***FREE SECOND SET OF PRINTS FOR EVERYONE!***
(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)
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
***FREE SECOND SET OF PRINTS FOR EVERYONE!***
Melanie and Paul, 10/27/07
Another opportunity to shoot a wedding at Silicon Valley Capital Club and I was not to be disappointed. Knowing Mel and Paul, I was looking forward to a fun wedding with no small amount of wackiness (hello? E-session at a mini-golf/arcade anyone?) :). And knowing Lynn Lakia from the Club, I knew I could expect beautiful decor and super organized, helpful coordinating. The best of both worlds!
Mel had incredible hair and makeup done by Dina, and she really looked amazing in her beautiful dress from Elegant Lace Bridal in San Jose. We had a great suite at the Fairmont to shoot her getting ready pictures in, with a view of the park and (under construction) ice rink down below. I was a little sad about the rink construction, because the circle of palms where it was being constructed is a great place to shoot at night when all the lights come up in the trees...but no matter, there is plenty of photographic gold to be had in the rest of the square block surrounding the Knight Ridder building.
Although not my first time shooting at the Capital Club, my previous oppportunity had had their ceremony somewhere else. Mel and Paul were having their whole wedding at the Club, with the ceremony right in front of the 17th floor windows that look out onto the city--a backlighting challenge for sure but not beyond my ability to meet it. After a beautiful ceremony in which Paul cried more than Mel did :), we headed right out to shoot a few fun and candid couple shots in the park. We had the whole park to ourselves, and since we had already worked together during our E session Mel and Paul knew just what to do; ie. ignore the camera and cuddle. After about 15 mins outside we headed back upstairs to shoot a couple on the balcony, and that was when we got the above image.
This was one of those "eureka" moments, where I just knew as I pressed the shutter button that I was taking an iconic image. After getting home and looking at it more closely, I got even more excited--to me it represents almost everything my business and work is about--real beauty, moments, love, having fun, being yourself...and especially being able to laugh at the unexpected, not taking everything so seriously. Since then, this shot has now graced the front page of my website, become the cover of my '08 brochure and giveaway mini albums, and will be displayed as a 30x40" print at the Modern Bridal Fair at the San Francisco Ritz Carlton on January 6th.
They say in the photo biz, that what you show is what you get. If every wedding I get from now on is like Melanie and Paul's... I will be one happy photographer.
A little more about the wedding, interspersed with some images:
the dress: (I love it when I show up and it's already hung artistically for me) :)
Melanie looking slightly fed up with the buttoning procedure
dad seeing Mel seconds before the walk down the aisle
I must've said something funny...
Beautiful flowers by Ingela's Floral Designs
Cake by Bijan Bakery
Tim from Sound in Motion kept it rockin from the beginning
this was so cute--the MOH couldn't stop crying long enough to make her toast!
you can see how close they are
the first bouquet toss came up short...
2nd time's a charm
told you they're wacky
Special thanks to Lynn again for being so attentive and helpful to me!