Neil Palmer, England
The Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA) - Wedding Photographers
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Mariusz Lasocha, CanadaWPJA Wedding PhotojournalismSamo Rovan, Slovenia
Wedding Photojournalism - Capturing the Real Moment Forever.

The Q4 Contest Deadline Is Now Two Weeks Away

The WPJA Q4 '09 contest deadline is next Friday, January 29th, 2010 at 9:00 p.m. EST. Images submitted for the Contest must have been created between January 1st and December 31st of 2009. No images may be submitted from previous years or from 2010.

Why should WPJA members enter this contest?

The Q4 Contest provides the last opportunity for WPJA members to enter the photographs they have taken throughout 2009, and showcase their year's photography to the world and potential clients who come to the WPJA looking for a wedding photographer.

Members who enter the Quarterly WPJA Contests also increase their position in regional listings, even if they don't win a placing in any of the categories. Increased exposure on the site means brides have a better chance of finding a Member's Profile.

With no charge for entering the contests, they're an easy way to boost a member's effectiveness on the WPJA, and every entry that wins a 1-20 placing is published on a Member's Profile, in the WPJA Contest Galleries and may be randomly displayed on the WPJA homepage.

Contest Judges

This is a partial list of judges:

David Leeson has been a staff photographer for The Dallas Morning News since 1984. In 2004, he was a Pulitzer Prize Winner for his photographs depicting the violence and poignancy of the war with Iraq. Read more...

David Stephenson is the Photojournalism Adviser for the University of Kentucky’s student newspaper, the Kentucky Kernel. David returned to his native Lexington and joined the staff of the Herald-Leader in 1997 and left to join the Kernel in 2009. Read more...

Loup Langton currently serves as Director of the Visual Journalism program at the University of Miami's School of Communication and as a member of the Pictures of the Year International Inaugural Advisory Board. Read more...

Eric Strachan is the senior managing editor at the Naples Daily News in Southwest Florida, where he started as a staff photographer in 1981. Read more...

Seth Resnick is one of North America's most prolific corporate, editorial and stock photographers. Seth is greatly in demand for his beautiful graphic images in both natural and created light. Read more...

Contest Categories

The categories we have chosen for this contest have been selected to both challenge and excite photographers to enter creative, unique and distinctly journalistic photographs.


Bride Getting Ready
“Bride Getting Ready” entries spontaneously capture the prepping, grooming, arranging, outfitting, and nail-biting before the ceremony.
Groom Getting Ready
“Groom Getting Ready” entries spontaneously capture the prepping, grooming, arranging, outfitting, and nail-biting before the ceremony.
Photos submitted into “Dancing” will display the varied emotions that take place on a wedding reception dance floor. Anything from the reception dance floor that illustrates the mood of a particular moment (from the first dance to the end of the party).
Off-Camera Flash / Strobe
Photographs in the “Off-Camera Flash/Strobe” category depict images which are crafted using off-camera flash or strobe techniques. In these entries, the photographer is controlling the lighting, sometimes overpowering the existing ambient light.
“Ceremony” shots catch guests and participants throughout pre-ceremony, vow-exchange, and receiving line activity.
“Emotion” entries unobtrusively freeze intriguing expressions ranging from joy to tears.
Reception Ambiance
These images should demonstrate the photographer's ability to capture the feeling, majesty, and ambiance of the reception, as they highlight the most appealing aspects of the setting (reception halls, tents, patios, beachfronts, woods, etc.), where the reception took place.
Details (Found)
“Details (Found)” encompasses tighter shots of the day's small slices AS THEY WERE FOUND.
NOTE: This category is NOT for set-up detail shots. It's important that images submitted in this category don't contain content controlled by the photographer.
Looking for images which display creative and unique usage of reflective surfaces in the events surrounding a wedding. (i.e. mirrors, glass, water, metals, etc.)
Bouquet / Garter (Action)
“Bouquet/Garter” (Action) entries capture active moments leading up to, and/or including, the peak action from the toss of the bride's bouquet or her garter.
Cake Cutting
These images should demonstrate the photographer's ability to anticipate a moment and/or look beyond the ordinary 'Cake Cutting' images that many would come to expect from a wedding.
Musicians & DJ's
“Musicians & DJs” submissions can include images of musicians in action, playing strings, winds, keyboards, guitars, etc. at the ceremony or cocktail hour; as well as shots of bands/DJs doing their 'thing'!


Trash The Dress (TTD) Portrait
Any image, created AFTER the wedding ceremony (typically from a different day), that depicts the bride or couple in formal wedding attire, trashing the dress, regardless of setting.
Engagement Portrait
“Engagement Portrait” should demonstrate the photographer's ability to create an interesting environmental portrait of their clients prior to the day of their wedding.

Contest Sponsors

The WPJA would also like to thank Creative Motion Design and D-65 for sponsoring our Q4 '09 contest. Through these sponsorships, we are able to offer our members discounts on top-notch industry products and education.

Creative Motion Design

Creative Motion Design is a leading designer of Flash website templates for professional photographers. Their templates are designed to create stunning online presentations and can be customized to fit any photographer's distinctive style and branding. Not only do their sites come with a variety of tools to help photographers get noticed and maximize their revenue streams, but their intuitive content management system allows anyone to design, upload, and edit their website 24/7.

Go to: Creative Motion Design


Flash Websites: $95 / $295

Hosting: $100.00 / year (1st year FREE)

Custom Design Time: $25.00 / hour

FREE 10-day Trial

D-65 Workshops

The WPJA is proud to announce that D-65 is sponsoring all of our 2009 quarterly contests.

D-65 is a company dedicated to educating photographers. They work with the industry to offer new ways of thinking, while incorporating the latest technologies. Their services include digital workflow workshops, seminars, bidding and production for still photo shoots, digital workflow analysis for studios and agencies, legal witness on copyright cases, private consulting along with marketing strategies and portfolio reviews. D-65 provides quality professionalism, while understanding the needs of photographers and creative individuals.

WPJA members receive a huge discount on all workshops

Click here for more information about these D-65 workshops.


D-65 have digital workflow workshops running in many locations across the United States in 2010, including:

- Miami (January)
- New York (March)
- Los Angeles (April)
- Denver (May)
- Chicago (June)
- Seattle (July)

View all workshops


Photographer - Top Left
Neil Palmer, England
Photographer - Top Middle
Mariusz Lasocha, Canada
Photographer - Top Right
Samo Rovan, Slovenia

Wedding Photojournalist Association® | WPJA® | Wedding Photojournalism Photos and Wedding Photographers Resources | Reportage and Candid

Excellence in Wedding Photojournalism

Since 2002 the WPJA has been helping couples capture the story of their wedding.

The Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA) is a professional organization composed of photojournalists and wedding photographers from around the world. What sets our members apart in the industry is their candid, documentary approach – a distinctly artistic vision toward wedding photography.

The Wedding Photojournalist Association puts the world’s best wedding photography at your fingertips. We offer a new perspective on wedding photography - quietly capturing the real moments as they happen for the bride and groom. It is our goal to use photography to tell the story of your wedding day, not dictate it for you.

Photography Contests

3rd place in Great Natural Light: Clara Sampaio, Brazil
5th place in Great Natural Light: Dennis Crider, United States
1st place in Reception: Max Pell, Argentina
5th place in Reception: Max Pell, Argentina
4th place in Great Natural Light: David Clumpner, United States

Wedding Photojournalism Articles

For the Photographer

Using Warm Tones (Sepia) Sparingly

Weddings, wrapped in tradition, are an appropriate subject matter to color in tidings of yesteryear. When sepia tone is added to a wedding photo, instantly it has that romantic, old time feel.

Go to: Using Warm Tones (Sepia) Sparingly

For the Photographer

Pre-Visualizing Before The Shoot

Do you ever catch yourself dreaming about the perfect shot? Of course, the elements never fall into place as perfectly in real life as we would like them to but it never hurts to dream. Some WPJA members pre-visualize a few of the shots they’d like to get when documenting a wedding.

Go to: Pre-Visualizing Before The Shoot

For the Photographer

Who Are You Shooting For?

Couples hire wedding photojournalists for their narrative approach to photography, but they're also expected to get the more formal portraits shots. Balancing those competing expectations is an ongoing challenge and a somewhat tricky proposition.

Go to: Who Are You Shooting For?

For the Bride and Groom

Capturing Wedding Toasts

A celebratory toast to the bride and groom is deeply ingrained in wedding tradition, but do you know how the venerable custom came about?

Go to: Capturing Wedding Toasts

For the Bride and Groom

Planning Destination Weddings

Destination weddings offer stunning scenery and exotic atmosphere, providing the conditions needed to enhance those fabulous memories. However, since these types of weddings are often at resort locations in foreign countries, they’re subject to the unusual and the unexpected.

Go to: Planning Destination Weddings