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A lens to fulfil all dreams - #AnnualSpotlight

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The incredibly talented photographer that is Richard Wadey certainly isn't new to appearing on these virtual pages. However, albeit shortlisted several times in The Annual since its inception, it was not until Annual 2020 that Richard grabbed a prize, and with a beautiful series of pictures too.

Here in the team we will forever remember Richard Wadey as the photographer who grabbed a bronze with an incredibly touching and beautiful series of pictures on Kushti Wrestling. A quite amazing project capturing the heart of the sport in some captivating narrative, and showing the kind of innovative approach you would expect from an award-winning photographer.

Richard's talent shines bright through the pictures you can see below. For this Annual Spotlight, we are learning more about him and his work, as well as the numerous benefits Richard gained from being part of a global creative community.

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What feels unique about The Annual?

The Annual is a great place for creatives to get additional exposure for the work and projects we are most proud of. It’s particularly unique as it’s the only creative award that has the People's Choice award so we all get to enjoy, compare and celebrate the work of our peers.

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How does it feel to have won the Creativepool Annual Awards?

I have been very lucky to win 2 Creativepool Annual Awards over the last few years. I first won Bronze in 2018 for a project shot in Barcelona, which I called The Lunchbreak. The second I won was in 2020 for a really exciting project of Kushti Wrestlers shot in Mumbai just before the first lockdown. I was very pleased to have been selected as finalist, but then really chuffed to win and be chosen and recognised by such a prestigious award and judging panel.

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Will you be entering again this year? If so, what are your hopes?

Yes, definitely. 

Whilst clearly I would love to win, it is equally important to me to use the opportunity to get my best work in front of those Creative directors, brands, agencies and creative producers who may otherwise not been aware of me.

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Can you tell us more about your winning submissions and what you think impressed the judges?

Kushti wrestling is rarely photographed so it is visually very interesting. The images had something unusual and intriguing about them. I used a colour palette of burnt reds, yellow ochres and deep shadows which created and unusual texture which added to the intrigue.

I wanted the series to have a narrative. I was less interested in shooting sports images, but far more keen to show the power and brutality of the underground sport juxtaposed with the sensitivity of the people and their rituals.

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What advice would you share with other agencies and individuals looking to grab a prize?

From the day I started shooting professionally I have always tried to find a way to get excited about the project – there is always an interesting angle to it and it always shows through in the end result. For me I am also ruthless on what work I will and won’t submit – only sharing work that I am most proud of.

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How do you feel Covid has impacted the creative landscape in 2020?

Covid has a had a huge impact on our industry and changed all the rules overnight. As creatives we are problem solvers by nature and most found a way to work through it and continue to produce great work. The old saying “restrictions and problems make you even more creative” is so true and I genuinely believe that whilst Covid has been horrific for the whole world, we will see some great innovation as a result. Covid has also given us a chance to remember what is important, to reset and consequently I feel more positive than ever about the industry and my role in it.

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What are your hopes for 2021 and beyond?

To get on a plane again! I usually travel many times a year and I really missed this part when Covid took hold. I’m itching to travel and shoot in new far flung places again! My main aspiration for 2021 and beyond though, is to continually stretch my creative muscle by working with inspiring people, brands and agencies to produce work I’m really proud to put my name to.

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