A Sunderland photographer who captures the biggest day of people’s lives has been named the best in the business.
Helen Russell, from High Barnes, is snap happy after winning the UK’s Best Wedding photographer title in a national competition.
More than 20,000 readers made 130,000 votes in The 2016 UK Wedding Awards, which featured 23 categories, from dream honeymoons to fancy frocks, celebrating the great and the good of the wedding industry.
The 34-year-old, who runs Helen Russell Photography, impressed industry experts to make the shortlist against photographers from across the country, but it was the general public who held the final vote.
Helen said: “I’m really shocked to have won. I was just happy being shortlisted in the final 12 as I was up against some tough competition.
“It makes it extra special that it was voted for by the public as it’s their memories I’m capturing. It’s an honour to be part of their special day, it’s their family history and I want to capture those moments in the best way possible.”
Since setting up her business in 2007, Helen has been documenting big days across the UK and Europe.
Helen, who is mum to Henry, two, said: “I’ve had so much support from people since the shortlist was announced, especially from people in Sunderland, it’s been lovely.”
The awards are hosted by publisher Immediate Media’s wedding publications: hitched, Perfect Wedding and You & Your Wedding.
Zoe Jobson, Immediate Media weddings publisher, said: “We are delighted at the level of engagement The UK Weddings Awards have generated – both inside the wedding industry with an incredible level of entries, and among brides and bridal-party members who voted in staggering numbers.
“Shortlisting was certainly challenging, due to the high calibre of entries, so it was great to be able to give our readers the deciding vote. Our aim was to celebrate and showcase the excellent companies and individuals who make the wedding experience such a memorable one for thousands of UK couples – and we’re thrilled to recognise their commitment, creativity and exemplary service as we announce the winners list.”
Helen and the other winners will be featured in the latest issues of Perfect Wedding and You & Your Wedding.