This month I won another 3 Bronze awards in the wedding category from the Guild of Professional Photographers! Scroll down to see the winning images, or keep on reading to find out more!
As a professional photographer I take self-development and continual progression very seriously. I regularly attend training days and workshops, I keep up to date with the latest developments and techniques, and I set aside time to photograph ‘models’ (regular people!) to practise new and existing skills, for example.
I also pay a membership to belong to the Guild Of Professional Photographers; an international photographic association where, amongst many other things, I network with other photographers from around the world, receive valuable constructive critique on my work, and have access to resources and services to assist me in my work. They also run a prestigious monthly competition for all their members, which I entered for the last month for the first time in the wedding category, and will continue to enter when I actually remember the deadline or have the time to sit down and sort out some images!
You may have seen my previous post announcing last months awards but I thought I would take a moment to better explain the competition for those that are interested.
There are 4 categories within the Guild’s ‘Image of the Month’ competition: Babies and bumps, Children, family, and adults, Wedding, and Other.
Photographers typically enter either 3 or 6 images each month to compete. These entries are then assessed by a full panel of highly experienced Judges who grade them in accordance with international judging criteria. This is based on subject and storytelling, composition and creativity, lighting, and technical and post production excellence. The higher scoring images from each category are awarded Bronze, Silver, Gold Awards, or they are classified as graded, or ungraded.
Within these four the Wedding category is regarded as being the most difficult to obtain an award in, this is due to the nature of the wedding day and us not being able to control light, positioning, location, clothing etc, like you can in a studio environment. You are also only permitted to enter photographs from a real live wedding day, so this means absolutely no models, staged events, or styled shoots. In the other categories these scenarios are allowed. As a result only very very few wedding images have ever been awarded with a Silver award – it is extremely rare, and I don’t think any have been awarded a Gold!
Last month I achieved three Graded images and three were awarded Bronze, and then again this month I had the same, three achieved a Graded result and three won the Bronze award.
They describe the Graded images as “Images of a good standard but which are not deemed award winning at national competition level. In many cases it is possible that with one or two small tweaks the image could have scored even higher.” So I am very happy to receive these!
As you can imagine, as a photographer I am extremely proud of my Bronze Awards. The Guild describes those images that win the Bronze Award as “An image of a strong standard at national competition level (something to be proud of!)“.
Side note: As a documentary style photographer I am unfortunately aware that it is my more ‘posed’ images that I take during the couples portraits that seem to win these awards, whereas my un-directed documentary images have only been classified as Graded so far. But I think this is only to be expected as I have even less control over light, positioning, etc. I will still keep entering these images though as I love them so much, and a horizon line passing someones head, or a head tilted to slightly the wrong angle, will not detract from the wonderful meaningful moment I captured in my camera.
Here are my 6 images from past wonderful weddings in Derby that have won the coveted Bronze award in the tough wedding category these past two months: