What is "wedding photojournalism"?
Founded in 2002 by former newspaper photojournalists seeking to expand the repertoire of wedding photographers, the Wedding Photojournalist Association is the oldest and most respected worldwide membership organization promoting the use of documentary craft in wedding photography.
To be clear: wedding photojournalism is not the same as "photojournalism." Nor, despite what you may have been told, "is wedding photojournalism" truly synonymous with "reportage." Those terms, unadorned, are reserved for actual news photography's visual reporting for the media. But wedding photojournalism is wedding photography that employs the craft, techniques, and ethos of photojournalism — telling the actual story, not directing or creating the story — to the happy start of a couple's life together.
We take this distinction seriously, because we respect the profession of photojournalism: we only ask working photojournalists and news photo editors (including Pulitzer Prize winners and finalists) to judge our members' competitions. And we only ask that they employ the same judgment and expertise they would use in choosing the best images in their day jobs to report a story.
The end result? Wedding photographs that capture the real-life events and juxtapositions of a day as a bride and groom will want to remember it. While hundreds of thousands of wedding pictures across social media can look, after awhile, like attempts to recreate poses or situations that have been set up thousands of times before, WPJA members are proud of the originality and humanity inherent in the pictures they produce for their clients.
Compared to wedding photographs that may be stage-managed to the point of stock photography, WPJA members' work is as unique and authentic as the very real people making their vows...all without faking real moments.
The Wedding Photojournalist Association
Recognized for its members’ creativity and craft by leading wedding publications, including BRIDES Magazine (4 joint Wedding Photo Contests) , the WPJA reserves membership to select photographers around the world whose portfolios and practices demonstrate talent, expertise and client service in wedding photojournalism. Members of the WPJA represent the highest standards and the cutting edge in the business of creative wedding photojournalism. As professional visual artists, WPJA photographers capture the real moments and emotions of the most important celebration in the lives of two people coming together as one.
For WPJA Clients
A couple hiring a member of the Wedding Photojournalist Association wants a good wedding photographer. With both style and a sense of priority, they also are making a statement about authenticity, using the craft of photojournalism to create a visual record of their wedding celebration, whether shot as candids or composed as portraits. A WPJA photographer finds visual opportunities in the setting, employs ambient or creative lighting, frames shots in evocative and interesting ways, and captures a meditative pause or the action of the moment in whatever environment the preparations, ceremony, and reception are taking place. Each wedding is a unique story and a WPJA member uses the tools of photographic narrative to tell the clients’ story as they will remember it and will want to share.
For our members
Wedding Photojournalist Association members take some of the most beautiful — and beautifully honest — photographs in the world, all over the world. They have a passion for the integrity of their work and the integrity of their business, demonstrating compassion and respect for their clients and their clients’ family, friends, officiants and guests. Dedicated to the craft of wedding photojournalism, WPJA members have applied for and been selected for membership based on the variety, creativity and quality of their portfolios. As members, they continue to focus primarily on authentic, rather than staged, portrayals in their wedding photography, and they only conduct business as professionals — with honesty and dignity.
By finding their photographer using the WPJA’s online regional directory, the association’s photographer profiles and its links to members’ portfolio sites, engaged couples contacting a WPJA member have already self-selected themselves into a category of clients with a sophisticated perspective and interest in wedding photojournalism. Wedding photojournalists' own brands benefit from the imprimatur of WPJA membership; their businesses receive increased exposure through WPJA promotional and editorial content; and each member’s best work can be entered into WPJA’s judged competitions for increased attention and publicity around the world. When unable to accept a booking, WPJA members can happily refer potential clients to other association members with confidence.
For the Ages
Wedding Photojournalist Association members produce the most creative, evocative, memorable and beautiful work in the wedding industry, demonstrating the integrity of originality in wedding photojournalism with each assignment.