Parents Beware: Not all photography awards are created equal

Parents Beware: Not all photography awards are created equal

When you’re considering which photographer to hire to take portraits of your new baby or family, you’ll likely be overwhelmed with options. There are lots of us out there!

So, you might think that if you choose an award-winning photographer then you’re choosing the best in your area.

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Not necessarily!

You see, the problem with using award-winning status as a criteria for which photographer you pick, is that most photographers claim to be award-winning!

There are many photography organisations here in the UK, and most run monthly competitions throughout the year. These organisations award hundreds of photographers each and every month, month in month out.

Which means that there are lots of awards up for grabs. And lots of photographers are winning these awards.

Not all photography awards are created equal!

While photographers are perfectly within their rights to claim to be award-winning if they have in fact won an award (full disclosure: I use this in my own marketing), they can use this term in their marketing even if they’ve only ever won one award in their entire career.

And they can claim to be an award-winning photographer regardless of whether the award was particularly prestigious or not.

For example, a photographer could well have won multiple awards. But, if all of them are low-level awards rather than top-tier awards.

How are you to know the difference between them and a photographer who truly is top of their game?

They both likely claim to be ‘award-winning’ but there is actually a huge difference in the quality of their work.

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Thinking of hiring an award-winning photographer?

In my mind, it’s a real problem in this industry.

Photography awards vary hugely in terms of the standards that they recognise. So, it’s potentially misleading the families out there who are simply looking to hire a quality photographer to take their family portraits.

How on earth can you make an informed decision when photography awards vary so much in terms of quality and judging standards?

Some awards are given for little more than the image being of a professional standard. While other awards and award schemes celebrate only exceptional or high-calibre images.

There are also monthly awards and more significant awards, such as ‘Photographer of the Year’ awards, which just cannot be compared like for like.

(Hint: The latter are the most highly coveted awards in the industry. Anyone receiving these is certainly at the very top of their game.)

The calibre of photography awards vary hugely across the industry

The huge variety in the calibre of photography awards out there is staggering.

As a parent who is simply looking for a quality photographer to hire, I realise that you won’t know the difference.

A photographer who claims to be award-winning (but who only has a limited number of low-level awards) is likely to offer a quality far different to a photographer who truly is a leader in their field.

For this reason, I completely understand that the decision facing you about which photographer to hire is extremely hard!

So, how can you decide between one award-winning photographer and another?

Well, I still stand by the importance of photography awards as a criteria which you can base your decision around. They are still an important factor to consider if you want to ensure you are hiring the best photographer that you can afford.

But now, armed with the knowledge that some awards are better than others, I’d urge you to seek out those photographers who really are winning those higher-level awards.

Newborn and Maternity photography

Also, I’d recommend that you choose a photographer who has photography awards from multiple organisations. This then demonstrates that they truly are operating at a high standard and are doing so consistently. And that they are meeting the criteria of multiple photography associations, rather than just the one.

Remember, one organisation can award work that would not even be recognised by another photography organisation! The standards vary so much across the board.

Not all photography awards are created equal, so be aware of this when you are considering which photographer to hire.

Not all photographers and photography awards are created equal

I hope that this has given you food for thought if you are considering hiring a family photographer.

While I don’t intend to talk down about other photographers, I do believe it’s important to make you realise that not all photographers are created equal and that not all photography awards are created equal. So, when you are basing your decision on who to hire, do keep this in mind.

For more information about me or about the photography awards that I have received for my work, spanning newborn, baby and family photography, please visit my Photography Awards page. As you’ll see, I have achieved awards across a board of photography associations and have had my photography published too.

This is what I have trained and strived to achieve over the last 14 years and I’m incredibly proud to be recognised for the quality of my photography by these prestigious organisations.

Please get in touch with me via this form to speak to me about photographing your baby or family. I would love to create beautiful images for you at my photography studio here in Staffordshire.

I’m contactable on info@francesstephenson.co.uk and 07967 599584 if you’d like any further information.

Fran x

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