So the results are out for the WPJA Photographer of the Year, congratulations to Samo for over 1st place, very well deserved.
For those of you that don’t have a clue what the WPJA is, its an organisation whose members are all wedding photographers from all over the world.I am going to hazard a guess that there are literally thousands of members who every quarter submit up to 60 images a year into competitions that are judged by non wedding photographers, namely photographers who earn their living working for the press and other print related businesses. The important thing here is that its judged by non wedding photographers, and its for this reason that I am a member.
There are many trends in the wedding photography market, and even claims of “fame”, they used to be called “rockstars”, why, I have no idea, but thats the wedding photography industry for you. There are many other associations who also have competitions, which are more than often judged by wedding photographers. Its these associations that I no longer belong too. I spoke to one judge a while ago who actually knew the person whose image he/she was judging, and because he/she trawled his/her work they knew whose it was and so therefore awarded it a merit purely because of who it was and not WHAT it was. That then becomes an awards ceremony for friends, and photographers they admire. Now it would be amiss of me to say thats common place, but it does happen.
From my perspective weddings are individual, of course you need inspiration, and I know these days nothing is unique, but I for one, want my couples to have as unique wedding images as possible, so I rarely look at other wedding photographers work, I don’t want to be influenced by other peoples images on the day, and its also the reason I have been with the WPJA for 10 years, because its judged by photographers who give images a placing purely on the composition, light, and moment. They are not influenced by trends, they have no idea who I, or anybody else is, which makes it a level playing field based on skill.
In the 10 years I have been a member I have had 41 images placed, thats the most from any photographer in the UK and something I am extremely proud of. I may be getting older, but I feel my work is still relevant, it makes my couples happy, it makes them cry and it’s competition like this that drive me to be better still, and thats what its all about, its about pleasing my clients, myself and no-one else.
This quarter I had 3 images placed, happy moments, funny moments and the right moments.