2017 Wedding Photojournalism Contests

The Wedding Photojournalist Association’s popular annual Wedding Photojournalism Contests afford our members an opportunity to be recognized by their peers for their outstanding work.

New Contest Details

The WPJA is pleased to announce some changes in our 2017 contests that should prove beneficial for all members. The association believes that these changes will open up the competition not only to more entries but to entries of a higher quality.

New for 2017: Fewer Contests, More Time to Prepare

We are reducing the number of annual contests from four (Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4) to three (TRI-1, TRI-2, TRI-3). This simple change will provide a four-month window for our members to compile their contest portfolios. In some instances, that additional month may be the difference between a winning entry and finishing out of the running. Because prime wedding seasons vary throughout the world, the change also should have the effect of leveling the playing field for some of our international membership.

New for 2017: More Opportunities to Participate

To spur participation, the WPJA will increase the number of FREE entries permitted to members annually from 60 to 90. That works out to an average of 30 entries per contest per member, double the previous average of 15. Obviously, this change will give our members more opportunities to gain recognition for their outstanding work and to compete for the coveted Photographer of the Year honor awarded at year-end.

New for 2017: 5 NEW! Contest Categories

Further broadening participation will be the addition of five NEW! categories to the contests: Minimalism, Fire, Cake Details, Getting Down (Low Camera Angle), and Circles. We anticipate that the sum of these changes will add to the buzz surrounding WPJA’s contests, boosting participation in 2017. As always, the contests are provided exclusively for the benefit of WPJA members, and they are completely free!

    TRI-2 Contest

    Contest Opens: July 28, 2017  Contest Deadline: September 29, 2017, 11:59 pm EST.

    Only the Bold categories count toward Photographer of the Year (POY).

    Contest Categories

    1. Getting Ready - This is the pre-show, the running up to the main event. Here is where you'll find all the spontaneous prepping, grooming, arranging, outfitting, and nail-biting before the ceremony. This is not a portrait category.
    2. Ceremony - These are authentic images of the actual marriage portion of the event, from the pre-ceremony to the vow-exchange to the receiving line. This is not a portrait category.
    3. Reception Ambiance - These images 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. This is not a portrait category.
    4. First Dance - For the "First Dance" category, images include the bride and groom hitting the dance floor for the first time as a married couple. This is not a portrait category.
    5. Toasting / Speeches - This category incorporates images of individuals or groups toasting, as well as those giving toast-related speeches throughout the day. This is not a portrait category.
    6. Bouquet / Garter - These images capture active moments leading up to, and/or including, the peak action from the toss of the bride's bouquet or her garter. This is not a portrait category.
    7. Dancing (Action) - Anything from the wedding that illustrates the festive mood often found on the dance floor. This is not a portrait category.
    8. NEW! Cake Details - Images of the cake that are either set-up and controlled by the photographer or as they were found. This is not a portrait category.
    9. Ring Details - Shots that depict the rings, either set-up and controlled by the photographer or as they were found. This is not a portrait category.
    10. Flowers / Decorations - This category encompasses the tighter shots of the day's decorative details, as they were found. This is not a portrait category.
    11. Symmetry - This was a challenge to find that perfect sense of "equality" through light and composition. Weddings present numerous opportunities via dress, mannerisms, scenes, tone, textures, and sometimes....emotions.  This is not a portrait category.
    12. Patterns / Shapes - Composition 101 taught us that circles are eye-catching and straight lines guide our attention toward a subject. But don't be fooled into thinking this category was an easy one. This is not a portrait category.
    13. Mobile Devices - This category includes images where the key element is a mobile device, such as cell phones, laptops, mp3 players, portable gaming devices, etc.  This is not a portrait category.       
    14. Humor - These photographs document the lighter side of the wedding day. This is not a portrait category.
    15. Weather - These images highlight the effects that the weather had on the wedding day (hot, cold, rain, wind, etc.). This is not a portrait category.
    16. NEW! Getting Down - See through the eyes of a small child with an extremely low camera angle. A ground-level view provides a whole new perspective on the events at a wedding.  This is not a portrait category.
    17. Parents - These are candid, natural moments of the couples' parents on the wedding day. This is not a portrait category.
    18. NEW! Fire - Extremely hot entries encompassing the physical form of fire.  Images can include a burning candle, a bonfire, sparklers, the lighting of cigars, etc.  This is not a portrait category.
    19. NEW! Minimalism - Minimalism is a style that is characterized by extreme simplicity. Think ‘less is more’ for images with basic patterns, simple lines, contrasting colors, etc., that are clean, and free of clutter. This is not a portrait category.
    20. Creative Portrait of Bride - Images capture the Bride using a fresh and artistic approach to portraiture.
    21. Creative Portrait of Groom - Images capture the Groom using a fresh and artistic approach to portraiture.
    22. Creative Portrait of Kids - Portraits that feature the children (or child) attending the wedding. Photographers were encouraged to adopt a creative approach to their submissions.

    Tri-3 Contest

    Contest Opens: TBA. Contest Deadline: January 19, 2018, 11:59 pm EST.

    Only the Bold categories count toward Photographer of the Year (POY).

    CONTEST CATEGORIES

    1. Bride Getting Ready - These images spontaneously capture the prepping, grooming, arranging, outfitting, and nail-biting before the ceremony. This is not a portrait category.
    2. Groom Getting Ready - The images of this category spontaneously capture the behind the scenes activities of the groom, sometimes with his crew, before the ceremony. This is not a portrait category.
    3. Ceremony - These are authentic images of the actual marriage portion of the event, from the pre-ceremony to the vow-exchange to the receiving line. This is not a portrait category.
    4. Reception - This is the big party. The reception photographs catch all the post-ceremony festivities from the cocktail hour through to the last dance and the bride and groom's departure. This is not a portrait category.
    5. Shoe Details - Images that depict shots of shoes, either set-up and controlled by the photographer or as they were found.   This is not a portrait category. 
    6. Customs / Culture - These are images that were captured during pre-ceremony, ceremony or reception activities that depict cultural or religious customs. This is not a portrait category.
    7. Touch - Touch is the ultimate silent communicator. Touch can convey love, uncertainty or even heartbreak, all without the aid of a single word. These images show a pure and distinct emotion through nothing more than a display of touch.  This is not a portrait category.
    8. Off Moments (Bloopers and Outtakes) - Photographs revealing an 'off moment' that most would consider worthy of making the 'bloopers' edit. This is not a portrait category.
    9. Musicians and DJ's - The following 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"! This is not a portrait category.
    10. Emotion - These images unobtrusively freeze intriguing expressions ranging from joy to tears. This is not a portrait category.
    11. Kids (Being Kids) - These images showcase those real moments where children take the spotlight, from babies to teens and any age in between. This is not a portrait category.
    12. Animals - These found moments depict animals at any point of the pre-wedding, ceremony, or reception.  The animals are intentionally or unintentionally involved in the days’ activities. This is not a portrait category.
    13. Reflections - These images include creative and unique wedding moments displayed in reflective surfaces (i.e. mirrors, glass, water, metals, etc.).  This is not a portrait category.
    14. Lens Flare / Refraction - Do you still Ooo and Aaah when you see the tiny dancing rainbow-colored lights coming off a crystal? This category covers prismatic glass Refraction to Lens Flares, showing us brilliant ways to illustrate this theme. This is not a portrait category.
    15. Food and Drinks - This is a collection of images that are food related; particularly, images showing the wedding party or guests enjoying the tastes of the wedding celebration. This is not a portrait category.
    16. Cake Cutting - These images  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. This is not a portrait category.
    17. Send off / Departure - These images record the action surrounding the departure of the bride and groom from the reception at the end of the wedding day. This is not a portrait category.
    18. NEW! Circles - There are circles almost anywhere you look at a wedding.  Photographers are encouraged to look beyond a wedding ring or the rim of a glass to find the circular patterns of life. This is not a portrait category.
    19. Engagement Portrait - This category demonstrates the photographer's ability to create an interesting environmental portrait of their clients prior to the wedding day.
    20. Portrait of the Bride AND Groom - Photographs that demonstrate the photographer's ability to create an interesting environmental portrait of the bride AND groom on their wedding day.
    21. Creative Portrait of Bridal Party - Images capture the Bridal Party using a fresh and artistic approach to group portraiture.  
    22. Trash the Dress 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.

    Contest Rules

    Contest rules can be viewed by members in their log in.