1st Quarter WPJA Awards

Today I am simultaneously happy, proud, and humbled to announce that I’ve placed in the 2008 1st quarter WPJA awards. I’ve been honored to win a few awards for [AG]WPJA contests, this is my first win for the WPJA. What makes this so special for me is not just the prestige or bragging rights. It’s because the image that won is one that I feel is indicative of the approach I take with my work.

These were the judges comments:

“Clean and simple, yet a wonderfully creative way to share the first dance: dramatic light with terrific composition and moment. The fact that the viewer can see the couple’s faces adds even more appeal to the photograph.”

I often tell my clients that besides the limited time (usually less than 30 minutes) for group photos, I will never try to direct the action. I see my role as a documentarian, not a director. There is beauty and emotion at every wedding, and I would be doing a disservice to my clients if I tried to make their unique and special day conform to some predetermined photographic mold. After all, it’s their wedding, not my photo shoot.

This image is a great example of that approach. I wanted to focus the attention on Vicki and Rick, and their closest friends and family. Compared to a lot of traditional wedding photography, this is admittedly a ‘risky’ approach, but the result is a much more powerful and emotional image.

This image, from Vicki + Rick’s wedding, won 3rd place in the off camera flash category.