Did you spot that question mark?

Have you ever noticed how many photographers are “award winning”?

Most of us photographers have!

Indeed all the suppliers that you might want for your wedding could well be trying to get awards of one sort or another.

Photographers may be entering monthly competitions to get awards. They may be entering wedding industry awards of one type or another.

I want to ask a serious question though: are the awards themselves of any value?

Let me tell you a story.

Back in May I received an email. It said that I had been nominated for the LUX 2017 Wedding Awards. Ooooh. How flattering. I wonder who kindly nominated me? (I have genuinely no idea if anyone did or if it was simply marketing. If someone did I am indeed flattered. Thank you.). I was prompted to accept the award on a link. This I did.

I had asked a few colleagues if they had even heard of the LUX awards as I hadn’t. None of them had. This is despite LUX putting itself out as a luxury brand with magazine marketing to the elite and despite them having all sorts of awards on their main pages.

Fast forward to last week. I got an email telling me that I had won an award. Or two.
I got: Wedding Photographer of the Year 2017 – Central Dorset & Excellence Award for Family Photography – Dorset.

As I say I’ve no idea who nominated me (or if anyone did). Many awards are “get your friends to vote for you” awards. This wasn’t.

What it also said in the winner’s notification email was that I could buy various categories of packages ranging from £495 (if purchased now otherwise £595) up to £4795 (or £3995 if purchased now).

That top package includes all of this:

  • Main Front Cover Image & Headline (in their LUX 2017 Winner’s Supplement which is distributed to their circulation of over 238,000 high-net worth and ultra-high-net worth individuals spanning over 170 countries, no less)
  • 4 Page Priority Position Article in the Supplement
  • 2 Personalised Crystal Display Trophies
  • LUX Recommended High Gloss Window Sticker
  • Personalised Digital Winner’s Logo
  • Printed Display Banner with eyelets (2.5m x 0.6m)
  • Mounted Winner’s Certificate
  • Digital Winner’s Brochure (6 pages)
  • 100 Reprints of Digital Winner’s Brochure (6 pages)

Erm… is anyone else starting to wonder if this is just a marketing exercise for selling awards packages?

Now the emails tell me that there are free celebratory items. I’ll have that then. Here you go. This is it. I can use the image file off their website.

That’s me then “award winning”. Allegedly. I’m “Wedding Photographer of the Year 2017 – Central Dorset”. Hoorah. Question mark.

Don’t get me wrong. I have zero factual knowledge if this company is genuine or a way to part the unsuspecting with their money. I don’t want to libel them. They could be genuine. I’ll let you make up your own minds.

And that’s the point of this.

Make up your own minds.

When you see a supplier is “award winning” look at those awards in detail. They may be fairly worthless or they may be genuinely fabulous.

My mentor has genuine awards and accolades. Things that I aspire to.

As for this award? Well I’ll leave you to make up your own mind.

Best Wishes,

Mark Cornwell – Award Winning Wedding Photographer. Wedding Photographer Of The Year 2017 – Central Dorset. Maybe…