#UKDA2014 Winner’s Interview – Best Newcomer Individual

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We continue the series of interviews with last year’s UK Dating Awards winners, with an interview with Saskia Nelson.  Saskia is the founder of Saturday Night’s Alright – the UK’s only dating profile-specific photography company.  Saskia won the award for Best Newcomer Individual in the UK Dating industry.

How does it feel to win the Award?

It feels amazing to be honest.  I’m on cloud 9 and loving it.  I’ve worked so hard this year – neglecting friends and family in the process (sorry guys!) – to get the business in good shape and so to win this award makes me realise it’s all been worth it.  Everyone is always so positive about the business saying they love what I do, which means a lot to me, but to be recognised the dating industry too is incredible. I feel like I’ve finally arrived.

Why do you think you won your category?

Phew, I’m not sure how I managed it as I was up against some really tough competition.  I guess my business is quite unique – I run the only dedicated dating photography business in the UK – so I think that probably helped me stand out from the other finalists, who all looked pretty amazing to me.  Also I think my services are aimed at all daters – whether on or offline, old, young, male, female etc.  I provided a necessary service for the whole dating community.

Saskcroptidy

What was the highlight of your evening at the Award Show?
Ahh, well that would be hearing my name called out and then running up on stage to lunge at Rick Edwards!

What will you do with your Award?
It’s going up on the wall somewhere at home.

What did you think of the first year of the UK Dating Awards?

I absolutely loved the whole event from start to finish obviously being a winner contributed to that but I think what blew me away was the opportunity to network with the dating industry in the UK – you could take years trying to connect with all these people and suddenly here they are all in one room.  I was like a kid in a candy store.  It was a great way for me to meet a lot of them for the first time, as a winner. It helped people realise I’m a fully fledged member of the dating industry now.

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With Caroline Brealey, Laura Yates and Alexia Charalambous at the Awards

Why did you decide to get involved with the very first year of the Awards?

As I’m fairly new to the industry I saw it firstly as a way to raise my profile within the dating industry, which has definitely happened, I have lots and lots of meetings going in my diary following the Awards.  Secondly, I really value being able to say I run an award winning business, it’s the kind of thing that appeals to clients.  It means if/when other photographers start to follow in my footsteps I will have the awards and the profile in the industry to say I was here first.

Have you done anything particularly big in 2014?
I have taken on a second photographer who is amazing and has been a massive support to me in the second half of 2014.  To be able to expand in this way is really exciting and we are currently testing and fine-tuning all the behind the scenes systems so that the business is ready to expand further across the UK.

Saskia

What are the key values which underpin your brand?
My core values are: bold, playful, professional and responsible.  I try and approach everything I do in the business with these core values in mind.

What are your plans for 2015?
Well I’m kickstarting the year by heading off to the iDate Awards in Las Vegas. I’m a finalist in these global awards for Most Innovative Business, up against four other companies.  I’m so excited to reach the finals that I decided to go on the offchance that I win.  It will also be an amazing opportunity to network on a global scale. I do have plans to take the business global, although probably not in 2015, but it will be very useful to start sussing out the scene. Then when I get back I’m going to start the ball rolling in terms of rolling out the business beyond London.  I lot of my clients have to travel from all round the UK so I’m currently figuring out which cities/locations I can move the business to.  All very exciting.  I’m also going to start work with a stylist and make up artist.  A lot of my clients are requesting these services so I’m going to start trialling it early next year.  Watch this space!

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