedding photography awards these days.  Sign up to a wedding award website, pay your fee and soon enough you’ll get some kind of “award” from them.  There’s a lot of these so called awards available via Instagram.  It’s a money making venture and very little to do with the actual quality and skill of the photographer. So check out the website or Instagram feed of the award issuer. Does it look like a bona fide and respected award?  Or are they being hand out like, well, confetti?

3. Is it for just being featured on a wedding blog?

Harlestone Village Institute Wedding Photography Northants

This is a common one – have some photos featured on a wedding blog and you get a nice little logo to put on your website.  But despite the fact it’s not actually an “award” as such, some wedding photographers will claim it as such. Yes, it can be quite worthy and a good sign that the photographer’s work has been featured but blogs are content hungry so need to be posting work constantly. They are largely edited by people with little photography knowledge and whilst a photo is worthy of publication it’s not an “award”.

4. Is it a photography award?

Rowton Castle Wedding Photography Shropshire

Believe me, I’ve seen stories about a wedding photographer who claimed to be award winning…the award  was for swimming! After all, he never said it was award winning photography!  Yes, this is likely extreme and rare, but it shows you why you do need to ask. Another example that fits into this are wedding photographers who win awards for business service, branding or other corporate matters. Yes, it’s all commendable but its not about the actual quality of their photography. It’s still misleading and questionable.

5. Is it a respected award?

Woodlands Park Hotel Surrey Wedding Photography

Anyone can set up awards. There’s hundreds out there. From obscure blogs right up to big industry ones who run them. So dig deep, research and look up the award. Whoses behind the award? Is it a professional body or just a blog read by 10 people? Who were the judges? What were their credentials?  Does it impress you?

Of course, being an award winning wedding photographer isn’t the be all and end all. There’s lots of very talented and exceptional wedding photographers out there who have never won an award, or even ever entered one. But having won genuine and respected awards is another criteria you can apply n trying to find the right wedding photographer out there.  The key is to always ask, challenge and research…don’t just automatically believe or trust what someone has written on their website, blog or social media.

Oh, and me?  Well, yes, I have won wedding photography awards from the respected and prestigious Wedding Photojournalist Association and the Artistic Guild of the the Wedding Photojournalist Association. Professional bodies comprised of some of the most talented wedding photographers in the world.  I’m very proud of that fact, but it’s just an indication of my wedding photography. So if you would like to discuss your wedding plans with me, just send me details via my contact page or give me a call on 07920 422144. I’ll be delighted and thrilled yo hear from you.

Ashridge House wedding photography of the wedding videographer adjusting settings of the video booth

Another Wedding Photography Award

Awards, Competitions

I was genuinely surprised, flattered and honoured to learn that I have picked up a second wedding photography award just a few days after the last.

This one was from the Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA) itself and, amusingly, was another of a wedding vendor – this time from Carly and Sonny’s wedding story at Ashridge House in Hertfordshire.

In the image itself, two wedding guests can be seen leaving a video message for the bride and groom, whilst you can just catch a glimpse of the vendor using a remote control to change what is on the screen in the video booth. It’s subtle but I love how it shows how wedding suppliers are always working in the background of a wedding to ensure the day can be as memorable as it can be.

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Of course, it’s always lovely to pick up wedding photography awards, especially when they are genuine awards that are voted on by esteemed judges and your peers. Awards do offer potential wedding couples that the photographer is professional, creative and up to the demanding task of capturing a wedding story. But you do have to be careful – there are a lot of awards out there that anyone can “win”, simply by paying the appropriate “entry fee.” So when you see wedding photographers claiming to be “award winning” it’s worth checking and asking who judged the award and what it was for…after all, someone’s swimming award isn’t going to be that relevant to your wedding photography!

If you like my relaxed, unobtrusive and documentary approach to wedding photography, then I’d love to chat with you about your wedding plans.  You can give me a call on 07920 422144 or send me a message via my contact page.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Award Winning Wedding Photography

Awards, Competitions

I am delighted to say that this image, of a magician entertaining guests, at Hollie & Dan’s Grendon Lakes wedding in Northampton, was placed in the Top 20 of the most recent quarterly contest with the prestigious Artistic Guild of the Wedding Photojournalist Association (AGWPJA).

Entered into the ‘Other Vendors‘ category it’s always nice when esteemed judges and talented peers recognize your work.  I am immensely proud of the fact that I am a qualifying member of the AGWPJA and this latest success only inspires me more to shoot the most creative imagery I can of couple’s wedding stories.

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If you are getting married and would like to talk to me about your wedding plans then please call me on 07920 422144 0r send me a message via my contact page. I’ll be delighted to hear from you.

Northamptonshire wedding photographer captures a flower gil playing with the hat of the mother of the bride during the wedding toasts and speeches at Grendon Lakes, Northamptonshire

Taking on the World’s Best Wedding Photojournalists

Blog Article, Competitions

It’s that time of the year again when I submit to the quarterly wedding photojournalism contest with the Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA) of which I am member.  Some of the world’s best wedding photojournalists enter these contests, so it’s a real challenge just entering!

The 4th quarter’s categories which I entered, were as follows:

Bride Getting Ready

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“Bride Getting Ready” entries spontaneously capture the prepping, grooming, arranging, outfitting, and nail-biting before the ceremony.

Groom Getting Ready

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“Groom Getting Ready” entries spontaneously capture the prepping, grooming, arranging, outfitting, and nail-biting before the ceremony.

Ceremony

These are authentic images of the actual marriage portion of the event, from the pre-ceremony to the vow-exchange to the receiving line.

Reception

Ashridge House wedding photography of an emotional moment as the bride hugs her father during their last dance

This is the big party. “Reception” photographs catch all the post-ceremony festivities from the cocktail hour through to the last dance and the bride and groom’s departure.

Ring Details

Entries that depict shots of the rings, either set-up and controlled by the photographer or as they were found.

Symmetry

Woodlands Park Hotel Surrey Wedding Photography

This a challenge to find that perfect sense of “equality” through light and composition. Weddings present numerous opportunities via dress, mannerisms, scenes, tone, textures, and sometimes….emotions.

Fluid

There are plenty of representations of liquid at a wedding event. Give this challenging category some extra thought, and show us your take on what makes a moment ‘fluid’.

Toasting/Speeches

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The “Toasting/Speeches” category incorporates images of individuals or groups toasting, as well as those giving toast-related speeches throughout the day.

Cake Cutting

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These images should demonstrate the photographer’s ability to anticipate a moment and/or look beyond the ordinary ‘Cake Cutting’ images that many would come to expect from a wedding.

Transportation

One of the best Northamptonshire wedding photographers captures a candid shot of a flower girl, and daughter of the groom, practicing her wedding speech in the back of a car, en route to the wedding at Grendon Lakes, Northamptonshire.

“Transportation” images include brides in limos or carriages, bridal parties en route to the ceremony or reception, trolley rides, antique cars, buses and other transporting themes.

Other Vendors

Ashridge House wedding photography of the wedding videographer adjusting settings of the video booth

“Other Vendors” submissions include images of musicians, DJs, bands, wedding planners, reception hall staff, florists, caterers, etc., performing their job to make the wedding day possible.

Mobile Devices

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This category is for images where the key element is a mobile device, such as mobile devices, mp3 players, portable gaming devices, etc.

Wildcard Portrait

Northamptonshire wedding photography at Sedgebrook Hall in Chapel Brampton, Northants

Anything related to the big day goes into this new category. It?s all about your creative approach to portraiture during a pre-wedding engagement session or capturing the bride, groom, bridal party, family, friends, children and/or any other posed wedding party member on the big day. We are open to images that display the photographer’s skill in using lighting techniques like off-camera flashes and strobes.

These aren’t my only submissions, as I had missed the first two quarter’s contents of this year (OK, read “forgot to get in on time” rather than “missed”!) I had a number of submissions stored up for the final contest of 2015 (you get 60 submissions to use throughout the year.) so was able to enter multiple times under a few of the categories in this contest.

Results won’t be announced till late April, most probably.  Given the amazingly talent that enters the WPJA contests  just getting placed is a MASSIVE achievement.  I’ll no doubt give an update later in the year, and let you know how I did against some of the world’s best wedding photojournalists!

Sedgebrook Hall wedding photography

Wedding Photojournalist Association Contest

Blog Article, Competitions

Wedding Photojournalism Contest – Q2 2015 – Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA)

I’m always extremely proud and honoured to say how I am a qualifying and active member of the Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA), which is a professional organisation composed of photojournalists and wedding photographers from around the world. What sets us members of the WPJA apart in the industry is our candid, documentary approach – a distinctly artistic vision toward wedding photography.  Also, unlike a lot of other professional wedding photography bodies, you have to qualify for entry into the WPJA and adhere to their strict code of professional conduct.  So it really does mean something to have been accepted into the WPJA.

One of the cool things about being a member, is the opportunity to enter their quarterly wedding photojournalism contests – submitting wedding photojournalistic images from real weddings during the current calendar year. The Wedding Photojournalist Association upholds the highest level of ethical standards, especially in the area of their wedding photography contests. The purpose of the WPJA is to celebrate photographers who creatively document and record the found moment. Therefore all wedding photography images submitted in the WPJA contest must always be true representations of what actually took place the moment the shutter was released. They are absolutely uncompromising in their conviction that contest images come from situations unprompted by the photographer, except in the case of portraits.  So as you can guess, entering their contests is a big deal.  So here are my submissions, by category, for the 2015 2nd quarter competition.

Getting Ready

The Getting Ready category is for images which spontaneously capture the prepping, grooming, arranging, outfitting, and anticipation before the ceremony.  The following are what I submitted for this category.

Sedgebrook Hall Wedding PhotographySlaley Hall wedding photographySedgebrook Hall Wedding Photography

Ceremony

This category is for those captured moments of those who participate in the wedding (guests, family, and bridal party) during the processional, ceremony, and recessional. Here’s what I submitted:

South Lodge Horsham Wedding PhotographySlaley Hall wedding photographySlaley Hall wedding photography

 Reception

“Reception” photographs document the festivities from the cocktail hour through the last dance and departure.  Here’s what I entered for this category:

Slaley Hall Wedding PhotographySouth Lodge wedding photographySlaley Hall wedding photography

Details (Found)

“Details (Found)” encompasses tighter shots of the day’s small slices as they were found. This includes clothes, rings, food, linens, flowers, faces, etc. This category is not for set-up detail shots. It’s important that images submitted in this category don’t contain content controlled by the photographer. Here’s what I submitted:

Slaley Hall wedding photographySedgebrook Hall wedding photographySedgebrook Hall wedding photography

Emotion

“Emotion” entries unobtrusively freeze intriguing expressions ranging from joy to tears, so here’s what I entered:

South Lodge Horsham wedding photographySlaley Hall wedding photogrpahySedgebrook Hall wedding photography

Great Natural Light

“Great Natural Light” entries capture moments brilliantly lit under natural and ambient lighting conditions, without the help of any flash or strobe. Here are my submissions:

Sedgebrook Hall wedding photographySlaley Hall wedding photography

Creative Portrait

“Creative Portrait” employs a fresh and artistic approach to portraiture in capturing the bride, groom, bridal party, family, friends, children and/or any other posed wedding party member. This is a rare WPJA category where candid moments are not eligible. This is what I entered:

South Lodge Horsham Wedding PhotographySedgebrook Hall wedding photographySedgebrook Hall wedding photography

So there you have all my entries into the WPJA wedding photojournalism contest for the 2nd quarter of 2015.  If I should happen to place, when the results are announced, you can be sure I’ll be posting about it here!

Getting married and like my wedding photojournalism approach?

If you are getting married and would like a wedding photojournalism approach to capturing your real wedding story, then I’d love to chat with you about your wedding plans.  You can give me a call on 07920 422144 or send me a private message in the form at the bottom of this page. Alternatively, you can send me a message via my contact page and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.  For details of my wedding photography packages and prices please click here.

Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear from you.

Contact Me

Please leave me a private message in the form below.  No one else can see your message and it will be sent to me by email. Alternatively, if you prefer to chat, then please do give me a call on 07920 422144.

 

 

 

Wedding Storyteller Competition

Blog Article, Competitions

I Am Wedding Storyteller Competition

I’m really excited and thrilled to have been invited to participate in the I Am Wedding Storyteller competition run by the MyWed website and sponsored by Nikon. As a photographer who specialises in wedding photojournalism and documenting the real story of a wedding day, a competition based on wedding storytelling was too good to miss.  Therefore, I am delighted to have now submitted my 50 image wedding story, Oxfordshire Wedding Reportage Noir and you can view it by following the link.

B&W Wedding Photojournalism

Warborough wedding photojournalism of bridal prarparations

I knew straight away that I wanted a wedding photography story that would have a strong narrative and a consistent aesthetic to pull it all together.  Therefore, I made the decision pretty quickly that my submitted wedding story was going to be exclusively black and white.  I decided on this for a number of reasons.  Firstly, I am passionate about black and white photography. For me it’s both timeless and classic – it somehow see’s into the soul of a photograph in a way colour photograph tends to focus on the surface of things.  Nearly all my photographic inspirations worked exclusively in b&w photography, see it’s definitely the field I feel most comfortable in.  I also firmly believe that b&w presents a visual narrative much more strongly – the viewer isn’t distracted by colours and can focus more on the heart of the story. I guess this is why photojournalism and photojournalists are synonymous with b&w photography.

Oxfordshire Wedding Reportage

Vicar in St Laurence church in Warborough, Oxfordshire, before the wedding ceremony.

The difficult decision was deciding which wedding I have photographed to work on for the wedding story submission.  The rules were clear, the story could only feature the wedding photography from one wedding – so I couldn’t pick and choose from the many fantastic weddings I’ve been fortunate enough to shoot.  Knowing I wanted my entry to have a very strong narrative I decided to settle on Alex & Woody’s wedding in Oxfordshire from last August.  Their big day had a lot of varied and interesting elements within it which would really help to hang a strong story off.  There were all the bridal preparations in the morning, a Church wedding in Warborough, a reception at the delightful Frilford Heath Golf Course, a Rolls Royce, a helicopter and even a hot air balloon!

Yes, there may have been stronger singular images from other weddings, but I was determined my entry was to be a real story of a real wedding day with a real couple, rather than a stylized portfolio of sorts. So with that in mind, that’s why I settled on the title of an Oxfordshire Wedding Reportage Noir.

The Integrity of the Wedding Story

Wedding photography of a boy looking bored during the wedding reception at Frilford Heath Golf Course, Oxfordshire.

Given that I was going for an exclusively b&w wedding photojournalism submission, it meant I did have to re-edit images from the wedding day – this simply ensured a consistency in the narrative.  It’s this strong sense of story that I believe makes wedding reportage what it is.  Also, in order to ensure a storytelling flow to the entry, I did re-sequence a couple of images here and there. However, I don’t believe this harmed the integrity of the wedding story in any way at all.  I’m really delighted with what I have submitted. I firmly believe it’s a strong and visual wedding story and, most importantly to a wedding photojournalist, authentic and real.  Like all the wedding photojournalism I pursue, it’s about the couple’s story rather than my interpretation of that. That’s why there were no posed or formal portraits included in Oxfordshire Wedding Reportage Noir.  I hope you enjoy viewing it as much as I did shooting the wedding photography and pulling the story itself together.

Wedding Photojournalism for your Big Day

Wedding photography of a guest capturing a photo of the Bride & Grooms first dance on their smart phone, at Frilford Heath Golf Course in Oxforshire

If you liked my wedding reportage story or are getting married and looking for wedding photojournalism that will document your wedding story in a unique, candid and unobtrusive way then I’d love to talk to you about your wedding plans.  You can call me now on 07920 422144 or send me an email via my contact page.

To see all my wedding packages and prices, please visit the Collections & Prices page.

I look forward to hearing from you.

You can see the entire 50 image Oxfordshire Wedding Reportage Noir story by clicking here.