Each year, members of the Wedding Industry kick their heels off to enjoy each other's company at various events around the country. For those who are self-employed, it's the closest thing to a 'Christmas do' you're going to get, so it's great to be able to enjoy the company of those you work alongside throughout the year.
It's quite unique in a way. I regularly see the same suppliers at weddings, and yet through the course of a season i can see upwards of 60 different suppliers, from Florists to Caterers. Each one works in a different way and has their own approach to things. Most of the time it's an absolute pleasure to see them work, to marvel at the skill they show and feel part of something greater than yourself.
In 2016 and 2017 i made it through to the final of the Dorset Wedding Supplier Awards; an event hosted by the multi-talented Sam Savage at South Coast Events, to celebrate the hard work everyone in the industry puts in and to offer awards to those whom the judges deem worthy.
It was incredible this year to not only win the 'Photographer' category, hotly contested as usual, but also the last award of the night - 'The Industry Overall Highest Score'. That was a shock. As i was clumsily pouring Coffee down my suit jacket, trying to locate the car keys i thought i'd placed safely in my pocket, wondering what items of clothing the dog had managed to locate and destroy in our absence, and getting increasingly excited to see my little girl and tell her 'Daddy Won!', i heard my name again! It really was a lovely surprise and hopefully a just reward for what has been an incredible year.
I've had the utter privilege of capturing 38 weddings in total this year. I don't like to put them into one number, because they are so much more than that, to me. However, for the purpose of this, it helps to add figures for context. So, more weddings than i've had in one season, all within fewer months than ever, it was pretty tiring i can tell you. In August alone i had 12 weddings... thats more than many people go to in a lifetime. That's (again, for context) around 20,000+ images taken, 120+ hours of shooting alone, hundreds of happy miles travelled, 1000+ guests met and many, many, many hours of editing... just in August. On a few occasions i would shoot for 42 hours over 3 days. It was remarkable, exhilarating and hugely, emotionally rewarding.
Think about it. My job is to look at people having a great time and capture it for them. How can that not put a smile on your face!!?
And so, after all the adventures of the year - giving first aid to a bride's son who was choking, being bitten by another child (that was fun!!), driving brides to their church due to unforeseen circumstances, flat tyres, seizing lenses, biblically hot weather, feinting guests, hilarious vows and a thousand smiling faces; these awards are the cherry on a ridiculous cake. The best cake i've ever consumed.
Ultimately, no matter how much it might 'fluff' one's ego, it's all about the people whom employ me that make the difference. It is they who give me the opportunity to do what i love and it is my wife and daughter whom i endeavour to make proud. It's bloody brilliant to be able to put that ideal into a reality.
It goes to show - if you never try, you never know. It also goes to show that the more people who doubt you, the more driven you can be.
Thank you for your support. If you share my posts - you help. If you ask 'How's work going?' - you help. Little things can become big gestures when packaged together.
Best wishes and congratulations to all the other finalists and winners of the Dorset Wedding Supplier Awards, it's is an honour to be counted amongst you.
+ many, many more incredibly talented people.