As an active member of the WPJA (Wedding Photojournalist Association), I decided it was time during my 2018 wedding season to push myself to better my documentary style of photography. The best way I knew was to get other respected and working documentary photographers to judge my work.

So of late, I decided I’d enter a few competitions to pit myself against other wedding photographers in the world!! As nervous as the thought was, I kept thinking of the expression: “Go big or go home.” Plus: “What’s there to lose?”

So far, I was happy to say 3 of my images had received awards. This means I’m now ranked one as one of the “Top Wedding Photographers in the West Midlands
(Dec 2020 Update: I now have 18 awards. Read about all my latest awards here)

The WPJA has just announced their latest awards, and I’m stoked to say that another 2 of my images have received awards! Added to that one of my images was even awarded a top Gold Award!! This brings my tally to 5 awards over the last 12 months.

I always feel humbled to think that my images stand next to some of the greatest images in the world. This means I can gladly continue to say “I’m truly an award-winning wedding photographer!” Yay!!

The 2 images in particular are:

Gold Award

View blog post on this barn wedding

Bride and groom having a sparkler exit at Curradine Barn
Master Piece Award: 2018

Purple Award

View the blog post from this Digbeth wedding

Jubilant bride and groom during their wedding
Master Piece Award: 2018

What I love about entering the WPJA’s competitions is that, as stated on their website…”wedding photographers from around the world submit their best images to the Wedding Photojournalist Association’s popular photography competitions because they appreciate having the opportunity to be recognised for their work. They know that their photographs are going to be scrutinised by some of the most notable and respected working photojournalists and picture editors in the news industry, and they appreciate that winning these competitions is a true accomplishment.

Simply put, I enter primarily to push myself to produce better images. It’s a great incentive knowing that my work will be “…scrutinised by some of the most notable and respected working photojournalists and picture editors in the news industry.

Even if I never won anything, just knowing that someone is watching pushes me to produce better images. Plus, my customers benefit from the better imagery too. So it a win-win situation for all.

Camera Settings

Oftentimes the subject comes up, “I must have a great camera to produce great images!” It is true that a good reliable camera is essential. But it’s better to have the eye for a good image, rather than have the latest and greatest camera without a clue what to point it at.

But for those interested in my camera settings for these 2 photographs, here they are:

Fuji X-Pro2

The Gold-awarded image: Lens 35mm, f2.8, ISO: 6,400, Shutter: 1/125.

The Purple-awarded image: Lens 18mm, f5.6, ISO: 200, Shutter: 1/125

What continues to impresses me too, is the quality of the images I get from my Fuji camera, even at high ISOs. Some complain about noise etc. But honestly, don’t let the media or what others say put you off using high ISO in low light. Instead try it for yourself. Embrace the high ISO and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results. If my high ISO image received the top award, need I say more?

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