Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending The Guild of Photographers annual awards dinner which was held at the beautiful Crewe Hall in Cheshire. The Guild of Photographers is the highly regarded national photographic body whose members are dedicated to enhancing their skills in the art, craft and profession of photography. The awards night always proves to be a very enjoyable evening, giving the opportunity for photographers from all over the UK and Europe to meet up, and to celebrate the achievements of some of the very talented members.
Prior to the weekend I had submitted a panel of 21 images to be assessed by the Guild judges in the hope of achieving the Guild’s ‘Qualified’ status. The rigorous assessment is not only for the photographic talent evidenced in the images, but also my professionalism, as the award is granted only to photographers who can evidence that they deliver high quality images, products, and customer service.
I was delighted when the Chairman of the judges, Kevin Pengally, congratulated me on passing my Qualification and even more so when I learned that it was with a unanimous vote from the whole panel. This is a great honour and the Qualification is only held by around 135 photographers in the Country. Later that evening at the Awards Ceremony, I was presented with my Qualified certificate by Director of the Guild Steve Thirsk.
(Photograph courtesy of Rachel Foster)
The Guild runs an Image of the Month competition, with around 10,000 entries being received over the course of 2014. Each image is scored and then the scores from the year are totalled to determine who will win one of the Guild’s Top 10 Photographer awards, and the Image of the year awards.
The awards are for the most part top secret, so there is great excitement on the night as the winners are announced. The only exception is that the shortlists for the Judges selection of Image of the Year were announced prior to the event. I was honoured to have one of my photographs make the top six images in the Landscape and Rural category.
But there was more to come, I was thrilled to be called as one of the Top 10 Photographers in the Adult Portrait category (coming sixth overall). Steve Thirsk (Director of the Guild) said that he is…
“both proud and delighted that Vicki has achieved this recognition after 12 months of submitting the highest quality images. The Guild has very demanding standards when judging photographic competitions. The judging is undertaken by a panel of internationally recognised experts from a variety of photographic backgrounds, so Vicki quite rightly should be delighted with her extraordinary achievement”
Such an amazing night, and a real honour to be included in the awards with some remarkable photographers. I really believe in the importance of learning and training, along with taking advice from my exceptional mentor Lesley Chalmers, in order to improve and hone my craft, and to be able to provide the best service for my customers. With the excitement of the Awards Night over for another year it’s back to business as usual!