Dade Freeman
Photographer & Trainer


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Award Winning Photographer

It is not often I am left speechless, but that was the case last weekend.

The Guild of Photographers

I joined The Guild of Photographers about a year ago and I have been entering their Image of the Month (IOM) competitions in order to see where my images rate according to the judges with expertise in photography. Having your work assessed by your peers is so valuable and means much more than a simple 'like', it helps you grow, understand and develop further. Some months I did exceptional gaining a Gold Award, other months I missed the mark and perhaps only got a Bronze. I say ONLY, but that in itself is no mean feat, but I tend to be hard on myself.

So I continued doing this not really thinking any more of it. What I hadn't realised is all these images go in to a year-long competition which culminates with an awards night. Last weekend The Guild had their awards ceremony at Crewe Hall where they announced who had won what and in which category. 

I was happy to support all those attendees, but wasn't planning on going as work commitments had me running around the country; Doncaster to Manchester to Brighton to Crewe and back to Brighton. I was convinced that I should go, it would be good for me to meet others, support the Guild and see how it operates. Tereza had been working hard and deserved a night out, so I thought why not.

The Competition

Once I had decided to attend, I was informed I had a chance to enter another image into a competition on the day. However, I didn't have the time to get it printed and delivered in time. Step in Superhero - Rachel - from One Vision. She printed off and brought with her my chosen image to be entered into the competition, and what a fantastic print it was - very grateful to her for that. We got to Crewe Hall, a very swanky venue! I had a look around at all the vendors and did some meeting and greeting of members. Nik made sure I was informed as to what was happening, due to me attending so late in the game. 

At the judging, my print quite literally just missed been selected as a winning shot, because the judges said the shaft of bright sky was slightly distracting and too bright. DOH!

I watched intently as the judges went along talking about the process and what they look for in the Image of the Month competitions. This was hugely informative. After the workshops and competition it was time to get changed into our posh frocks and suits to attend the awards ceremony.

The Awards

The awards dinner was a grand affair, and not knowing what to expect or even what I might have an won, if anything, kept me guessing all evening as name after name was called out. Steven Thirsk and Lesley Thirsk led the evening, first stating the category, the runner up and then the winner. There were so many amazing images, I wouldn't envy them the challenge of deciding the winners. On top of that, due to high level of work submitted, I also didn't rate my chances.

The first award I received was the distinction of becoming a member of The Photographers Bar. Very few photographers achieve this, and is awarded by entering consistently strong images demonstrating an exceptional level of skill and consistency into the IOM. 

My Geisha shot missed out on a top spot but it was shortlisted. So imagine my surprise when I won the runner-up Image of the Year award for the 'Urban Category' - see my fine art section for the kind of shots entered. Just as I had collected that award and was about to head back to my seat, Lesley called my name again, as I turned on my heels to see I had also WON the overall winner of the same category! Image of the year Winner and Runner up!! Stoked was not the word. As if that were not enough, the folks at Kaleidoscope also printed off an A3 sized framed print of my winning shot to take home.

I am very happy I joined the Guild, and having seen the quality of work that I am competing against, I know they don't just dish out awards, you actually have to earn them.

If you haven't joined the Guild and want to push your work to the next level, I highly recommend you consider them.

I would like to thank ALL those who work for and with The Guild for their hard work and dedication to its members. A big 'Thank you' to Rachael Foster for shots of me collecting my awards. 

Award - Photographers Bar
Runner Up - Urban Category
Winner - Urban Category

And the winner is...

Here is a close up shot of the awards themselves :)

Dade Freeman is an 'AWARD WINNING' Brighton photographer creating portraits and fine art images for commercial and personal use.