It’s with great pleasure that I share with you two new listing on the professional associations page. This month I’ve been accepted into two international membership organizations dedicated to wedding photojournalism. The Wedding Photojournalist Association, or WPJA, and their sister organization the Artistic Guild of the Wedding Photojournalist Association or [AG]WPJA. Of course if you’d have asked me a year or two ago if I was a “wedding photojournalist” I probably would have said no, that I was more traditional and fine art in nature. But this last year I’ve been looking more at the industry and figuring out my place in it. Doing a little less of letting a lot of other artists style influence me and letting my own style emerge. I think what made it click that I was a little more photojournalism in style was earlier this year when I attended a speaking engagement by Denis Reggie, arguably the father of wedding photojournalism. If you’re unfamiliar with Denis I suggest you visit his site, look at his gallery and realize just how many of those famous weddings shots you may well recognize. His “in his own words” video interview is well worth a listen as well.
So listening to Denis talk in person, watching his presentation and looking at his portfolio, I started to see a little more of what my style has been evolving into and realized that this style just might be a valid description of what I do during the bulk of my weddings. Sure we take the group and family shots, and I love taking the bride and groom for a half hour to do the special portraits, but the other 90% of the day would be more accurately described as a photojournalistic approach. Of course at this time while I was aware of WPJA I still didn’t think to apply for membership. I was aware of their membership guidelines and felt that my “fine art portraits” that I hilight on this blog and my galleries that I would never pass the review. It wasn’t until fellow photographer RJ Kern mentioned the Artistic Guild of the WPJA that I decided to fill out the application, let them review my work, and see what they had to say. I was thrilled when I received the acceptance letter for not only the Artistic Guild but an offer to join the main WPJA as well.
From their website the group describes itself as,
Leading the way in Wedding Photojournalism, WPJA represents the most discriminating talent around the world technically, creatively and visually. Qualified members hold industry-leading standards, skills and business integrity. I’m looking forward to submitting some of my own work for their quarterly image competitions. A few of me recent items along this style include: While the WPJA groups doesn’t support the use of “creative edits” beyond simple exposure adjustment and black and whites, the [AG]WPJA describes themselves as, “The Artistic Guild of the Wedding Photojournalist Association [AG]WPJA is a group of international wedding photojournalists, who capture unscripted wedding moments as they happen, and excel in the art of post-production image processing. So for a photographer who shoots much of his work in a photojournalistic style, but yet loves to find those unique images that can be crafted into a fine art display, this is a total “get your cake and eat it too” opportunity. A few of my favorite recent examples would be the bride and her father leaving the main entrance at Dunafon Castle as he walks her towards her future husband. While the original capture I made of this moment from the roof of the castle the fine art stylings I felt really helped make this a striking image from their day. In this image the scene of the bride walking in front of the bedroom door with her dress, captured from the stairwell, was a enhanced with a slight grain and vignette to help set the mood and focus attention.