THE [AG]WPJA STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES FOR MEMBERSHIP
The standards photographers have to meet for membership inclusion in the [AG]WPJA are the same standards all members must uphold throughout their membership term.
[AG]WPJA members are expected to reflect exceptional skill, originality and creativity, by which they will perpetually maintain the integrity and strong reputation of the
Once an applicant is accepted, he/she will be representing the [AG]WPJA throughout their entire membership term. Consequently, the [AG]WPJA upholds strict guidelines
for membership inclusion.
We strongly believe photographers who consider themselves "wedding photojournalists" should create and present work with MINIMAL portraits and details. As far as the
[AG]WPJA is concerned (and membership therein), photographers primarily preoccupied with portraits and details are not wedding photojournalists. Because of the many
referrals that come as a result of membership, the [AG]WPJA expects a photojournalistic first impression of member web sites. Photographers whose first several wedding
images on their web site that reflect traditional portraiture, people frozen for the camera, brides alone, gowns fanned out, brides staring out windows, and/or detail
shots of flowers, dresses, shoes or rings, will not be accepted into the [AG]WPJA.
Membership is for individuals, not groups, businesses, studios or teams. The [AG]WPJA often reviews web sites that display images from multiple
photographers. While we understand and appreciate the team coverage approach to wedding photography, it's important for the [AG]WPJA to be able to identify and review the
image portfolio of the individual applying for membership. A field has been provided in the application form for image identification for web sites that are shared by
Membership inclusion is based on adherence to the following:
1. Web Site Quality: Members must maintain an up-to-date and professional web site that continually meets [AG]WPJA standards. The domain must be owned
by the photographer (i.e. photographername.com), not a subdomain owned by another company (i.e. photographername.theirname.com). In addition, the sites need to have a
clean design with easy navigation. Member web sites must load with all images and links functioning. They must also be compatible with most browsers. A member’s web site
is an extension of his/her creativity and reflects on the [AG]WPJA as a whole. The [AG]WPJA does not favor HTML over Flash-design sites (or visa versa).
The [AG]WPJA has partnered with Creative Motion Design to bring you our quarterly contests. Creative
Motion Design builds customizable website templates for professional photographers.
2. Image Content: Photographers are granted membership into the [AG]WPJA when their web-image content and picture enhancement meet [AG]WPJA standards.
Applicants must have more than 25 wedding images (25 images, not 25 weddings) on their web site with at least 10% of them being digitally manipulated. [AG]WPJA applicants
should not have more than 20-30% of the wedding images on their web sites from the following combined categories*:
- Portrait (photographer has control of the posed situation)
- Set-Up (art directed situation by photographer)
- Camera Aware (subjects staring into the camera)
- Details (flowers, cakes, rings, gowns, shoes, etc.)
*The above-mentioned percentage serves as a general guideline.
3. Image Quality: Members must strive for good image quality on their web site. Image files should be properly saved for the Web and sized large
enough for easy viewing. Membership will not be granted when portfolios are replete with flat images (devoid of black), pixelated images, and other technical
4. Technical/Creative Qualities: Membership denial is often the result of one or more of the following:
- Indoor images with poor on-camera lighting and direct flash shadows.
- A majority of portfolio images that appear to be shot at F8 with a 50mm lens.
TIP: A good use of a variety of lenses will score higher during the review process.
- A portfolio of only straight, non-enhanced images.
- Redundant images or sequence shots with minimal change in content.
- Images where subjects are poorly cropped.
5. Factual Information: Members must make factual and knowledgeable statements where quoted. The following puts membership inclusion at risk:
- Bold statements on web sites, i.e, "digital is better than film".
- Misleading or confusing information on wedding photojournalism, using the word 'photojournalism' alone to describe 'wedding photography' or identification as a
photojournalist, but failing to post work history or images to prove it.
- Description of style or approach that doesn’t match the work displayed on their web site.
6. Business Ethics and Communication: The [AG]WPJA insists upon good business ethics and integrity. Members must not:
- Fail to uphold wedding contract obligations with clients.
- Ignore communication from clients.
- Fail to respond to specific communications from [AG]WPJA personnel concerning issues important to the integrity and reputation of the organization (this excludes
responses to mass emails to all members).
- Communicate publicly through words (written or spoken) in a negative manner against other members or the organization as a whole.
- Establish a web-based wedding photography business that directly competes with the [AG]WPJA; a person or entity “directly competes” with the [AG]WPJA if they are
engaged in the promotion of wedding photographers.
The [AG]WPJA reserves the right to terminate or revoke membership at any time if it deems that a member contravened the terms set forth by the [AG]WPJA membership
requirements, standards, codes and/or guidelines.