brides magazine | wpja contest winner!

I am super excited to announce that I recently found out that I placed twice in a contest sponsored by Brides Magazine through the professional wedding photojournalists association that I am a member of, the WPJA. Submissions were accepted last May and had to be from weddings in 2007. The first place winner in each category was published in the Nov/Dec issues of Brides. The judges were pulitzer prize winning photojournalists! One of my favorite photos that I shot last year, from Josh and Sandra's wedding, was 2nd place in the "bride and groom" category:

bride & groom

What the judges said: "The contrast of the bride's soft veil and the groom's harsh military jacket really stand out. We love that you can see one tear streaming down the groom's face. It shows their passion and love for each other."

And a little background: Josh and Sandra were a beautiful, young couple we photographed last October. Originally they had planned on hiring us for a wedding but when things went a little over budget they were going to use a friend instead--that friend ended up canceling at the last minute (another reason why you should hire a professional :) ) and they gave us a call. And we are SO glad they did! Throughout their whole day there was so much love and emotional moments with them, their family and their friends. Josh is in the coast guard and he and Sandra were going to be re-locating to another state after the wedding, which added to the emotion that day.

And this photo, also from their wedding, came in 5th place in the "bridal party" category

bridal party, Maine Wedding Photographers

What the judges said: "It's always nice to see people physically close while having their own private exchanges with each other. It is unexpected to see the bride comfort the bridesmaid."

A little background: I think this is one of those cool photojournalistic moments that I really love about weddings--as a photographer you search for connections: between you and your subjects, and your subjects and those that they interact with. It's amazing to get moments when the emotions are so raw and pure and are so fleeting that you have to be a good observer to get them--because they only last a moment and will never happen again (unless you re-create it and then that's a big no-no in photojournalism!). This limo ride that I took with the bridal party to the church was a very emotional one for them, and they pretty much forgot that I was there.  It was a little rough working with light that was constantly changing since the car was moving, but I was able to observe some very private moments that I think really tell the story of what the bride and her family and friends were all feeling that day. The thing I love about the photo is the connection that they are all making and how similar each set is--on the left you have the sister of the bride looking at her niece who has this look in her eyes... and on the right you have the bride and her maid of honor who totally lost it in the limo, and you can see how much they care about one another and have to wonder what is going through each of their minds at that moment.

I am honored to have two of my photos chosen! :) And thank you again to Josh and Sandra and their families for letting Lyle and I join their family for a day and witness all of these incredible, personal moments.

To see the other winners, visit!

Tomorrow we are doing an insanely cool trash the dress session with Steve and Leslie! And tomorrow night I have a blog with Ethan and Jessica's weddings pics coming so please check back :) We also received a super cool sample album that I designed in the mail which I will post photos of soon!