Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Portrait Photographer of the Year 2017 - I won!!

Portrait photography in Jesmond Dene, Portrait Photographer of the Year 2017, Mandy Charlton, Photographer, Writer, Blogger

I wasn't sure whether I was going to mention this and a very kind client offered to do a press release but I didn't want the local press to publish anything again, I hate a big fuss but I do think it's worth celebrating that last week I found out that I'd won Portrait Photographer of the Year in the Lux Wedding Awards.

I think it's even nicer to win it in my 10th year of business, I'm not sure if I truly deserve it but I do work hard and portraiture is one of the greatest loves of my life.  It's true to say that I eat, sleep, breathe photography, not just portraiture, I have a big passion for travel photography but I've only really been actively pursuing that since around 2014 when I bought my first Fuji camera.  Portraiture though I guess is something which just comes naturally and it's really not all about the camera, it's about being an entertainer, I guess it's about charisma (perhaps I have some) and for me, well mostly, I'll let you into a secret, it's about singing to the kids that I photograph, I have the entire Disney playlist inside this strange mind of mine and for the most part the kids love it!

In the years when I had agoraphobia I taught myself photography, mainly by photographing my own children and ask any parent, it's ten times harder to photograph your own children than it is someone else's.

So this is the second award I've won this year, the first being "Inspirational Woman in Photography" in the TMT Media awards so it's lovely to have been honoured twice in less than a year and I still have no idea who nominated me for either award but it's lovely.

It's not going to change me as a person, I'll still have that internal voice telling me that nothing I produce is amazing but it may put an end to my pretender syndrome, something I've suffered from since the very first day.

I remember 10 years ago thinking that one day if I ever made it to 10 years I would feel like a proper photographer, I don't of course, I still feel like the person that everyone is secretly laughing at saying "Look what she's done now, who does she think she is?"

I know there are haters out there, I get trolled on social media a couple of times a month and although I try not to let it bother me, it really does hurt, I'll never understand why people can't just be nice, especially when I am such an honest person who pretty much share's everything, warts and all.

One good thing I've just achieved with my clients help, I found a selection of old images and my clients exchanged donations in return for them and last night I sent a donation to my favourite charity Mind UK, this does feel like a good thing that I've achieved and it's because of photography that I've achieved it.  Mostly of course it's down to my lovely clients and really if you think about it, everything I've ever achieved is because of the wonderful clients I have.

You know what I would love to do now?  I'd like to combine travel and portrait photography, I'd love to be able to set up amazing shoots at awesome locations around the world although even the thought makes me feel like I'm being too big for my boots, you never know though so I'm putting it out there!  Why not fly me to where you are to photograph the people you love?  After all, as one of my lovely clients tells me, "I can always tell when you have taken a photo, it's so unique"

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