It's been an amazing wedding season for me so far, full of awesome couples, fantastic venues and a great deal of laughter. Of course, running a wedding photography business is also a lot of hard work - contrary to what some people might think, there's a lot more to it than showing up on the big day with a camera and a smile on your face. But my clients know more than most what's involved: they get to know me on their pre-wedding shoot; spend a full day with me unobtrusively capturing all the moments; and laugh (and very often cry) at the slideshow I play at their final viewing.
TWIA 2020 | The Wedding Industry AwardsJenny Rutterford Photography is a Wedding Photographer of the Year Regional Finalist
What does it mean to be a TWIA Regional Finalist?
So I decided to enter The Wedding Industry Awards 2020 as a way to receive my clients' valuable feedback and gain recognition for my efforts. Let's face it, us wedding photographers don't get repeat clients (or at least, not very often!) so we have to put ourselves out there year round to attract new couples. Anything that can help to garner trust that we'll do a great job is welcome, and what better than an award that's voted for by our clients. Only actual wedding couples over a twelve month period are eligible to vote, which stops the competition being a meaningless popularity contest. That, plus the opportunity to receive your clients' comments at the end of the competition is the reason I entered. It's a chance to learn and grow through criticism - both positive and negative - which every small business needs if it is to survive in such a competitive industry.
So I'm thrilled to have made it into the South East Regional Finals for the Wedding Photographer of the Year! In a nutshell, it means that my clients scored me highly on factors ranging from the quality of my photography, to my professionalism and customer service. It's a vote of confidence from them that means a great deal to me. And displaying the 2020 TWIA badge on my promotional materials is a good way to tell that to prospective clients without having to shout about it, which us creative types aren't generally very good at. So if you're one of my couples reading this, thank you, thank you, thank you, for your support. It means everything to me.
Let's see a few photos please!
I thought it would be a lovely idea to show a few photos from the weddings of each of the couples who voted me into the Regional Finals. There are many more on my Instagram feed (I finally took the plunge and joined Instagram at the start of this wedding season - you can find me @jennyrutterfordphotography if you're so inclined) but this will give you a flavour of my style.
Confronted with a choice of more than 10,000 photos, where to start?! I opted for candid, storytelling images. Nothing posed, nothing directed, simply observations of human character and expression. Capturing moments is basically what I do. The couple images and handful of group photos are just a small part of the day. It's the little moments that make up a wedding and the reason I do what I do. Sometimes people see me and play up to the camera, most of the time they're unaware of my presence. But the photos below are un-staged and entirely representative of my approach to wedding photography. Enjoy!
So what comes next?
At the end of November I will attend the South East Regional Awards event, which this year is held at Field Place in Worthing, one of my couples' venues, and featured in the above images. The winners in each category will be announced - not just photography, but florists, make up artists, venues and cake makers, to name but a few. Several of my industry colleagues, a few who have become friends, have also made the finals in their respective categories. So although I'm a little shy, and not naturally great at networking, it will be fun to catch up with them, and just to get dressed up for a night out. Not many Christmas parties for the self-employed!
The next stage after Regional Finals is voted for by a panel of judges. They'll be scrutinising everything from clients' comments, our websites and social media, to the quality of our work. It's a tough competition with many worthy competitors, but worth a shot! And whether or not I manage to progress to the next stage, I'll be able to receive my clients' comments, plus feedback from the judges, at the end of the competition in January.
Wish me luck!
Venues featured in this blog include:
Long Furlong Barn, West Sussex
Field Place, West Sussex
Bartholomew Barn, West Sussex
Brookfield Barn, West Sussex
Selden Barns, West Sussex
Blackstock Country Estate, East Sussex
Worthing Pier Southern Pavilion, West Sussex
Rye Island (Arabian Tent Company), West Sussex
Edes House, West Sussex
Northfields House, West Sussex
Tunnels Beaches, Devon
St Audries Park, Somerset
Archerfield House, Scotland