Big Sigh of Relief!

elsaspet

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Due to a recent debacle, the WPJA is now requiring each of it's members to "re-up". New and stricter guidelines went into effect. The twenty percent website "photoshop effects" now included black and white toning, and edge burning.
My problem was, was that I just had a half page ad go into "The Knot" magazine. For those of you familiar with "knotties", they are not exactly hard core pj lovers. They still cling to the spot coloring, and Jesus's reflection in the wineglass stuff............
So I was at a crossroads:
I could change my whole website to hardcore pj, or leave it as it was, and hope that the "moments" overpowered any trad style or processed stuff.
I decided to hang with what I had. I wanted to be "me", and if that meant I was "out" of a wonderful org, so be it.
Three weeks went by with no word. I was starting to sweat it, as WPJA is a very important affiliation to me. The most important actually as you can't just send a check and be accepted. (juried)
I was really beginning to believe I might very well be "out". (When you aren't accepted there, you hear nothing, so that three weeks was getting me nervous.)
Anyhoo, the word came this morning that I am "in". At least for another year.
Yay!
*Breathing a huge sigh of relief!!!!!!!*
I don't want to turn this into an ad, but any of you who are currently WPJA will totally understand. This new reup policy is making MANY of us nervous. It's just great to know that the WPJA is still standing by my work. In my opinion, it's the hardest wedding org to get into, and now, to stay in.
So my advice would be, if you are currently WPJA, and are due to reup.....stand by your work as it is. They will still see what got you into the org in the first place.
Hugs,
Cindy
 

Big Mike

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It seems weird to me that photographers who service the public, would want to 'pigeon hole' their work into the PJ label. We serve our clients and that's who our work should be answerable to.
Would it come to a point where a WPJ might say 'Sorry, I won't take any posed shots, I don't want to get kicked out of WPJA'.

I understand that it's a beneficial organization but it seems very elitist and snobbish if they want to kick out members who don't shoot in a particular style...regardless of talent & skill.
 
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elsaspet

elsaspet

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Mike,
I track my leads, and WPJA is at the highest.
So it's about dollars, and matching me up with my best client.
It also doesn't suck that it's the only juried membership I know of. That in itself is a great selling point.
 

Big Mike

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I guess I don't have a problem with the organization and how it helps it's members get business. And I guess the high standard of entry is a good thing for clients who want 'prescreened' photographers.

My only problem is the 'Photo Journalistic' label. What does that mean exactly anyway? I understand that it's a 'style'...but each photographer's style is different...which is why it seem weird to assimilate them.

Maybe it's a marketing ploy...and 'Photo Journalistic' is just a catch phrase. The wedding magazines are full of that term...so brides go looking for that when they choose a photographer. I'd guess that most of them don't even really know if they want true journalistic coverage...they just see nice photos and they want that. And a photographer doesn't have to be labeled 'Photo Journalistic' to provide great photos for their client.

Maybe I'd like it better if it was called the 'Awesome Wedding Photographer's Association'. :er:
 

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Congrats on staying 'in'! Not that I'm great or anything (far from it), but I wouldn't necessarily want to be tied down to a certain style that wasn't my own.

Kudos to you for sticking by your stuff even with the possibility of losing your membership.
 
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elsaspet

elsaspet

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I guess I don't have a problem with the organization and how it helps it's members get business. And I guess the high standard of entry is a good thing for clients who want 'prescreened' photographers.

My only problem is the 'Photo Journalistic' label. What does that mean exactly anyway? I understand that it's a 'style'...but each photographer's style is different...which is why it seem weird to assimilate them.

Maybe it's a marketing ploy...and 'Photo Journalistic' is just a catch phrase. The wedding magazines are full of that term...so brides go looking for that when they choose a photographer. I'd guess that most of them don't even really know if they want true journalistic coverage...they just see nice photos and they want that. And a photographer doesn't have to be labeled 'Photo Journalistic' to provide great photos for their client.

Maybe I'd like it better if it was called the 'Awesome Wedding Photographer's Association'. :er:

Yes, it's a style and yes, it's pretty much a"hoocie coochie of fine butt wedding photogs.

You make it or you dont. You try to make it or you don't.
Bottom line is the thing makes me a lot of money. And yes. Oh my God, it's ELITE! Not Everyone on the planet can join. I guess that makes me a snob.
Or they are a snob, because they don't want a certain thing. Hey, I'm not the one saying yes or no. Ten seconds ago I was hoping I was in.
It's not for me to say. It's for the jury.
So if you try, and don't make it in, don't biatch at me. Go complain to the jury.
I thought you knew all this Mike. Did you try to get in? I'll ask David.
 
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elsaspet

elsaspet

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Are they elite snobs. Yeah, some of them. Some of them are Pulitizer Winners. Many of them work for major magazines and newspapers.
Many of us have done the same in the past.
So should WPJA lower the stanards and just have everyone in there?
No.
I wouldn't want it to be.
And no one else should.
You want to shoot formals and spot coloring? Im sure there is a place for that to send your check to. Not here.
 

Big Mike

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Slow down :er:

First of all, I've never tried to get in...I have never even been to the web site. If it weren't for you, I probably wouldn't know it existed. I'm only a part time wedding shooting...and I'd bet that my stuff isn't good enough to get in anyway. I don't consider my style of shooting to be fully PJ.

Secondly, I'm not saying that it's not a good organization and I'm not saying anything about the photographers who are members...I'm sure they are pretty darn good. Like I said earlier, the high standard for membership is a great benefit to the clients.

I look at it like this...
Imagine a group of ice cream sellers wanted to sell chocolate ice cream...so they start the 'Chocolate Ice Cream Seller's Association of America'. If you advertise that you sell a lot of vanilla ice cream, you can't get in. Of course, if a client wants vanilla ice cream, you aren't going to turn them away.
 

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congrats!

its a style that i really admire, but doing a whole wedding that way is not for me...i combine a bit with my wedding work, but not sure if its enough to warrant the label. (i define my style as 'traditional with a modern twist'....

Btw, I dont think its snobbish, its just awarding that style! However, that style is very popular right now, so it does translate to snobby to some people!

I have an old book by dennis reggie which i purchased when i first started my business 15 years ago....still admire his work so much!!!

Congrats again!
 
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elsaspet

elsaspet

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Hi Mike,

No, it isn't for everyone. Not for all photogs, nor for all brides. Many photogs actually hate this org for what it stands for. I never really got that.

The WPJA stands for truth in weddings. It doesn't say you can't jazz it up, but it rewards you if you can pass the photo off without a bunch of razzmatazz.

It's special to me. It was one of the first places that ever told me, "hey you fit in".

It's not for everyone. But if you are into shooting PJ, it's the most special place in the world.

It's not about being good enough as a wedding photog. It's about being good enough as a PJ wedding photog. To get recognized there is frankly a huge honor.

A lot of people hate the place though. Some, only because they tried and were denied. Others, because they did a different style.
There is a place for all of us. I'm not all that traditional. PPA, although I'm a member isn't a great rep for me. WPJA works much better for me.
I don't do a lot of posed shots. That is not my strength.

But that is not to say that posed wedding shots are bad.

The WPJA is good for photojournalist wedding photogs. For that bride who wants to see it all out.

As an ex wire service PJ, I'm not that great at posing, so luckily there is a market for me.

And it's a good nitch. Something I can be very very proud of. Getting in the WPJA is about the toughest racket you can get into in the wedding market. David Roberts is a marketing genious, and he made it tough. He made us work for it. He makes us work for it every day.

When we are involved in contests, we are judged by the toughest PJ photogs on the planet. You have to hand it to him here.

We aren't judged by the guy from the "Daily Sun", we are judged by people covering the events in Afganistan, the White House, and people actively working in Iraq.

So yes, it makes you proud. Not only to be counted in the kind of wedding photogs/photojournalist here, but also to be judged upon by some of the best photojournalist in the country.

For proof, go to www.wpja.com

Anyhoo, it's one style of wedding photography. There are several wedding styles that are very very successful.

This is mine. And I'm honored to be picked up for another year.
 

Big Mike

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It's a great accomplishment for you, no doubt about it. I don't mean to sound like I'm raining on your parade. Congratulations to you, it's well deserved.

On another note, do they have any restrictions or rules on post processing? You say the WPJA stands for truth...but the only WPJA photographer that I know (you), does more post processing and altering of how people look...than any other wedding photographer that I know.

I'm not saying it's a bad thing, your post processing work is fantastic and that's a lot of what attracts your clients and keeps them happy.

I'm just wondering if that is common place for WPJA photographers. Especially if their judges are "people covering the events in Afghanistan, the White House, and people actively working in Iraq"...because if those photographers did this amount of editing...it would seem more than a little immoral....to me anyway.
 

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We aren't judged by the guy from the "Daily Sun", we are judged by people covering the events in Afganistan, the White House, and people actively working in Iraq.

So yes, it makes you proud. Not only to be counted in the kind of wedding photogs/photojournalist here, but also to be judged upon by some of the best photojournalist in the country.

Hey that’s cool; I’m over here in Iraq right now doing PJ work. I’m working on trying to get my name out there to fellow colleagues. When I Google my whole name I get a several dozen hits over the internet where my photos have circulated. Though I only shoot weddings in my free time to earn some extra cash maybe one day I try to join. Though my style is more of a editorial PJ. I do like getting those "pretty photos" as I’ve been told by senior PJs in my career field.
 

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I've heard bad things about WPJA in other forums... mainly they are a jury... of one guy. I don't know if it is true or not but they were also saying how a lot of people get in if they can take a decent photo and they have a bludomain or other nice photography site no matter what % of your shots are posed or if they are over post produced. I'm not sure if it is true... I've never tried to get in myself nor do I have inside knowledge. I've looked in to it a bit but never saw the benefit. I'm glad it works for those that have used it.
 

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Congrats! I know you're happy - as you should be. As for me... two words.... Huy Nguyen. I'm so glad it works for you but I'll never apply after what David did to him. :(
 

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