You become a ‘professional’ by virtue of it being your full time job. However as in most industries you can then go for recognised professional qualifications which prove that you really are a true professional in the eyes of the industry you work in.
And after much procrastination I finally went for it and was successful!
For years I knew I was good at what I do. But there was always something missing. And that was confirmation and recognition from my industry and my word it feels good to now have this!
I’m constantly learning and constantly pushing the boundaries of what I do creatively. To have this recognised is absolutely brilliant!
Gloucestershire based Photographer Nikki Kirk of Nikki Kirk Photography has achieved the distinction of becoming a ‘Qualified’ (Professional) member of the Guild of Photographers in her field of Wedding Photography and can now use the letters QGWP after her name.
The Guild of Photographers is the highly regarded national photographic body whose members are committed to achieving the highest standards of professionalism for the benefit of their customers.
Becoming ‘Qualified’ with the Guild involves a rigorous assessment process, and Nikki is now one of only around 350 people across all genres of photography to hold this recognition!
The Directors of The Guild of Photographers; Steven and Lesley Thirsk said – “We are delighted that Nikki has achieved Qualified status. The Guild has very demanding standards, so this achievement reflects Nikki’s commitment to her photography, as well as her ability. The judging is undertaken by a panel of industry experts from a variety of photography backgrounds, so Nikki should rightfully be very proud of this recognition”.
The Guild website (www.photoguild.co.uk) lists members throughout the country who offer this commitment, along with advice on how to choose a photographer that will meet your needs.
How the Assessment Process Works
Some see photography-related qualifications as a controversial issue. For example; for how do you judge an art form? The Guild of Photographers is unique and by aligning their levels to the original ‘Guild concepts’, they can apply assessment criteria that reflect their underlining principles of competence and skill.
I had to pull together a panel of three weddings and had to include images from specific parts of the day. Why cover all these bases? Its to ensure that as a qualified professional that you are expert in all areas of wedding photography and not just a couple of parts of it.
The three weddings I chose for my panel showcased a really lovely series of images and different types of weddings under different lighting and seasonal conditions.
“You made us feel really comfortable, it was obvious you knew your stuff and were incredibly passionate about it too but it felt good to know we’d be spending time in company we respected and enjoyed.
It was almost a secondary requirement to learn of your impressive photography credentials!”
This was a very, very relaxed and informal day for Dani and Ralph. They were so relaxed we almost ran out of time! After a gentle nudge from me we finally took their couple portraits.
It was a September day with typical September lighting. A little dull but nice and warm – perfect. D&R live locally so we spent some time scoping out their favourite areas for photographs in advance so that we had a plan on the day.
Little pops of flash were used to enhance the soft natural lighting. The couple were happy for me to put them into ‘pose’ for the more formal portraits and really enjoyed the more fashion lead poses which were designed to show off their wedding outfit choices.
You can see Dani and Ralph’s wedding here:
“A big thank you for the beautiful photos!
We love them, and they are in the exact style we had hoped for.
We knew we picked the right person for our wedding!”
It was the hottest day of 2021! My assistant had heat stroke within 3 hours of getting there. Blistering white hot sun and an outdoors ceremony. Everyone was melting or getting burnt. When I got home that evening, I threw myself in the paddling pool fully clothed and I swear there was steam as I hit the water!
I used the shade of the arches at the venue to keep the clients cool whilst having their images taken. Ashley and Sash are quite a private couple however we had taken the opportunity for an engagement photo shoot prior to their big day and really spent the time getting to know one another and build the trust that’s needed for these intimate and relaxed couples’ images.
“We loved you! You were always our first choice, and so supportive after everything that happened before.
Always friendly and we both knew you would take fantastic photographs.”
The very lovely Hannah and Dan booked me for their small but perfectly formed wedding last spring when we were still limited with numbers at weddings and had to be outside. They braved their wedding breakfast in a small open sided marquee in a chilly torrential downpour!
They are a very private couple and so I was delighted that they put their whole trust in me and trusted my vision for these images. We worked together to create images that were formal yet playful. I suggested locations at their venue and they were happy to go along with these suggestions and the poses/actions suggested.
“We just wanted to say a big thank you to Nikki for being our photographer for our wedding. We were so pleased (and relieved!) when she said she was available. Nikki is such a friendly, kind person and although she was our official wedding photographer, it was like having a good friend photograph us on our wedding day which made it even more special.
We got married during the Covid-19 pandemic, and were still only allowed 15 guests, but Nikki worked really hard to make sure we had all the photographs we wanted, and really listened to all of our requests (big and small!).
She took the time to understand what was really important for us on the day. It was a difficult time for everyone involved, as we had to reschedule a few times, but Nikki has always been so supportive and understanding which really made the whole process much easier. She took time to notice the things that really mattered to us, without us having to ask.
We can’t recommend her enough.”
You can see Hannah and Dan’s wedding blog here…