Ross Harvey, National winner 2013
Given that our nation is bursting at the seams with creativity, it can be of no surprise that the Best Wedding Photographer category had always been the most popular one in TWIA. But that also means it’s one of the hardest and toughest to judge.
So what are the kind of things that voters are telling us about their wedding photographers and what are the judges looking for?
Well, in the first instance it comes down to style. Even the most artistically blind couple can be won over by a photographer who has their own unique sense of style and ability to see the world from a specific viewpoint. It is usually this that first attracts their clients to them.
Whilst very few voters comment on the technical side of things, there is a certain sense that what couples want is a low maintenance professional who can surreptitiously get on with their job, rather than somebody who has all the gear and no idea. With the increasing popularity of documentary photography, couples almost seem to prize a photographer who they barely notice over one that has a take charge and manipulate the situation for the image type of attitude.
That being said, The Wedding Industry Awards panel often read comments commending their photographer for having a professional yet friendly demeanour that meant that their guests could interact and relate to the photographer as well. The impression that this key wedding supplier leaves amongst the clients’ friends and family does seem to be of tantamount importance.
Marianne Taylor, National winner 2012
That, perhaps, is because the photographer is the one supplier who is on hand all day and most visible to the guests. Since they’re all there to have a good time, they don’t want to be shouted as they’re marshalled into shot or made to feel like they’re in the way when they want to take their own pictures.
Of course, the work of a wedding photographer extends much further than the wedding day itself. From pre-wedding shoots to post-processing and album design, couples want to feel like their wedding photographer is invested in every part of the process, as well as guiding them in their choices and helping them to feel comfortable in front of the camera.
They may not know about the hours of editing that go into creating their wedding photos, or the endless work photographers do on raising the profile of their business or the fact that they have found a needle in a haystack due to the strong branding and passion of that particular photographer over all the rest. But they do know when they get on with someone, when they feel relaxed and when, as a consequence of that, they end up being in love with their wedding photos to such a degree that they can’t stop showing them to people.
If you’re a wedding photographer with a passion for creating lasting memories for your clients, you’ve still just about got time to enter TWIA 2014. Alternatively, if you know a photographer who’s hiding their light under a bushel, you can nominate them for the Best Wedding Photography category now.