Lifetime Acheivement Award


Wow what a surprise that was….

I went to the MPA annual awards weekend in Newcastle last week with all my staff, to support them as they had entries in the finals and as a good staff bonding exercise for the business. Its a lovely time to get together with old friends and to meet photographers you have been in touch with or helped over the last year.

I have to say it was a very strange feeling sitting there whilst pictures came up on the huge screens showing a potted history over the last 45 years of your photographic life. My life just flashed before me as if I were dying.

Going up on stage and being presented with a ‘lifetime achievement award’ by Colin Buck the MPA’s CEO was a very humbling experience, as all that goes through your head is why me?

It is an award that is rarely given, therefore making it so special. I was asked to say a few words but I had nothing prepared, so I stood there and opened my mouth, but I can’t remember a word I said, I just said it from the heart…

The rest of the evening was a lovely experience with so many people coming up and saying what a great speech and telling me how they first met me and how I have influenced them over the years. Photographers mentioned how they sat at their first seminar and heard me talking about the importance of professionalism and how it has stuck with them, they reminded me of things I had said to them that spurred them on, it was a strange feelingĀ  indeed.

Over the last week I have been able to sit back and reflect on the weekend and the award, and have to say that I never set out to help or influence other photographers, it just happened. I have always just wanted to be the best photographer I can be, then I won numerous awards, then achieved my qualifications and as I achieved my first Fellowship 30 years ago, I remember one of the judges saying, don’t forget Ray you now haveĀ  a responsibility to help others, so really it was something expected and instilled in me. As President I visited and lectured to every region across the UK and also abroad, meeting so many wonderful people, I really never knew I was helping them.

I have never said, no, when asked for help or advice, unfortunately over the years it has got me into trouble, by speaking my mind and speaking up for what I believe in, but then what’s the point of living in a democracy and not speaking up for your beliefs.

In fact this evening I giving a webinar on Wedding Photography, and if I manage to help one photographer improve his/her business, then all the effort would have been worthwhile.

I hope I have a lot more of my life to come to be able to help others along the way…

It’s great being a photographer!!!!!