WHAAAAAAT! I can’t believe one of my images has been named in Junebug’s Best of the Best Wedding Photo’s Of The Year 2015. It’s a real honour to be amongst so many talented photographers from across the globe and a great way to start 2016.
Junebug hold the Best of the Best contest yearly, and out of thousands of entries, they only choose 50 winners! So when I received the email a few days ago that my image from Gita and Arun’s wedding at Ditton Manor had been selected, I nearly fell off my chair. Its been a real challenge to bite my tongue until today, when all the winners are officially announced. You can see all the other Best of the Best 2015 contest winners here.
A massive thank you to Junebug and all the judges for selecting one of my images, it truly is a privilege to be a part of such a prestigious collection of wedding images. Thank you to Gita and Arun, for putting your trust in me and allowing me to document your wedding.
2015 was an incredible year. And I can’t wait to get rolling with my wedding season for 2016!
I was just sitting back, watching the last episode of Narcos Season 2, when I heard my email ping on my phone. I checked, and it was the ISPWP Fall 2016 contest results. I put Narcos on hold, and scrolled through all the winners in each category. I saw a couple of my images win, and thought that was a nice early Christmas present, eventually, after scrolling through all the categories, I counted I had won six awards, SIX, I couldn’t believe it, and that it put me as a Top 20 winner worldwide! I was shocked, to be ranked 13th internationally, and the only UK photographer in the overall top 20, I was super happy. Cue celebratory Ale.
I love entering awards, I love challenging myself, to push myself at every wedding, to create images that standout, not for me, not for awards, but for my clients. I want them to have images that are unique to them, that no one else can have, and that reminds them of their wedding day, and if I submit some of them to awards, and they win, well thats a bonus, a bonus I will gladly take. Being recognised by your peers, is a great feeling, and when I don’t win, it pushes me even harder, to try harder, and be better.
Congratulations to all the other award winners, and to the judges for all their hard work!
Here are the 6 images that won, and they’re ranking, I hope you like looking at them as much as I did taking them.
In early September, I was nominated by one of my clients into The Wedding Industry Awards, held in the UK. The Wedding Industry Awards (TWIA), are a little different from other awards that I enter. Most awards, are based only on my images I submit, these awards, however, are based on the images I submit, my website, and more importantly what my clients for that year say about me. They are given a set of questions to answer and asked to rate me on various aspects of my business such as, how was I as a person, how much they liked their photo’s, how easy was I to communicate with and so forth.
I was honoured to be given the accolade of ‘Highly Commended’ in London, by TWIA. Thank you to all my couples that voted for me, and left awesome feedback too!
Here’s what some of my couple’s said about me:
“We met Rahul a month before our destination wedding in Pienza, Italy and knew that he was the right photographer for us. His enthusiasm and hard work throughout our 3 day event was extraordinary. By the end of the weekend he had become as much guest, as photographer. This was a credit to his affability, good humour and ability to perfectly document all aspects of our wedding (until 7am!) whilst melting into the background. We would have no hesitation in highly recommending him for this award.”
Sarah & Seb – Tuscany Wedding
“We feel so lucky to have booked Rahul, from the initial telephone contact, to the pre-shoot, and then the big day…he was brilliant. Rahul has a wealth of experience and ideas, crucial in helping us understand what was possible and what would work. His approach filled us confidence and instantly made us feel calm & relaxed (even at the stressful bits). All this praise is justified in the end result, the wedding photographs are perfect and captured the day exactly as we hoped.”
Seema & Toby – Woburn Sculpture Gallery Wedding
“Rahul Khona is an outstanding photographer and one of the best in the industry. His photography style is so natural and he really captures all of the emotions of the day. His portrait shots are breath taking. Rahul will go out of his way to make sure he captures the most important moments of the wedding day all the while putting his personal touch to his photos. His photos are so unique and stand out from all of the rest.”
Dev & Khushboo – Newland Manor Wedding
Rahul was very professional, outgoing and easy to work with. We had a preshoot which was so clever as we were able to meet each other again and get to know each other properly so he knows what we are looking for and he can also prepare us for the day and make it more comfortable and enjoyable. On the day again he was amazing he made it very fun for not only for myself but the whole wedding party, he made the photos very easy for the day and didn’t take a lot of time for family pictures.”
Servet & Ismail – Quendon Parklands Wedding
“Rahul has a great vision – he understood exactly what we wanted and managed to capture each of our wedding events so beautifully. We were incredibly happy with the entire process – from the pre-wedding photo shoot, pre-wedding events and then finally the wedding and reception. We especially love the way Rahul has captured all those special moments and intricate details which will allow us to keep reliving our special day.”
Ginel & Nitesh – Hilton T5 Wedding
The Wedding Photojournalists Association (WPJA) is a collection of the world’s best wedding photojournalists, recognised by various publications globally. The WPJA is a network of professional photographers, which recognises new talent, and keeping their photographers fresh and at the forefront of wedding photojournalism. The WPJA is dedicated to photography that is honest, capturing moments and creativity.
To be part of an exclusive network of award-winning wedding photojournalists from all over the world, that work hard to deliver amazing photography to their clients, is very inspiring indeed.
Below are my WPJA awards, that I have been honoured to receive so far.
9th Place: Emotion – 2014 Q4 Photography Contest
10th Place: Ceremony – 2014 Q4 Photography Contest
Winning a Fearless Award, is very difficult indeed. Every round about 15,000 images are submitted worldwide, and only about 1 in 100 are awarded by the judges. To be part of the Fearless community of wedding photographers, who are continuously pushing boundaries, creating distinctive images that aren’t ‘safe’ or ‘clichéd’, inspire me to push myself at every wedding.
Below are my award winning images so far from Fearless Photographers.
The International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers, was created to raise the standard of wedding photography. To become a member of ISPWP, is a tough application process, and is carefully curated by peers in the industry. Their requirements are talent, experience and professionalism and you have to have photographed a minimum of 50 weddings. The ISPWP contest’s are on of my favourites to enter, as each contest is also broken down into categories, which makes image selection a little more challenging, when entering a contest, which run quarterly.
For the ‘Fall 2014’ contest, I was invited to be a judge, which was an eye opening experience, and made me realise how many amazing photographers there are entering every round. You can see the award winning images from this contest here.
Below are my awards from ISPWP, which I am extremely proud of.
Engagement Portrait | Spring 2015 | 13th Place
First Dance | Spring 2015 | 4th Place
Engagement Portrait | Winter 2014 | 20th Place
Bridal Party Portrait | Winter 2014 | 14th Place
Family Love | Winter 2014 | 13th Place
Bride Portrait | Summer 2014 | 9th Place
Family Love | Summer 2014 | 18th Place
Emotional Impact | Summer 2014 | 19th Place
All About Light | Summer 2014 | 14th Place
The Wedding Dress | Summer 2014 | 5th Place
Ceremony | Spring 2014 | 8th Place
Ceremony | Fall 2013 | 13th Place
The Decisive Moment | Fall 2013 | 6th Place
Bridal Party Portrait | Summer 2013 | 5th Place
Wedding Dress | Summer 2013 | 7th Place
Family Love | Spring 2013 | 13th Place
What an awesome way to finish the year on a high.
2017 has already been an amazing year, so to find out that I’m ranked the number one wedding photographer in London for WPJA (the Wedding Photojournalist Association) really is the icing on the cake.
I’m proud of all the awards I have won so far in my career, and love entering competitions. It’s a little bit of extra motivation to work harder at every wedding I shoot. To win awards purely on the quality of my documentary photographs – and when I’m being judged by my peers – is an incredible honour, especially when you see how tough the competition is.
To win seven awards in the latest WPJA contest is mindblowing, and I’m delighted to be able to call myself the number one photographer in London. Creating photojournalistic images that perfectly document my clients’ big days is a fresh challenge each time I pack my bag. To know I’ve satisfied both the bride and groom and some of the toughest competition judges in the business, is a massive achievement.
In giving out the awards, WPJA judges are looking for images that really make the most of visual opportunities in the context. Photos that go beyond the obvious, using framing light sources in interesting ways. Photographers who stand out are ones who are able to spot and capture the most unusual and telling moments, often in the little natural lulls that can occur at key moment throughout the day.
Being able to consistently do this to a highest quality is my main objective in every wedding I shoot. While the challenges of wedding environments and what my clients need are naturally changing all the time, and my own personal skills are always growing, keeping that same level of dedication all the time is essential. Because, at the end of the day, dedication is what you’ll find at the heart of every great wedding photographer as well as every great marriage.
So I’d like to express a massive heartfelt thank you to all my clients. You’re the reason I do what I do, and your happiness is what counts. Thank you for trusting me in documenting one of the most important days in your lives. It really is amazing to be recognised as the number one award winning wedding photographer in London. I wonder if I can do it again next year?
Below are the other 6 images that I won in the latest WPJA round making me the number one London wedding photographer.
I’m thrilled to be able to say that I have won seven new wedding photography awards from the WPJA. Awarded as part of their brand new Engagement Portrait Photography Contest, these awards celebrate one of my favourite parts of the job. I absolutely love creating portraits during a wedding, and when couples want a pre-wedding shoot. It gives me the freedom to create and experiment, and hopefully give them something so good it will end up on their wall.
It’s a real privilege to be recognised by the WPJA again, especially after being ranked Number 1 Wedding Photographer in London. The competition is always tough and the judges do an incredible job to select only the best winners. I always put tremendous pressure on myself to deliver images that will blow my clients away and being recognised by my peers in this way is a great feeling.
When I started this crazy career as a wedding photographer, I never thought I’d be lucky enough to create stunning engagement photos and travel the world at the same time. Below are the images from the latest WPJA Engagement Photography Award, which were taken in Iceland, New York, Bali, Abu Dhabi and, of course, London.
A big thank you goes out to all my couples for giving me the opportunity to document them around the world. It’s a true honour and I’m so happy to win these wedding photography awards!