Lauren Cohn-Frankel, International Award Winning Wedding Photojournalist!

(Scroll to the bottom for info on how to get your free second set of prints)
in honor of


HUGE news! Some of you have been reading this since early last year, when I posted about getting accepted into the Wedding Photojournalist Association or WPJA. It was (and is) an honor to be accepted--they accept you based on an evaluation of your work, and they have very strict standards. Less than 5% of people who apply get in.

One of the many perks of getting into the WPJA is entering the quarterly contests--entries must be fresh work, from weddings shot during the same year as the contest, and they are always judged by established, working photojournalists (not other wedding photographers). These are the guys whose images grace the cover of national news magazines and papers, who cover wars and conflicts, foreign affairs, politics, etc...You're considered a winner if you place between 1st and 3rd, but honorable mentions for 4th-20th place are also given. Thousands of images are entered each quarter, and having a winning image is a very big deal.

Well, I said all that to say this: I WON! Twice! (ie with 2 different images in two separate categories).

Here are the winning images:

Just winning alone would normally be enough, but some of the judges of this particular contest have been inspiring me and my work for more than 10 years! One of them in particular is Eugene Richards, who has authored numerous photographic books and projects on such diverse topics as breast cancer, drug addiction, emergency medicine, pediatric HIV and AIDS, the meat packing industry, and aging and death in America. Richards' work was a huge inspiration to me in college; his work became the inspiration for a lot of my own, including a solo show I did in my senior year called "Scars" which was laid out like the pages of a book; containing 20x30" prints and accompanying text pieces mounted along the gallery wall.

Another contest judge I admire was Lauren Greenfield, who directed the Emmy nominated documentary "THIN", aired on HBO, about the lives of young women struggling with eating disorders. The movie spotlights her own emotional journey through the Renfrew Center in Coconut Creek, Florida, a residential facility dedicated to the treatment of anorexia and bulimia. It is a beautiful, touching film; and IMO any woman or man who has ever struggled with body image and weight issues (and who hasn't?) should see it.

The incredible team of judges also included Gary Knight, John Stanmeyer, and Ron Haviv. You can read bios of all the judges here, and see their work on the VII site here. It is such an incredible honor to be recognized by these photographers.

As for the images, the funny thing is that they are both from the same wedding! Kevin and Caitlin's wedding from September was SUPER fun, and the couple themselves are two of my favorite clients from this year.

About the cake smoosh image: Because the cake cutting is such a staple in wedding photography, the WPJA judges cake cutting images especially hard: contest rules for that category specify that entries should show a unique perspective, something beyond the usual "cutting and feeding" shots. Knowing this, I've been on the lookout for shots that I thought were unique enough to meet that standard, and with Caitlin and Kevin's shot I had a feeling even as I shot it that it might be the one. The judges' comments about my image praised it for good interplay between the main subjects and the guests in the background; Kevin as you can see is a real comedian and knows how to play to the crowd.

You can see all the winning entries for this quarter starting here (use the arrow buttons to more from image to image, and the drop down menu if you want to look at past contests or flip to another category). My winning images are here and here.

I just want to take this opportunity to thank Caitlin and Kevin for being such freaking awesome clients, subjects, and friends...and also thank you to all of my brides and grooms, for helping me to create work that I am proud of. Without you guys, this never would have been possible.

To express my thanks to all of you and in honor of my second place award, I'd like to offer anyone who places a print order from now until the end of January a FREE SECOND SET OF PRINTS! YAY! Just email me with the words "WPJA2" in the subject and the name of your event, and wait for my response, then you can go online and order like you would normally. Please wait for my response BEFORE you place your order!

(make sure to do it like I say above, sorry but I can't honor this on orders already placed or if you forget to wait for my response before you order. I also can't honor this on albums or anything else other than individual prints)


gnet said...

Congratulations! What an inspiration and goal!++

John and Kimberly Sanderson said...

Yay! Cake on the head! Keep up the good work it's astounding!

Veronica Slavin said...

Happy New Year!

Jennifer Cook said...

Congratulations! Love the cake on the head! Too funny!

Maggie & Josh said...

Congrats on WPJA that is awesome : ) Those pictures are amazing and I totally understand why they where picked. You caught the moment and as people would say thats priceless. Happy new year Hope you have many more excellent moments.

Kelly Segre said...

These are great, congrats!!!

Kelly Segre said...

Congrats!!! These are great images!

Jessica Del Vecchio said...

Congratulations, Lauren! I am thrilled for you and your work is so deserving of awards and accolades.

Grazier Photography said...

Congratulations on the recognition! That's fabulous, especially from this particular judging panel - it was such a fabulous group this time around! Enna

Beaton Photography said...

Congratulations on the WPJA award - both photos are beautiful & filled with emotion! Great work!

Jaci said...

Huge congrats, Lauren! What a nice way to start off the new year! Can't wait to meet you at Flourish! Happy 2008!


Jessamyn Harris said...

big reason for celebration!! congrats!

Tracy Bohannan said...

Congrats on the wins!

Your work is great and it deserves the recognition!

Deb Brugman said...

Congratulations! I love cake in the face pictures. Have a great 2008. Happy New Year!

Kim said...

congratulations! great images and a well-deserved win.

erich camping said...

Congratulations Lauren!!! WPJA is a great association. Your work ethic and style fit right in. Welcome aboard!! It was amazing meeting you at Flourish! I hope to see you soon. All the best!!!