The GuildAward Winning PhotographerImage of the year

Sam Hayward Image of the year 2014

Yours truly & Steven Thirsk (Director of the Guild) Photo courtesy of Rachel Foster

Image of the year

Established in 1988, The Guild of Photographers is a well known and highly respectable photographic association, currently boasting over 1500 members across the UK and abroad. It is through being a member of The Guild for the past three years that has seen me develop my craft in so many areas above and beyond the initial photograph.

You may recall a blog post about the 1940’s shoot, where I eagerly announced my first ever Gold Bar Award. The credit was prestigiously awarded for an image of the beautiful Kate at Bucks Railway Museum, nr Aylesbury, dressed in full vintage attire alongside an old steam train – an enjoyable shoot I still look back on fondly.

After being awarded the Gold Bar, the same image was displayed on the front cover of their elite magazine ‘Creative Light’. I felt so proud, thanks to Julie Oswin for making this a reality.

Still on cloud nine from my Gold Bar award, 2014 ended for me with a celebrated second victory with award winning images. Novembers monthly competition had allowed me to scoop a second Gold Bar for a creative composite of a voluptuous hippopotamus, lounging with his meerkat buddy in a dark, old attic bedroom of a cold creaky house. Although a little different to my usual reportage and portraiture style, it was good fun that allowed my imagination and photoshop skills to develop with a spot of creativity that evidently paid off!

Fast forward back to the present day and it is February 2015. Last week I was suited and booted for the annual awards ceremony and making my way to Crewe Hall located in the county of Cheshire. I excitedly had been nominated for several awards from my 2014 portfolio and hoped to be placed once again amongst the competitive top ten in the International Wedding Photographers category.

It was an honour to be invited to the event having been once again nominated by judges for recognition. At last years event I was elated to discover I was placed in the “Top 10 UK Wedding Photographers” and hoped that I might have the same luck this year.

Nervous but humbly satisfied simply to celebrate another years achievements with fellow photographers, I am still grateful to be nominated for such awards. The two Gold Bar images (of Kate with the train and the animals in the attic) were entered into their respective Image of the Year category, but by no means did I expect what happened next…

From the 1500 guild members, over 10,000 images were submitted through the course of the year and scored by the respected  judges; masters in their craft, as well as reputable mentors in the photographic industry.

As the night rolled on and the drinks flowed freely, I was ecstatic to be awarded:

  • 2014 Judges Choice Image of the Year Winner (train image)
  • 2014 Judges Choice Image of the Year Runner-Up  (hippo image)
  • 2014 Member Choice Image of the Year Runner-Up  (train image)
  • 2014 Creative Category Winner (hippo image)
  • 2014 Fashion Category Winner (train image)
  • 2014 placed in “Top 10 UK Wedding Photographer of the Year”

Guild Awards

I came away with three trophies, two mounted printed, six certificates and the utter disbelief that out of all those thousands of photographs, mine had been selected by the judges in first and second place!

Elated with my awards I’d like to say a huge thank you, not only to Kate for being a fantastic model (and of course to the animals!), but to the judges and panel for their unseen dedication to The Guild throughout the year. Thank you to Lesley and Steven Thirsk, co-founders of the organisation, for their encouragement and support throughout the last twelve months, your time and undoubtable patience is admirable and so gratefully received by so many.

Then last but by no means least, thank you endlessly to a select group of industry colleagues who push and encourage me through the highs and lows of this creative journey.  I think of each one of them as very dear friends. Thanks to : Nina Mace, Stephanie Belton, Andrea Whelan, Julie-Ann Skelton, Martha Grieve, Sally Mason, Rebecca Spencer, Claire Lane, Lisa Fruen, Neil Bowler and Mark Lynham

Image of the year - Buckinghamshire Railway

Judges Image of The Year 2014 – Guild of Photographers

Buckinghamshire Award Winning Photographer

Judges Image of The Year 2015 – Runner up – Guild of Photographers