Matt Smith Multiple Award Winning Photography from Northampton
Matt Smith Multiple Award Winning Photographer from Northampton (Photo by Rachael Foster)

You may recall that in 2018 I was awarded lifetime membership of ‘The Photographer’s Bar’ by The Guild of Photographers, the leading trade association of which I am a member.

The distinction of the Bar is hard to achieve as it requires submitting images throughout the course of a year that a panel of judges determine to be of a consistently high standard and award winning in their own right. There are five different categories that you can be awarded the Bar in: Weddings, People, Newborns, Natural World and Open for anything that doesn’t fit in the other categories. My photos were assessed in the ‘open’ category.

It was a huge honour to be given this award but those of you that know me well know that I am never one to rest on my laurels, so I wanted to take things a bit further. In addition to all the aircraft, big cats and so on you will know that I also do a lot of people pictures, so for the 2019 awards season I wanted to see if I could achieve the required criteria for the Bar in the ‘people’ category.

I am pleased to say that at the recent Guild awards event at Crewe Hall, I was awarded the Bar in my second category. But not only that, I had also wanted to see if I could continue to maintain the high quality imagery required to pass the criteria for the open category again at the same time! I was delighted therefore to be presented with two certificates for the Open and People categories. Out of a membership of thousands and over 13,500 images entered into the Guild competition, there were only ten other photographers that achieved the Bar in two categories this year.

To say I was chuffed is an understatement. I am now looking forward to a new challenge with a couple of new goals for 2020, and I’ll be sure to write about it here if I succeed in them!


Please note that as of April 2023 I am no longer a member of the Guild of Photographers but I remain very proud of the achievements made during my membership.