Why I’m Proud To Be An Active Member of the WPJA
Something I mention quite a lot is the fact that I am a qualifying and active member of the prestigious Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA). So I thought it would be a good idea to tell you a little more about the WPJA and why it means a lot to me to be a member.
What is the WPJA?
As the WPJA explain themselves on their website:
“Since 2002 the WPJA has been helping couples capture the story of their wedding.
The Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA) is a professional organization composed of photojournalists and wedding photographers from around the world. What sets our members apart in the industry is their candid, documentary approach – a distinctly artistic vision toward wedding photography.
The Wedding Photojournalist Association puts the world’s best wedding photography at your fingertips. We offer a new perspective on wedding photography – quietly capturing the real moments as they happen for the bride and groom. It is our goal to use photography to tell the story of your wedding day, not dictate it for you.“
So the WPJA is not just any old wedding photographer’s association it is one specifically for those who pursue a photojournalistic/documentary/reportage approach to photographing weddings. You can read more here about what wedding photojournalism is but, to quickly explain, it’s capturing the real moments and emotions of your wedding story in a candid, natural and unobtrusive way.
To read more about the WPJA’s mission and vision please click here.
Qualifying as a Member
One of the key and important parts of being a member of the WPJA is that you have to apply and be accepted after a review of your wedding photography portfolio. Unlike a number of wedding photography associations and societies you cannot simply become a member by payment of a fee.
In other words, you work has to be deemed not only as wedding photojournalism but also of a standard good enough to be associated with the WPJA. That’s very important as it gives wedding couples the confidence to know that the photographer’s work is deemed good enough by fellow pros.
Also, it never fails to disappoint me the number of wedding photographers I see around who use the “wedding photojournalism” label to apply to themselves, yet their work is full of posed and staged imagery. At least you know that if a wedding photographer has qualified for membership of the WPJA they most definitely are a wedding photojournalist.
As the WPJA say themselves:
“The WPJA only accepts into membership gifted, honest wedding photojournalists who work tirelessly to deliver excellent photography to their clients.“
Strict Code of Conduct
Which brings me on to another important part of being a member of the Wedding Photojournalist Association…you have to abide by their strict code of conduct and professional values or risk being thrown out of he association and losing all the benefits that brings.
Once again this gives wedding couples the confidence to know they are not just hiring a talented documentary wedding photographer but they are also getting a complete professional who values not only their work but also the way they conduct themselves. Wouldn’t it be nice if all wedding photographers had to be abide by such an undertaking? It would certainly reduce a lot of the wedding photography horror stories you see and hear about in the news!!!
So what does the WPJA demand of all the wedding photographers that represent it? Trust, accuracy, guaranteed excellence, exclusivity and best business practices.
Can you say that all wedding photographers out there have to adhere to such requirements? No. It’s one of the reasons that membership of the WPJA is so important.
Inspiration & Influence
Another reason I love being an active member of the WPJA is the fact that so many of the world’s best wedding photojournalists belong to the association. It’s why it’s so respected throughout the wedding industry.
Being able to review and look at the work of so many talented wedding photographers cannot not fail to inspire you to even better work. I firmly believe that the very best wedding photographers never stop learning so with so much talent around it’s a huge privilege to be included amongst them. After all, the day I stop learning as a photographer is the day I will hang up my camera for good!
There’s also the highly competitive quarterly wedding photography competitions – and with so much international talent even just getting a placing is high praise indeed, especially when you consider that the competitions themselves are judged by award-winning photojournalists (including many Pulitzer Prize-winners) and news photo editors. Such high standards cannot fail to drive you on in achieving the very best results from the weddings you photograph! Again, how many wedding photographers out there are continually pushing themselves to produce work of the highest standards all the time? It’s why belonging to a collective like the Wedding Photojournalist’s Association is so important and rewarding!
What It Means For You
So as a wedding couple looking to get married and have a wedding photojournalist provide you with stunning, authentic and candid imagery from your wedding story you can be sure that I am:
- An authentic and genuine wedding photojournalist;
- My work has been deemed of a quality good enough to represent a professional and international wedding association;
- I will work to the highest professional standards;
- I am looking to always provide the highest quality work and creativity;
- Am continually learning, influenced and inspired by some of the wold’s best wedding photographers.
So if you are planning to get married then I would love to hear all about your unique wedding plans and discuss how my wedding photojournalism approach will provide you with the authentic, candid and stunning images from your wedding.
You can call me on +44 (0) 7920 422144 or you can send a message to me via my contact page. I will be delighted to hear from you.