JUST weeks after quitting her job, Boscombe-based photographer Emily Johns has made it to the finals of two prestigious wedding competitions -- the English Wedding Awards and Dorset Wedding Supplier Awards.

The Dorset Wedding Supplier Awards 2019 saw an experienced panel use a ‘blind judging’ process to judge wedding photographers’ work based on content alone, and named Emily one of the finalists.

A ceremony to name the winners in all categories was due to be held on Saturday at the Hilton Bournemouth.

The English Wedding Awards 2019 called for voters from all over the country to choose their favourite wedding suppliers, from caterers and photographers to makeup artists and DJs and the winner will be announced on November 26.

“I actually found out I was a finalist in the Dorset award only a couple weeks after leaving my previous job," she said. "I had been working full time whilst using every spare hour to build Lotus Photography, and after two years I decided to take the plunge and focus purely on my passion.

"It was a huge shock to find out I was a finalist so quickly after that! A couple of weeks later I discovered I was a finalist in the English Wedding Awards, which had been a public vote, I'm so thankful and humbled that people took the time to show their support.”

On her transition to starting her own full-time photography business, Emily said: “It’s been exhilarating, I wouldn't change a thing! As well as taking photos I've been able to offer even more; for my couples with weddings coming up, I've been on hand to support them with tips and tricks for their big day to make the planning process less stressful.”

For people looking to turn their passions into full-time careers, Emily has some advice: “I spent ages doing research, pro and con lists, reading everything, but at the end of the day you just have to take that leap,” she says. “It's not easy, there will be bumps in the road, but as long as you give it your all, say yes to opportunities and surround yourself with amazing people."