Thank you. I don't really go in for awards. There are so many about - some good, some bad... and so many photographers call themselves award-winning that it seems pointless as it has so little value. I don't want a shiny badge for my blog just because I got the most 'likes' on an image... that's just a popularity contest or a competition to see who has the most Facebook 'friends'.
However when I was nominated for Best Photographer in The Wedding Industry Awards I decided to find out a bit more about them. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that a huge emphasis is placed on what you have to say about me and my business AND that your scores are averaged out so it doesn't matter whether a photographer shoots 75 weddings a year or 5... it's FAIR. Quality over quantity.
Fast forward a few months... you all voted, because you're bloody wonderful.... and thanks to your scores and feedback I was named a Regional Finalist for the North West! I can't tell you how happy this made me. To know that you all love your photos and were happy with the process and with me, well it makes all the sore shoulders and late night edits worth it! Sadly I didn't win my region but I genuinely didn't expect to in what is only my second full year - I'm still a newbie and had some tough competition. Plus if I was going to lose to anyone, I'm more than happy for it to be the awesome Lawsons. :)
One other amazing thing that came from this? I got to read the comments... all listed anonymously (although a couple of you left me some clues!!).
I want to share some of them here a) because I'm really overwhelmed by the comments and proud & happy to have 'worked' (didn't feel like work!) with each and every one of you and b) as a few of your comments suggest, future couples will hopefully feel reassured that they have made/are making the right decision!
So thank you again... from my heart. xxxx
"I'm so glad I chose Claire as our wedding photographer she made sure we knew everything there was to know and encouraged us to ask any questions that we had. We hadn't known Claire prior to asking her to be our wedding photographer but we felt like we had one of friends by our side taking pictures."
"Claire knew my vision and has been amazing throughout getting soaked to her knickers just to get the shots. She's amazing and I would recommend her to anyone"
"Claire spent a lot of time getting to know us, not just through an engagement shoot (which was so much fun!), but by keeping in constant contact and really getting an idea of the type of people we are and what we expect on the day. She made us feel so special at all times!"
"We are so thrilled with our beautiful wedding pictures, they really tell story of the day. We've had so many lovely comments too. Claire mingled with all our guests & people commented how chilled out she was, she was just brilliant, on our wavelength & putting us at complete ease!!"
"Claire is exactly that.... a 10/10. From brief to post-wedding... Claire's professional approach was spot on. I will have Claire photograph the rest of my life... that is a promise. She deserves to win - hands down."
"Claire really exceeded my expectations. Great communication. She made the event even more exciting (if possible) with little texts or tweets in the lead up. She was easy going, even in the day we had a lot of group photos, her patience was excellent. The photos have blown me away! They are perfect"
"Claire has a unique ability to really understand the specific detail of style and finish to the pictures we wanted and delivered beyond our expectations. We struggled with poor weather in the day buy Claire managed to make us forget about that and enjoy every second of our outdoor shoot. Thank you"
"The thing that sets Claire apart is her eye for detail & her knack of making the simplest item look spectacular when seen through her lens. Her love of quirkiness gives her photographs a different perspective, but still remain incredibly romantic. Our wedding photographs were breathtaking."
"Claire was incredible. I didn't know much about her before I booked her. We wanted a very vineyard chic feel but didn't give too many specifics as I felt I wanted to leave the creativity up to her. She blew us away with her creative eye, the ease in which she worked and her professionalism. Brilliant"
"Claire is exceptionally personable and was able to interpret what we described/discussed and turned this into the most wonderful pictures. She listened to what we wanted and fitted in on the day so well that all the guests were saying how wonderful she was. Would recommend without any hesitation."
"Claire is 100% amazing and the best decision we made. She worked hard to get to know us through regular chats, our e-shoot etc to give us the BEST experience possible. Such thoughtful touches throughout such as the 'fauxlaroids' after the wedding"
"What can I say about Claire!! Well....she truly captured our day how we wanted it to be with a vintage, glossy magazine feel and relaxed style. She took away all the stuffiness to boring old traditional wedding photography and captured the love and fun of the day!!"
Why you booked me...
"We booked Claire because we wanted the best. She has a super reputation and has shot a few weddings of couples we know. Everyone loves Claire & her work. She's so creative & down to earth. I knew we could relax & enjoy our special day & it would be left in her very capable hands. So happy we chose her. She captured every detail beautifully!!!"
"She has a very clean crisp website and that showcases her work beautifully. She also came recommended from someone who didn't know her but only knew of her work. All the comments on her work that I have seen to date have been extremely positive and she has a real talent for photography."
"The style of photography initially got me to make contact with Claire, and after that first contact it was clear she was the photographer for us. She is very professional but also makes you feel like you've known her for ages! The quality of her work is breathtaking, we are so glad we booked her."
"It was very important for me to have a wedding photographer who put me and ease and I felt comfortable with. Claire did this from the very start, even recommending wedding suppliers when I got stuck! Claire is always there to help and still is even after the wedding, if I have any questions about my pictures I only have to ask. The e-shoot is a stroke of genius and once I saw Claire at work, that's when I knew that I had made the best decision of the wedding."
"From the moment we contacted Claire she was nothing but helpful, happy & positive. I loved her website & Facebook page, which were creative & beautiful yet very professional. Her style was exactly what we were looking for. Claire's enthusiasm & enjoyment of her job shone through in every meeting & communication. This made us trust that she was the right person for the job."
"Her blog was exceptional, demonstrating her ability and her feedback from other couples was enough to give us complete confidence in booking her."
"I fell in love with her style and it was clear she has a passion for photography - it doesn't seem like a business just a need to take great pictures for you and to make memories for you."
"We booked Claire primarily because of her vintage reportage style, which is something I wanted in order to capture the style and feel of our quirky little wedding day. Claire instantly 'got' our wedding concept and loved it! She relished the elements we had removed (no bridesmaids, no best men, no first dance, no cutting of the cake etc) and she embraced our theme (tweed for the men and floral and lace for the girls!). Claire also saw moments unlike any other wedding photographer I had researched and her photographs have a vintage quirky edge that is unmistakeably Penn!!!"
"I wish I had more space to expand on why Claire is so good. When I spotted her work, I knew immediately that her skill and talent was what we wanted for our big day. We were proven right when the sheer amount of love and hard work she put in to understand us as a couple & what made us tick was amazing - her manner is so calming and friendly that when she arrived to shoot our the big day, it was as joyful and happy moment as greeting a good friend. Having her there at the wedding was an absolute pleasure, and afterwards she went out of the way to give us the best service imaginable - beautifully wrapped images presented personally over a glass of prosecco!"
"After seeing her photographs on Facebook and being recommended by a bridesmaid of one her other brides we decided to meet Claire for a chat. We both knew straight away that her style was what we were looking for and her likeable personality really shone through which made us want to work with her even more! She knows how to make you feel relaxed, can capture the day perfectly and our photos show a true picture of the whole days events and emotions."
"I saw Claire's work online initially - when I met with her I felt she totally understood me and what we were wanting from our day. She then interpreted this into the most amazing pictures on the day. She is very warm and personable - an excellent choice."
"I just loved her unique relaxed style!!"
"Because I fell in love with her previous work and I knew from that, she would understand the vision we had in mind for our big day. Plus she is so lovely and friendly, which goes such a long way"
"Her passion, creativity, uniqueness and flare. Only to name a few. We are now friends forever."
"Because she has a lovely style and I knew we would get on so well"
"Her reportage style photos really capture the spirit of the whole wonderful day, every time we look through our pics we relive it in beautiful vivid colours! She worked a 13 hour day on our wedding to make sure she captured every moment, she edited and gave us over double the amount of pics we expected and they are all amazing!! She is the best investment we made and we are so glad we picked her!!! Xx"
"We loved Claire's style from the moment we saw the pictures on her website. After meeting her and having a really relaxed chat we were decided - she was the photographer for us. Our engagement shoot only reinforced this. Sitting on the riverside in the warm summer sun enjoying a cooling shandy, we were both reassured we'd made the right choice."
BLOWN AWAY : )