I’ll be honest, I don’t really enter my work into awards or competitions, my immediate aim is not to be one of those award winning wedding photographers, as talented as they are. I know it's cliché but instead I focus my time on delivering exceptional products to my wedding couples. I also help other wedding photographers through my various photography business and marketing training programmes.
It’s far more important to me that my customers get the amazing wedding photographs they're expecting, and so my time goes into that process over and above submitting work to wedding photography and industry awards.
I'm not taking anything away from the many award winning wedding photographers, the top ten UK or even the world's best, there are some truly exceptional wedding photographers out there, it's just that entering these awards doesn't guarantee that my wedding images will be promoted to the right people - something far more important to me than any perceived industry kudos.
That said, I am shortlisted for various lists and collections every so often. My most recent accolades include being shortlisted as one of the Best Wedding Photographers by Hen Heaven, International Wedding and Portrait Photographer of the Year by Lux’s Global Wedding Awards, The 50 Best Uk Wedding Photographers by Go Hen and one of the 'Top 10 UK Winter Wedding Photographers' by Professional Photographer magazine.
With competitions it's possible to get that one amazing but nevertheless lucky shot featured and be forever labelled an ‘award winning wedding photographer’. The problem is, good wedding photography relies on skill, understanding and consistency, luck rarely comes into it.
To develop the kind of depth, variety and consistency required to reliably produce great, professional photographs across a 8, 10 even 12 hour day takes many years and a huge amount of effort and investment.
Instead of competitions I focus on ‘Associations’ - groups that feature only the very best wedding photographers who have been peer reviewed and hand picked for entry to join a small collection of the most talented, top wedding photographers in the UK and world. Entry to something as exclusive as the invitation-only Best of Wedding Photography or the reportage-only directory This is Reportage, are worth a hundred photo awards to me.
I'm also part of the Wedding Photojournalists Association (aka documentary), as well as a member of the International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers, both of which require client and peer testimonials in order for photographers to achieve membership status.