A wedding planner friend of mine recently said that “2017 is so your year”. In a way that’s true, but it’s come off the back of over 12 months of hard graft and constantly moving forward.

Hot off the heels of winning EDP Bride’s wedding photographer of the year, last month I drove over to the NEC for the Photography Show; this is the UKs largest photography event of its kind. It was a brilliant place to get my hands on some new gear, shop around for some new products for you and sit in on some informative seminars – including the fabulous fashion photographer Lara Jade. I must confess to also getting a little buzz in seeing one of my wedding albums on display. But this was not the reason for travelling half way across the country. I was there to be assessed and qualified. Yes, it was as scary as it sounds.

Ever since becoming a full-time wedding photographer I’ve wanted to be qualified as a ‘Master Photographer’. The MPA is the top association in the field and it’s the hardest qualification to achieve within the photographic profession. To gain a qualification takes a lot of hard work; in fact, it’s taken 12 months of mentoring, image creation and writing. At the NEC I had to present a panel of 20 printed images which were meticulously judged by five fellows on lighting, posing, control, technical competence and post production. Alongside this I produced a 30 page working profile of my business. Only 11 photographers from all over the UK made the grade and I’m thrilled to say I was one of them. I was so pleased with the comments which included words like sheer quality, impact, stunning, outstanding and unique, which summarised the strength and creativity of the whole panel. Last night I was honoured to receive my qualification certificate by the MPA Chairman Ray Lowe FMPA at an association event in Bury St Edmunds.

Choosing a MPA qualified photographer to capture any special event in your life gives you confidence in knowing you will receive the best creative photographs and personal service possible. In the next few years I will be working hard to achieve their higher level of qualification and I can’t wait to get started.