Where to begin. Where. To. Begin.
I’ve never entered a competition before. I probably wouldn’t have entered this one if it wasn’t for the lovely Sophie P nominating me for this one. I’m not generally comfortable with the idea of one person being the ‘best’. It strikes me as an impossible accolade.
But enter I did, and I came up short. Or so I thought. Last night was the regional final for London and the South-East, the area I fall into. It’s a huge region and massively competitive compared to others around the country, with some very, very fine photographers entering and to Martin, the victor, the spoils.
I didn’t expect a win. My true reason for entering was because it gave my clients between November 2014 and October this year the chance to score me and leave comments. That, for me, was the driver. I only saw my scores and comments once the winner had been announced last night.
And I’m gobsmacked by what I read.
It’s the end of a long season. It’s easy to feel jaded. This stopped that dead. Stone dead. The words those couples left for me took my breath away. You can see them below, along with links from their names through to their weddings.
I need to thank you all. I need to say how much that meant to me as my eyes fell down the pages.
I need to tell you what it means to know that what I do is valued so much. To know that I’ve been able to give you work that you can treasure for the years ahead as you grow your lives together gives me solace beyond measure.
I may not have won the title but believe me, today I feel like I won the world.
Thank you all. Thank you with all of my heart.
“It’s difficult to put into words just how wonderful Guy is. He fits in so well that you hardly even know he is there. I was astounded by how well he put the children and more self-conscious at ease, but mainly how he captured the beauty and magic of our day. Every emotion he has translated into the most stunning photos, they effortlessly convey the absolute joy we felt and has immortalised the best day of our lives. He is a true professional and cannot commend him highly enough.”
“Guy is a unique talent. I get emotional just thinking about what he managed to create through his photography on that day. He told a story. He picked moments so precious, and so treasured, and captured them in one single image. Precious memories will always remain, but the details will and undoubtedly do, fade over time. Guy captured those for us. I can look at them every single day, and remember every smile, every glance, and every tear. This is true talent.”
“Guy’s photos are so natural! He manages to capture the most precious moments of the day and make them more beautiful than they really are – isn’t that what it’s all about? I loved the preview of our wedding photos that came with such lovely words about us and our day – it was so personal. I’ve friends who read it and said it brought tears to their eyes! Guy’s has a very natural and easy way about him, I felt like he was more of a guest than a supplier & I think that’s how it should feel when you decide to involve someone in your whole day. Guy’s photos are stunning. ALWAYS. He took such beautiful pictures at my sister’s wedding – I wanted beautiful pictures too!”
“Guy is simply the best photographer. After a lot of deliberation over many great photographers in the industry Guy stood out by a long mile. The documentary style of Guy’s photography was an absolute winner for us – we wanted to be able to relive our day over and over again. His portfolio really grabbed our attention and our dream was for our photos to look like his. We got on with Guy the minute we met him over a skype call – he has a great sense of humour and is very professional in his approach and preparation for the big day. We instantly knew he would blend into a crowd of our guests and that the guests would enjoy his company as well as us. The photographs that Guy captured for our day speak for themselves and Guy performed exactly what it said on the tin capturing every precious moment of our best day ever. The emotion, the laughter, the friendship and most importantly the love just radiates from his collection of amazing photos and I cannot thank him enough for this. Guy is exceptional at what he does, genuine and delivers. He was a pleasure to work with and would recommend him to anyone. He deserves to be recognised.”
“When we went to visit The Barn we saw one of his albums on the table and we fell in love with it. When we looked on his website we just knew he had to take our photos! Guy is just such a natural. You can tell he is doing what he loves when he’s with you. He’s so friendly and made us feel completely relaxed for our pre-wedding shoot and on the big day itself. He fitted in like an old friend and we just love our set of wedding photos. If he hadn’t been out photographer I’d hope I’d have met him in another capacity so I could invite him to our wedding anyway! Such a talented and passionate bloke!”
“What can I say to properly do Guy and his amazing work justice?! To say we were ecstatic with Guy’s photographs of our wedding is an understatement- they were truly fantastic and captured the magic of the day perfectly. Looking at them brings a tear to my eye! As so many of our friends and family have commented, Guy has given us a way to always remember how special our day was, for which we can’t thank him enough. Professional, funny, and truly talented. An asset and a must for every wedding day. His work blows me away – beautiful, effortless, romantic, flawless, heartfelt – he manages to capture the true emotion of the day which is a very special and hard to find quality. Top all of that off with the fact he is a great chap and you simply couldn’t choose anyone else to be part of the best day of your life.”
“It was a true pleasure to have Guy photograph our special day and from the off, he felt more like a good friend or guest than our photographer! Me and my bridesmaids had great laughs with him while getting ready as he made them feel at ease throughout. It was so lovely to be able to enjoy our day, knowing that Guy was snapping away without any intrusion at all. The end results are stunning and we are so so pleased that we spent the extra on Guy, we could not be more pleased with it all!!”
“From the moment Guy arrived he made me feel at ease. He captured our beautiful day outstandingly and was delighted to have him as part of our day. The turn around time to receive pictures was remarkable and truly encapsulated the day. He not only did the group photos brilliantly and got us all into place but caught some stunning magical moments. The photos will be treasured forever, he made our day…”
“After looking at his beautiful portfolio online, I (the bride) spoke to Guy on the phone for about an hour, where he explained how he worked and we got to know each other. He had so much time to give me to talk through his style and approach, as well as giving me tips from his wealth of experience of weddings! I instantly liked him and his approach, so after speaking with my now husband about it all, we booked him! We also loved that he knew our venue and the owner of the venue so well, that we had utmost trust in him that he would make all the right decisions. Guy captured the day exactly how we experienced it – beautiful, intimate, emotional & filled with love. Guy was an integral to our wedding & went above & beyond what you expect from a photographer.Not only is he a warm and lovely guy, he is cool calm & collected & made the day run smoothly (in fact we gave him the additional title of Wedding Coordinator).He built a wonderful rapport with everyone and took photos so subtly we didn’t know he was there. We would recommend him a thousand times over.”
“I basically follow Guy and his weddings like you would your favourtie magazine – waiting for the next blog to be posted! I love how each one is different and special in its own way and his blogs are magical and emotional. We wanted our own little peice of Guy Collier magic for our day……Guy makes you feel at ease during the whole day (and even before with a fountain of knowledge and advice!). He not only captured every wonderful moment and every single emotion of our day he also calmed both of us down with words of wisdom when we needed it – he became so much more than just our photographer and truly became part our day. The quality of his photos and his creative ability has left us with timeless photos that we will treasure and relive for years to come.”
“Guy and his work are both magical…. he made my wedding! Not only was I at ease in his presence but all my guests referred to him as more of a guest than a wedding photographer and I’d now class Guy as a friend. As for the quality of his work…..beyond all words, I cannot express how pleased we are, trusting your wedding day pictures in one person’s hands is such a responsibility and stress, but hand on heart I would now trust Guy with my heart and soul…. He captured myself and my groom perfectly!”
“Really genuine and lovely guy (!) from the day we contacted him through till the day we received our truly stunning wedding photos. My partner is not always the most comfortable in photos and one of the reasons we picked him was how at ease he made us feel. This transferred through to the day and was commented on by all of our guests. He also made us feel incredibly special as a couple. Our photos are everything we dreamed of and so much more. Cannot say enough nice things about this man!”
“Guy is a consummate professional with incredible vision. An extremely accomplished photographer who puts everyone at ease with his humorous and relaxed manner. Charismatic and affable he is a pleasure to work with and manages to capture the intimate moments of the day with such artistry and poise that you immediately fall in love with his work.”
“We saw Guy’s album at the venue and fell In love straight away. He managed to capture everyone so naturally. He captured all their personalities without it being forced. He was so lovely and friendly he could have been one of the guests, we all got on with him so well and all the guests commented in how lovely and funny he was. He was so involved yet I felt like I didn’t see him too much and was never in the way. We skyped and I felt I could email and he would respond so quickly which was great! Lovely natural photographs and friendly, funny and warm personality. Genuinely felt like he cared about our day and helping us!”
“After seeing Guy’s work, we just had to book him for our wedding. Guy is the most incredible photographer. Our photos are amazing. He has the ability to make you feel so relaxed and you are able to have a laugh with him resulting in the most natural looking, beautiful photos. Thank you Guy – we love you!!”
“We loved the style of his photos and knew immediately when we met him that Guy would be a fun, relaxed and seamless addition to our day, and we were right. We couldn’t have asked for a better photographer for our big day. Before the day Guy was wonderful to chat to, immediately in sync with what we did (and didn’t) want. His knowledge of the venue and relaxed attitude were hugely reassuring. On the day, he was a genuinely lovely guy to have around – he made everyone feel at ease and we barely knew he was there! We are thrilled with all our photos, they’re completely personal, everything we hoped for and absolutely priceless.”
“As soon as I contacted Guy (after a friend’s recommendation) I knew I’d made the right decision. He remained in contact & filled me with confidence. When he turned up on the day I instantly felt comfortable & relaxed with him. He was professional throughout and the end product (our amazing photos) are beyond anything I’d hoped for. All of our friends & family have commented on the quality of the photos & how they captured our day perfectly. I can not recommend him highly enough.”
“When we first met Guy he was relaxed, easy to get on with & we instantly knew he would be perfect on our wedding day. Other photographers were happy to do as we instructed, but Guy brought his own ideas to the table, something my wife & I valued as we are not experts in photography. On the day our thoughts were confirmed, he knew when & where to take the photos & fitted in effortlessly with our guests. We now have the photos and we are so happy with them. All in all, delighted we chose Guy.”
“Guy is a relaxed professional who made me feel at ease as soon as he arrived. He got all the shots that we had hoped he would and I honestly can’t remember seeing him on the day at all as he was so discrete and respectful. His photos are simply stunning and tell the whole story of our day. We would happily recommend him to anyone we know who is getting married.”
“Guy slotted right into our day, made us both feel at ease and felt like an old friend – wonderful”
“Guy is a down to earth, genuine, and fun photographer, that puts you at ease from the moment you meet him! His pictures are truely stunning & captured pure emotion, laughter, tears of joy and love from the most amazing day of our life. He is an exceptionally talented photographer that managed to capture beautiful natural images of all our family & friends enjoying our wedding day that we shall cherish for the rest of our lives. Thank you Guy!”
“Guy is a professional and sensitive photographer who managed to capture the essence of our day. It was an emotional one as my father was unable to attend due to illness. Our wedding was a small one with only close family and friends. Guy fitted in so well with our guests. We have the most wonderful photos reminding us of our special day. Thank you.”
“We knew from his website that our wedding photos would be truly special and knew that we had to book him! On the day Guy put us at ease immediately and completely understood what we wanted. Lots of people commented that they didn’t even notice who the photographer was, and everyone was amazed with how lovely our photos are!”
“Guy was an absolute pleasure to have at our wedding and was extremely helpful leading up to our wedding on ideas and suggestions. Whilst he captured our day perfectly, he was unobtrusive and made us feel very relaxed at all times. His contact with us post wedding has been exemplary and his attention to detail is amazing. He is also very personable and easy going but at the same time highly professional.”
“Guy was fantastic from start to finish on our wedding day. I was feeling anxious about the day in general, but was out at ease the moment I met him and he was an essential part of our day. His presence was not obtrusive, but he also gelled nicely with us to be a lot of fun while we were getting ready. The photos were lovely and the formal photos did not take over, or take too much time away from our guests. He made it really easy for guests to view and order prints and our USB was so elegant!”