Ben Chrisman, California
The Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA) - Wedding Photographers
Homesp|spFor the Bride & Groomsp|spFor the Photographersp|spAbout Us
Eric Lagstein, New JerseyCarlo Carletti, Italy
Wedding Photojournalism - Capturing the Real Moment Forever.


WPJA Q1 08 Photo Contest

The top twenty pictures from each category can be viewed by clicking the contest thumbs on the WPJA homepage.

Gold medallions will be given to 1st through 3rd place winners. Blue medallions will go to 4th through 10th place. All new medallions, new PIX page galleries/updates and page ranking will be completed over the next two weeks. We thank you in advance for your patience.





“The photographs that I gravitated towards in each category displayed a unique style and voice, composition, light, style, etc, but also made me feel something for the people in the moment that the photographer captured. So many of the pictures were similar yet a few in each category rose to the top as quite distinct and unique and I enjoyed that aspect of the process of judging this category. I felt a bit disappointed when I looked through the pictures and saw the same thing over and over, yet at some level that’s what photography is, especially when we are paid to make a couple look good on one of the most important days of their lives. Therefore there are some inherent parameters that we must work under. So having that in mind I tried to pick photographs that illuminated the moments that elicited some emotional response in me. The wedding day is an emotional day and I looked for photographs that also showed me special moments within that space. Again, I have to emphasize that I looked for photographs that made me think a bit more about the photographed moment.

So a good example is the first photograph in the Getting Ready category. It was a photograph of a woman crossing the street carrying a dress carefully, almost daintily in her arms. To me it looks like a combination of classic street photography from the 1970’s. It looks like a Joel Meyerowitz photograph when he left his job and hit the streets. So many photographs of the wedding dresses are hanging on the wall, the closet or somewhere in the window and the photographer makes a picture that looks like many others, but this photograph transcends the scene and really stuck with me. It seems that the dress is being treated with such respect that it makes me think about the woman who’s going to go and wear it. And it’s not a complex photograph, but the moment is just right. The woman has a hop in her step and she seems genuinely happy about being the dress’s caretaker. Excellent shot. The photograph shows a strong way of seeing that put me in that moment.

I also have to say that there were many photographs that relied too heavily on wide angle lenses, strange angles and funky looks that to be honest, I think often distract from the moment and the impact that the photographs can have. There were many pictures that also put the people directly in the middle of the frame and looked like the photographer let the auto focus sensor choose where to focus instead of the photographer. In simpler terms, many photographs had the main subject directly in the middle of the frame and often combined with a too wide focal length, diminishing the impact of the subject. So vary your compositions, but please don’t rely on these wide-angle zoom lenses that really bring down the quality of the photographs.

I did think the overall quality was quite strong and I was quite impressed with the work. Lots of fun to look through the work. Thanks for letting me look at the work and comment on it.”

Click for a complete list of judges for this contest.



Putting your best work up against the competition. Getting feedback from internationally respected peers, including Pulitzer Prize winners. Gaining recognition among professionals and potential clients. These are just a few of the benefits and privileges of competing in the quarterly contests. The WPJA recognizes accomplishments and creative excellence in the wedding photojournalism industry. To that end, the quarterly competitions call for the very best in world-class wedding photojournalism, and then reward talent with unparalleled peer review, cash awards, trophies, titles and professional recognition.

As the premier professional organization for wedding photojournalists, the WPJA’s mission is to clarify and defend the ideals and faithful practices of the craft—the lifeblood of what makes wedding photojournalism recognizable, respected and increasingly desired throughout the world. In that regard, WPJA contests are an essential vehicle for the ongoing professional review and acknowledgement necessary to continually build and enhance the wedding photojournalism profession.

It is important that the WPJA establishes and upholds stringent integrity standards in all its wedding photography competitions; standards equivalent to those of all professional news photojournalists. It’s only fitting that the reputation and credibility of the WPJA rests in our members' hands, and in those of our internationally acclaimed contest judges.



Talk about peer review! The WPJA’s contests are supported and strengthened by its superb judges—some of the world’s most accomplished and honored photographers. In addition to having won numerous individual and team Pulitzer Prizes, the WPJA’s judges boast scores of additional professional awards, including honors and POY awards from the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), the White House News Photographers Association (WHNPA), the Overseas Press Club, the Society of News Design (SND), the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Canada's National Newspaper Awards (NNA), the Online News Association, the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), the Robert F. Kennedy Foundation, Photo District News (PDN), the Scripps Howard Foundation and many other prestigious organizations.

These judges—all at the top of their game—give their opinion of contestants’ work, further boosting their prestige and recognition in the industry.

Of course, the value and skill reflected in any image is subjective to a large extent. However, as with most professional pursuits, one’s work is best judged by the industry’s leading organization and the most highly respected practitioners on the field—those who work on the cutting edge, and who have achieved the highest pinnacles of honor by their peers and commercial success in the marketplace.

WPJA’s superior level of assessment assures that contest-winning images are consistently of high quality and worthy of wedding photojournalism’s top honor, a WPJA award.



Receiving honors from the WPJA and its internationally recognized judges comes with unmatched benefits that can help enhance one’s practice on so many different levels.

Invaluable Peer Review: Find out what top photojournalists and picture editors think about your work. In our profession, you improve through experience and consultation with peers, so the opportunity to receive guidance from the world’s best photojournalists is one of the foremost benefits of participation.

Certified Quality: Once you are able to display the WPJA award-winning imprimatur in your bio and on your Web site, you are immediately perceived as someone who has reached an elite level of your profession. Beginning with that moment, you stand out from the competition. Go ahead: Show off your awards.

Financial Advantage: Gold Medallion-winning WPJA members almost always raise their rates following their award.

Higher Professional Visibility: Get the attention of magazines and publishers through your contest winnings. After all, what art director or picture editor wouldn’t be drawn to WPJA’s mark of excellence?

Higher Client Credibility: Your clients will feel better about their booking decision knowing that the world’s top professionals agree that your photography work is superior in the field.


New WPJA Trophies


New for the Q1 '08 contest, trophies are being awarded to those winners who placed first through tenth in each of the eight categories for this contest. These crystal clear, acrylic trophies measure 9 1/4" in height and have a nice weight to them. In addition to contest points, each Top 10 photographer will receive one of our newly designed WPJA trophies (pictured right) as well as cash or contest credits.



Photographer - Top Left
2007 POY: Ben Chrisman
Photographer - Top Middle
1st Runner-Up: Eric Lagstein
Photographer - Top Right
2nd Runner-Up: Carlo Carletti

Some of the text above was taken from the WedPix article titled WPJA Contests: One of the Perks of Membership

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