The Norfolk snapper named country's wedding photographer of the year
PUBLISHED: 11:40 05 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:54 05 December 2019
A Swaffham photographer has been recognised as the nation's best when it comes to capturing happy couples on their big day.
Maddie Parker said she was astonished to be named wedding photographer of the year for the east of England at this year's English Weddings Awards, held in Birmingham last month.
But her surprise was amplified moments later when she scooped the overall gong for England, coming out on top ahead of experienced professionals from across the country.
Miss Parker, who is just 22 years old and has her own studio in Swaffham, says the elation of winning is yet to sink in.
"I was in complete shock when they said my name," said Miss Parker. "It was amazing just to be at the awards, let alone to win twice - I'm absolutely over the moon.
"Never in a million years did I think I would ever get this far at an awards for my work. I'm so proud of both myself and my little business for how it's grown and developed into what it is today."
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By the time she left Nicholas Hamond Academy at 16, Miss Parker's talent for photography was evident and she took on her studio in Swaffham Market Place two years later.
As she balanced her passion with exams and coursework at Fakenham College, Maddie Parker Photography provided a platform for the teenager to fulfil a long-held ambition.
"I've always loved photography right from the word go," she added. "At high school, teachers used to ask me to do photography whenever anything official was going on.
"People thought I was crazy when I took on the studio while I was still at school, but I'm just lucky that I've always known what I wanted to do."
Having caught attention over the past few years for her striking creativity and a desire to make wedding photos stand out from the crowd, Miss Parker's reputation continues to grow.
"It's nice to just get out there as a photographer and be creative," she added. "I always try and take a fresh approach rather than traditional photos.
"People these days don't always want traditional. Wedding photos now are so different to what my parents would have had."