Shortlisted for the Wales Blog Awards

Today I found out that I had been shortlisted for the Wales Blog Awards, in the best photo blog category, for the Cardiff Arcades Project. Should I win the category, then I will also be put forward to win the Overall Best Blog.

I’m really flattered and honoured to be nominated for the award, let alone shortlisted. It’s fantastic that something like this exists in the first place. I know some people have differing opinions on the awards, but, you can’t really deny that it’s great to have something that showcases the hard work that people put into their blogs, usually all for the love of doing it – commercial blogs are discouraged from entering.

It looks like it’ll be a great evening on October 27th, when the winners will be announced, and I can’t wait to see who takes home some of the big prizes, such as Best Writing on a Blog, and Best Food and Drink blog – my personal favourite there is Pint of 45, so good luck boys.

However, with regards to my category, there is a fly in the ointment. While it is of course amazing to be shortlisted for a photo blog award, something I’m really passionate about, I am one of only two nominees, while every other category has three. And there were only 7 photo blogs nominated, of which I’m the only one to make it through to the shortlist, the other nominee was actually nominated for the uber popular “Lifestyle” category. This to me is nothing short of a travesty. I can think of several amazing photographers in Cardiff alone, I can only imagine what there is in the rest of Wales.

In the end, for best photo blog, it will be between me and a 13-year-old girl who maintains Circus Clouds. I wish I had the passion and enthusiasm (and the equipment ;-)) for photography when I was 13, so it’s wonderful to see her receive praise for what she’s doing. I reckon she’s one to watch in the future that one.

But, no disrespect to her, or to me I suppose, but surely we can’t be the only two photo bloggers in the whole of Wales worth celebrating?

I’m not entirely blaming the judges of course. I really, really, don’t envy their job of sifting through the apparent 200 entries to the blog awards this year. And hats off to them too for making changes from last year’s awards, both photo blog and food blog are new categories, along with the People’s Choice award. That said, it’s a shame the judges didn’t cast the net a bit wider than the public nominations that had been received for best photo blog after they saw how few entries there had been.

I’d have loved to see some of the great work that our city, and our country, produces in this category. It made me wonder why more people didn’t nominate great blogs, or nominate themselves. I’m not going to pretend that I nominated any, because I didn’t. I can’t really answer why, I guess it’s probably because I assumed that someone else would have done it, a crap excuse I know.

So, if the blog awards happen again next year, I’ll be making a conscious effort to nominate some of the fine blogs I know and love, and hope you will too. And, if you run your own blog, there’s nothing to stop you nominating yourself, getting shortlisted or winning this award would be great for anyone’s confidence/CV. But until then, thanks to whoever it was nominated me – looking forward to seeing what happens on the night.

Oh – and if you feel that way inclined, you can vote for me to win the People’s Choice Award. Good luck to all my fellow nominees (in all categories) – see you on October 27th!


    • I think that may be the main problem…. last year they had a big promotion from the Guardian Cardiff, so maybe if that was still around you would have. I think they need to work on how to appeal to more photo bloggers next year – hundreds of “lifestyle” entrants though. To be honest I don’t see most of those longlisted blogs as “lifestyle” – more “I blog about all kinds of things, and I don’t know what category that fits in so I’ll stick it in lifestyle.”

      Interested to see who wins best overall blog though – should be a good night! 😀

    • Thanks Loren, very nice of you to say! Looking forward to seeing who wins too – I need to spend more time examining the blogs I don’t know. That’s one of the things that I like about the awards, it unveils some blogs you may never have heard of before 🙂

  • Amy, it would be great to see the blog awards opened up in the judging/organisation and more professional bloggers (those not allowed to enter) involed in the process because there are some excellent bloggers across Wales who do it for a living who would really raise the profile of the awards. Also, i don’t like how blogs have been recategorised by judges. The blogger should choose which category they want to be judged in, not a judge 🙂 Goodluck with your blog, it is excellent tribute to Cardiff Arcades 🙂

    • I agree Kelly,

      It would seem that there could be a “professional” category at the very least, I do think it is important to recognise the efforts of people who do this for fun, not because they need to pay the bills, though.

      Completely agree about the recategorisation too – I am the only one from my longlist in the shortlist, because someone else from another category has been put in. If there weren’t enough good blogs in the photo blog category then perhaps they should have cancelled the category, or looked elsewhere for more blogs to include.

      Thanks for the kind wishes, have been doing some interesting research today for the next part of the project 🙂


  • Hi Amy

    As the wife of one of the bloggers longlisted in the photo blog category, I have to agree with your very perceptive comments.

    Over here I am absolutely gutted that my husband Geoff’s blog wasn’t shortlisted. Geoff’s blog is great (I know I’m biased, but it is) and completely meets his aim of promoting the town of Llandudno as a whole, and providing a snapshot of what’s going on in the town to those people who love Llandudno but can’t actually be here. His blog is well put together, aesthetically lovely and follows all the ‘rules’ of a good blog, so I can’t help but think that it’s not so much being “good enough” but that there’s something else entirely going on in the judging process. OK, the blog supports his business, but no more than many other blogs subtly support and enhances the blogger’s professional career as well. As it is, there is a big question mark for me over the entire judging process.

    All I can do is point out what a complete stranger wrote on Geoff’s blog on the very day that the shortlist was announced:

    “Hi Geoff

    Just to tell you how much I am enjoying your blog on Llandudno. My aunt and uncle took me on holiday there Easter and Whitsuntide from me being 4 to 14 years old. I am now 67 but I have been many, many times since.

    Each time we went would walk through Haulfre Gardens to West Shore. Walking up the hill would seem like a mountain to my little legs. I remember we would have tea at the top, usually outside.The seats of the chairs were wooden slats and could be folded up to be taken in at night. I can still feel the roughness of the wood on my legs as I pulled myself onto the seat and be sat there with my feet miles away from the ground.

    I am looking forward to many more happy memories.”

    If that doesn’t make a blog “good enough”, then I’d like to know what would!

    Anyway, good luck with the awards. You blog is lovely and I have voted for it :-).

    Best wishes, Jane

    • Hi Jane,

      Thankyou very much for your kind comments.

      I very much agree that your husband’s blog is great at what it does – it provides a daily picture and the quality is good.

      It would be helpful to know what the judging criteria for the best photo blog actually is. I know they give general criteria, but actually, none of the judges are photographers, so it could be argued they are not best placed to judge this without some help from someone with particular expertise in this category.

      I also find it a little insulting that every other category had three shortlisted blogs, while the photoblog category had only two, one of which was not even on the longlist. At the time the longlist came out, naturally I looked through the other photo blogs to see what was out there. I was impressed in some manner by nearly all of them, so to say that not a single one (aside mine) seems a little odd.

      While I’m not entirely comfortable with the judge’s decision to move someone out of the category they were nominated for, I can see why Circus Clouds could be considered more appropriate for this category and I do think the blog is great also, but to neglect to include a third shortlisted blog from the categories available seems a little short sighted and is another reason why I am a little disappointed.

      I wonder also too if Geoff’s blog may be suffering a little from a Cardiff bias, maybe it just didn’t appeal to the judges because of the subject matter. That of course is not for me to say, but it would be nice to have some clarification at some point, though it remains to be seen whether any of our questions will be answered.

      Thankyou very much for the vote and I hope this doesn’t put Geoff off from continuing his fantastic work.

      All the best,


  • We’ll take on board all constructive suggestions for improvements to these awards. Dr Kelly Page was a judge at the shortlist stage. Three finalists were actually suggested in this category, but she only wanted two and got her way. We really want to make the awards better year on year, and are dismayed by this tone of negativity.

    • Thankyou for the clarification.

      I hope you don’t think I am trying to be negative about the awards as whole by my comments, I am merely expressing disappointment that more photography blogs didn’t end up in the shortlist, as I know there is a lot of talent out there that is worth celebrating.

      As I pointed out in the article, I do not necessarily blame the judges for this, but rather, wonder why people didn’t want to enter or nominate others (and I count myself in that).

      I still do think that it would be interesting to hear some clarification about what the criteria is for the photo blogging category. Using the overall criteria is a bit more difficult in this category, I think.

      Again, in my comments I said I hoped that next year there would be more photo blogs nominated, and I obviously do appreciate there may be teething errors in the first couple of years of the awards, especially in regard to new categories.

      Best wishes,


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