The Wedding Industry Awards – My 2p

The Wedding Industry Awards – my 2p

Today there is a real buzz around the wedding industry following the announcement of the shortlists for the regional finals of the Wedding Industry Awards (TWIA). Because of the passion of the people involved in the wedding industry the hype is contagious and it’s great to see so many people so excited.  But what exactly are they all celebrating if so many people have been shortlisted? Well it’s this; the fact that their clients have given them great feedback and their business, a business into which they pour their heart and soul, has been recognised as actually being quite good by the people who matter most. Now, surely there’s nothing wrong with that in an industry without any real regulation, qualification or governing body?
It’s easy to look at this from a photographers perspective and pick holes in the system. It’s an Industry Award, and probably something I’m not used to as a photographer, because I’m not an industry person, or even a business person. I’m a photographer and all that matters to me is my art… at least that’s how I used to see things.
But this isn’t just a photography competition (although quility of work must come into it at some point), nor is it a competition to see who can shoot the most weddings or make the most money, and that’s something that has really hit home with me over the past year. Yes, I’m a photographer and an artist. I have my own vision and my own style. But I would be wrong to think that any of that matters if I can’t give my paying clients what they want and expect. Part of this comes down to attracting couples who like what I do and the way I work. But it has much more to do with being; flexible, open to ideas, a good communicator, organised, hard-working, positive, honest, realistic, professional, empathetic, the list goes on but you get the idea. And as your price goes up, so does the expectation of your clients. If you charge a lot of money you have to be able to deliver every single time.

Relatively speaking

The best photographers in the world may not run the best wedding photography business. Less talented photographers may have a successful business if they meet expectations and at a certain price point. I’ve spoken to some of the most talented photographers in the world and heard stories of complaints and issues, negative online reviews and more bitching about photo requests from clients than you can shake a stick at.

I digress.

It’s worth saying that these awards aren’t’ for every business. I’m sure there are many photographers and companies who do extremely well without participating. Things like this may be off brand for them, which is fine of course

Personally I think the system is good, but for creative people it’s a wee bit difficult to get our heads around the concept of competing as a business rather than a photographer. When I won the regional award last year there were people in the competition who were technically better than me (and some who were a bit disgruntled with the result). But to have won the award means that I was doing something better, relatively, than they were in terms of making my couples happy. Whether that was down to communication, timely delivery of the product, setting expectations or something else, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that people were happy. Making people happy is something that the most successful businesses all over the world have been doing for years.

People enter all kinds of awards for different reasons. I enter images to photographic competitions all the time, but this is something different. Being shortlisted is something that gives a qualified stamp of approval to my business. So when people see that I’ve entered the Wedding Industry Awards they can infer that I’m confident in my business, that I care about my reputation and that they as potential clients can be confident in what they are buying into. For me the wedding industry awards is a welcome addition to our calendar and something that can only help us to improve our own business and raise standards across the board.

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comments +

  1. Kevin Belson says:

    Nice, positive perspective. Thanks Steven.

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