South Australian photographer Luke Simon has set out to create the ‘new benchmark for wedding photography competitions’ by launching the inaugural International Wedding Photographer of the Year contest (IWPOTY).
Simon told ProCounter he saw IWPOTY as an opportunity due to the lack of contests dedicated to wedding photography.
He says wedding photography is typically a single category within a broader contest awarding several genres of photography. Such is the case at the AIPP Australian Professional Photography Awards, for instance.
‘Entering the AIPP awards is very costly. I put a great deal of time into my entries, and I know from conversations with others that they also commit many days and hours to their entires, which is great,’ said Simon. ‘Each year after the AIPP awards – if my images have done well – I’ve looked elsewhere for avenues to present my work. With any luck, I’ll receive some accolade which would in turn assist with the promotion of my brand and hopefully gain more of the right clients and bookings.
‘I found the options online for wedding photography competitions to be very limited, with only a handful of choices available.’
Simon’s contest has nine wedding-based categories open for entry. The overall winner of these nine categories will be crowned the International Wedding Photographer of the Year.
Categories include Black & White, Bridal Party, Couple Portrait, Dance Floor, Epic Location, From Above, Photojournalism, Solo Portrait, and Album.
Entries are US$18 per image, and US$30 for the Album category (gst inc). This is modestly priced compared to most other contests, said Simon, which typically ask between US$20 – $25 per photo.
Simon has had IWPOTY in the pipeline for some time. The contest name is as strong as can be – the prospect of winning the International Wedding Photographer of the Year award is enough to attract entries. But the challenge will be to build the contest and create, credibility if it is to truly be the world’s ‘benchmark’ wedding photo contest. (Can you claim to be the world’s best wedding photographer if there were only a few hundred entries?)
‘Within the time lines of the Awards and post-announcement, and with funds derived from the entries, we will be promoting the winners via social avenues, the website and press. Our sponsors and judges are also be on board to promote and announce those winners via their avenues.’
IWPOTY has a nice line up of sponsorship backing from Nikon, ThinkTank, Elinchrom, Kayell, wedding photo product manufacturer Queensberry, and others.
The grand prize winner receives US$3000, a Nikon D850, US$1000 Queensberry album credit, Elinchrom ELB 400 Kit, and a bunch of other goodies.
The contest is loosely affiliated with the International Landscape Photographer of the Year awards (ILPOTY), run by fellow South Australian David Evans and landscape photographer Peter Eastway. The IWPOTY press release has been distributed to the ILPOTY e-mail database.
Judges include Australian wedding photographer James Simmons, New Zealand photographers Jim and Vicky Pollard, Americans ‘Grace and Jaden’, as well as India Earl, German photographer Sascha Kraemer, and Canadian Gabe McClintock.