Award winning wedding photographer
It seems a long time since Errol Brown sang “everyone’s a winner baby, that’s the truth”. It is a long time in fact, 41 years at time of writing! But it seems never more true than today in respect of wedding photographers. Pretty much every wedding photographer you meet or whose website you chance upon will claim that they’re an award winning photographer. I used to claim to be the “best wedding photographer in my house – as voted for by George, my cat”, I couldn’t claim to be best in the street because my next door neighbour was pretty good too and had a few awards to his name (George would still have voted for me though). The thing is there are so many associations and directories these days that just joining a handful of them will pretty much guarantee you a shiny trinket of some description. There’s at least one Top “50 best” listing I’m aware of where the photographer’s ranking is determined by his or her advertising spend over the year. Another awards body allows you to nominate yourself for an award and then leverage your social media followings to vote for you. It’s all pretty bankrupt really.
That said there are a few bodies that are different, and I am a member of a couple of these. Often the entry criteria are high, applicants are assessed so that the standards remain high. The awards given out are judged by other photographers or at least individuals who have no vested interest in driving traffic to their websites or selling their products. Unlike the majority of the awards rackets these ones aren’t purely social media beauty contests. As I say I am currently a member of two of these groups, The WPJA (Wedding Photojournalists Association) and TIR (This is Reportage). With these two, quality of images entered into competitions is high and judging standards are also high. With both of these groups only a small percentage of images entered ever win an award. I have managed to scoop a handful which, given how hard that is to do, I’m quite pleased with. you can see them below.