“and the winner for best wedding photographer in Wales 2017 goes to”…….
You can’t believe how long this pause is…The waiting…The panic, the believing in myself that it just could be! The thought of all the hard work I put in and the sacrifices I make come rushing back to me for this brief second and then I’m thinking about all the people who voted and got me to this point. Then my name is called out….”Marc Smith Photography”
It’s been a crazy week coming to terms with winning the award of Best wedding photographer 2017 in Wales. Winning first time in 2015 was an incredible moment and then the second time in 2016 and now 2017. Three years in a row. I am truly humbled and wouldn’t be able to do what I do without the love and support from my beautiful wife Beth, we are a great team.
Creativity is a challenging and a rewarding path. I’ve always been creative. As a creative you can never switch off. It’s a constant discovery and search for inspiration. Inspiration is everywhere. I’ve had couples say to me during a wedding whilst photographing them they can see me processing, building split second ideas in my head, I’m always thinking ahead.
Photography is a powerful thing, I have a powerful job. I mean this in such a way as its powerful because I’m recording history, your families history. I’m making two people remember the moment they got married, the moment they shared a day with their families and friends. The moment maybe they’re grandparents are watching them saying the vows and its this moment that is taking them back to they’re vows that they said to each other some 60 years past. They will hold each others hand tight and give it a little thoughtful squeeze. Thats what I’ll capture. There is a vulnerability in what do, people let me into their lives. I see people on what is for them one of the strangest, happiest and memorable days of their life….They’re wedding day. So many brides have said to me “Marc, what do I do now, I’ve never done this before, you must know” and more often I do know because I’ve seen things happen, I know how a wedding works its nearly the same for everyone, but its the people that make every wedding so unique and so special and I’m there for them, there to help them, there to share an emotion with them, there to help button up a dress, to help tie a grooms tie, there to help grandma walk over to a chair, to entertain the kids for a few moments whilst getting natural shots, driving the couple off road to get to a secret location, there to be a weather man looking at the ever changing sky waiting for the showers to pass, a listener, a hugger, a hand holder, a dress carrier…you name it I do it on a wedding day and of course all this is part of what I do as a wedding photographer and what I do for my couples.
But in the realisation of all this what does it mean? Setting aside the awards and looking at what I do – at every wedding I always get people come and say to me “Oh! you have the best job, its a dream job” and I have to remind myself yes it is. I go to weddings often, I see so many people happy & celebrating, I get to travel as a destination wedding photographer and I always pinch myself when I see that my clients want me to travel with them and to be part of their day in a different country….but then when the wedding is over what is involved. Of course its the editing and this is time consuming, sitting for endless hours going through the images and selecting the ultimate ones that I see are the best and truly represent your wedding day…many times it involves several cups of tea and sometimes wine. Late night editing, middle of the night editing or even sunrise editing – if ever I can’t sleep I’m up and working on someones wedding. When you love what you do it becomes consuming. Then theres the album design, once the images are selected the wedding album is designed. This is where the images are placed to create your day, your story, to bring back that emotion and feelings that you had on your wedding day and its the only thing other than a wedding dress and some special items that will take you back emotionally to this day. Its something tangible that your future generations will love to look at.
The purpose of my business is to improve the quality of my life right?? Well some might say this but for me it goes way beyond this, the purpose of my business is yes of course to support my family, but I want my business to thrill me, to excite me – this is my job and like everyone I have to earn a living but the real and honest truth in this is that it all comes down to people. People excite me. When I lived in London I used to love watching people I think its called rubber necking. I’d be waiting for the train, sitting in a coffee shop, out in a bar and I love to see people and I guess this is what I do now at weddings, I observe, I wait for the perfect moment and now I’m able to capture it as a photograph. Smiles, tears, touch and feelings, these are the engine of what I do. The connection I have towards fellow humans.
Even though I work alone I really feel part of a greater community. I continue to be part of a brilliant network of fellow photographers and we all offer support to each other, then there are other suppliers and like minded creatives – Florists, Stationers, Videographers, Musicians, Venues, Hair stylists, Make up artists the list goes on and in this community of people who all work exceptionally hard I’m happy to say they have become my friends.
Whats the future for me?…A new venture in my business is now my ability and desire to produce wedding films. I love the emotion a wedding video creates and with the technological advances in my Sony equipment it makes it all possible. I love the direction this has taken me, I think it has allowed me to become a better a photographer, being able to capture a photo and film at the same time makes your wedding visually and creatively consistent and becomes the perfect visual synergy of your day. I’m passing my skills on to my highly creative daughter Freya who shows a great interest in photography and second shoots with me at weddings. My destination weddings are growing and I’ve been booked for Paris, Lake Como and the Seychelles. I’ve also got something new planned to launch in 2018 which I know my clients will absolutely love…Can’t wait to share it with you.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me, liked, shared and become friends.
Hope you enjoy the i-phone memories from 2015, 2016 & 2017 awards nights……truth and honest selfies as we all like to see
The only thing that outshines your gift behind the lens is your astonishing personality. One of the nicest people in the business. Always an absolute pleasure to be in your company, both professionally and personally. Huge congratulations once again, Marc. Throughly deserved.
Thank you so much Martin, looking forward to the next time I hear you play