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It’s a good day when an email pops into your inbox to say that you’ve been shortlisted for an award for the best UK wedding photographer.

I haven’t entered any awards for a long time because I often take issue with the process.  Last time I entered awards I was shortlisted too and at the time I wasn’t a full time photographer and I’d only been shooting weddings for a year, which really isn’t long enough to be the ‘best’ at anything, whether we’re talking photography or running a successful wedding photography business.

Since then my business and my customers have been my focus, but when these awards rolled around I thought I’d take a punt because, let’s be honest, taking part in this kind of processes is good for raising your profile, which helps more awesome clients to find you.

In addition the initial stages were judged by industry experts who I respect, and I have worked my arse off over the last four years and am really proud of my business and the work I am creating for my couples.

So when I got an email to tell me I’d been shortlisted for the award, out of hundreds of entries, I was thrilled.  Until I read that the winner will be decided based on votes from the public.  That would be all well and good but it means mounting a social media campaign to collect hundreds or even thousands of votes.

It means asking my clients to vote for me, which is fine if they want to!, but it also means asking their friends and my friends and friends of my friends who have never worked with me to vote.  Winning would be based on my ability to canvas votes, not my ability to creatively document my couples weddings or my ability to run my business and provide my couples with an awesome service.

I just don’t have the energy to mount a campaign asking for votes at the moment (I’m having too much fun on my travels) and my current focus is spending my quiet season with Pete, finishing up my last few weddings of 2015 and getting ready for SNAP Photography Festival in April.

Instead I’ll just quietly leave this here and say if you’ve worked with me or you know someone who has, please do feel free to vote.  It is a big deal to have been shortlisted and I am immensely grateful.