Professional photographers, and even some freelance photographers, might want to enter wedding photojournalism contests to gain recognition for their work. Though most professional contests are open only to members of a particular association, some freelance or amateur photographers may be able to enter local contests.
Professional Wedding Photojournalism Competition
Members of professional photojournalism or photography associations or clubs are often eligible to enter their photojournalistic style wedding portraits in contests hosted by those organizations.
Read the rules carefully before submitting entries into contests. Some have strict regulations that might disqualify your entry if you do not adhere to the particular rules. Remember to follow your photojournalism ethics and only submit entries that you personally took and not any that have editing which violates the codes of the organization or contest.
The International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers (ISPWP) offers a seasonal photography contest for its members in good standing. The Society offers nine categories for photojournalism portraits, which include the typical getting ready for the ceremony and first dance. However, several unique categories, such as "Humor," "Kids Will Be Kids" and "The Decisive Moment," offers photographers an opportunity to show off their more creative pictures. More details about the ISPWP contest are available on their website.
The Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA), hosts a quarterly contest for members. Eleven categories for photojournalistic shots are featured in the contest, including "Weather," "Scene Setters" and "Details" as well as traditional categories like "Dancing" and "Toasting." A twelfth category, "Creative Portrait," is designed for creative poses, not candid/photojournalistic pictures, and is also open to members. Learn more about the WPJA contests online.
The The Artistic Guild of the Wedding Photojournalist Association ([AG]WPJA) hosts its own contest as well. As a division of the WPJA, the [AG]WPJA members "excel in the art of post-production image processing," according to their website. Seven contest categories, including "Trash the Dress" portrait and "Off-camera flash/strobe," are available for members to enter.
- 16x20 Awards of Excellence
- Semi-Annual 8x10 Competition, hosted twice each year
- Album Competition
The semi-annual 8x10 competition is for members only, while the other two are open for nonmembers.
Locally Enter Wedding Photojournalism Contest
Even if you are not a member of a professional group or a professional, you might still be able to enter a local contest for amateur or beginners in photojournalism. Look for contests hosted:
- By your local newspaper
- Through a regional bridal magazine
- At a local wedding dress shop or boutique
- Via a camera or photography club
- From a local camera store
Choose wedding photos from your portfolio that show the most emotion and offer a unique perspective on the wedding experience. As you continue taking more freelance jobs and weddings, you can better develop your personal style. Pay attention to the background and capture the moments as they happen.
Photojournalism is more than just taking candid photographs, so develop your style based on photojournalism tips from professionals. Study their techniques and work to enhance your own style as you work towards taking professional pictures as a career. A few amateur or freelance wins in a wedding photojournalism contest will further your professional goals.
Photojournalism is a style of photography that tells the story of a wedding day. If you have captured stunning moments with your digital or film camera, consider entering a wedding photojournalism contest hosted by an association you are a member of or a local contest. The recognition you will receive as a photographer will be worth the time and effort you put into your submission.