I've had the honour of being asked to photograph the annual Networking Mummies Awards for 2018. I originally photographed this event for the first time last May. It was such a fun, emotional and inspiring evening, I couldn't possibly say no to returning.
The Networking Mummies Awards is a fantastic black tie charity event that recognises the hard-working mums (and dads) in business that are part of Networking Mummies throughout the country. I was even more excited to be involved when I found out the charity being supported this year was Birmingham Childrens Hospital . They do amazing work, even hearing just a few of the stories about the lives they touch is both heart-breaking and heart-warming in equal measure.
This year's awards were held for the first time at the MacDonald Burlington Hotel in the heart of Birmingham. I'm really pleased we will be returning here for the next one.
The 2017 Awards
The evening began in the bar with sparkling wine being served on arrival by Britain's Got Talent's "Hoop Guy" on stilts, and group Soul4Mation providing the music. I was on hand to take photos of the guests as they arrived.
Once everyone had arrived and had the chance to grab a drink and mingle with the other guests, the doors were opened to the main function room the awards part of the evening began.
Hosting the night's proceedings was Master of Ceremonies Dave Sharpe. Dave has hosted a number of the Networking Mummies Awards nights and there's a reason he keeps getting invited back. He engaged the audience immediately with interactive games, jokes and general silliness, making my job easy with smiles and laughter on the faces of everyone in the room.
After the crowd was nicely warmed up, dinner was then served. In between courses, the awards part of the evening began. It was truly inspiring seeing the successes of so many motivated, hard-working mums and dads in business. It made me realise that even though I find it hard managing a full-time job, being a dad, a husband, as well as my photography business, there are so many people out there doing it all and succeeding. Getting the balance right between family and work is something I think about constantly, and its extremely motivating to see that its possible to be great at both.
All of this was made possible due to the hard work of Laura Morris and Stacey Calder. Stacey has since moved on but has been replaced by an equally talented woman in Victoria Alcock.
I'm looking forward to seeing how they top this one next year!