The aim of the Gear of the Year Awards is to recognise and honour the best photography products, retailers and distributors in the UK.
The awards given to the retailers and distributors are voted for by you, our devoted customers, as well as the readers of Digital Photo and Practical Photography magazines. However the decision making on the best photography products is overseen by a panel of judges that share experience in retail and a passion for photography. My experience with Wex and love for photography meant I was lucky enough to be invited to Bauer Media in Peterborough to discuss the nominees and sit alongside members of the Practical Photography and Digital Photo editorial teams and representatives from photographic retailers, such as Park Cameras and Camera World. For those of you who don’t know, Bauer Media is Europe’s largest privately owned publishing Group and offers over 300 magazines in 15 countries, including Kerrang!, Bird Watching and of course the market-leading photography titles Digital Photo and Practical Photography.
The Awards Ceremony
I would like to add that the awards ceremony of the Gear of the Year Awards can be rather tense at times, with each manufacturer and retailer clenching their fists ready for the classic punch in the air celebration or punch in the direction of their rival. Now, in previous years the awards have been located inside a room, safely on the ground. However, Wednesday afternoon saw the 27th Gear of the Year Awards taking place on a boat cruising along the Thames of London – pretty swanky wouldn’t you agree? With different retailers such as Canon, Nikon, Olympus etc. all in confined space of a boat vying for an award, it was in my eyes rather brave of Bauer to suggest such a venue! I for one had my lifejacket safely tucked under my chair just in case all hell broke loose.
Would we come out on top or all washed out to sea?
So, last year we came away with a hat trick – “Best Online Retailer” 10 years running, “Best Specialist Retailer” and “Best Retailer” – something we were over the moon with. This year was full steam ahead, we hauled in our largest catch so far winning four awards!
The winners were read out by part-time comedians Practical Photography's Editor-in-chief Andrew James and Digital Photo Editor Jon Adams and our photo was taken as we collected the award with our heads held high. To hear the name ‘Wex Photographic’ being read out one after the other was a very proud moment and we had grins like Cheshire cats – Why they made us sit back down to our seats each time I do not know? ;) We managed to uphold our title as “Best Online Retailer” for the 11th year in a row, “Best Specialist Retailer” for a 3rd year, “Best Retailer” for a second year and “Best Photo Finishing Service” – a first for Wex Photographic and hopefully not the last.
Thank you all!
A big thanks to everyone who voted, we will strive to meet and exceed your expectations and we hope you continue to support us in the upcoming year.