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Australians win Wedding Photo Contest

Australian photographer, Dan O’Day, has won the locally-organised 2018 International Wedding Photographer of the Year competition (IWPOTY) and Perth photographer, Jason Tey, came second.

Winning photo by Dan O’Day.

The winning photo by O’Day was captured at the National Art School in Sydney.

‘For an hour we’d been running around the outskirts of the venue like kids in a playground, dropping smoke bombs and chasing what little golden Australian light we get at the end of the our time for portraits. It was my first and only time using coloured smoke bombs, so it was pretty hit and miss,’ O’Day said in the artist statement.

‘In the final five minutes of sun, while Jess and Des were bee-lining it to their party, they walked through a slice of light coming off the roof from the building around us. There were partying guests, buildings, fire extinguishers on walls, and about 20 cars behind them in this shot, but in that moment and the light sliver, I saw the residual smoke hanging in the air and thought “sweet, there is residual smoke hanging in the air!”

‘I managed to stop them from giggling and being in love with that “just married” vibe on their faces for about .06 of a second so that I could get my “dramatic tortured artist” fix and guide them through the slice of light.
Five minutes after this shot, they were busting through the doors of their party, high-fiving guests, and drinking the good bubbles from the bottle, like they had headlined Coachella.’

The runner-up photo by Tey was captured at the sand dunes in Lancelin, Western Australia. Tey’s clients, Denny and Vivi, travelled from Hong Kong for pre-wedding photos and wanted images captured under the clear Australian night sky.

Runner-up photo by Jason Tey.

‘After we located the core of the Milky Way, I worked out a beautifully balanced composition. There was a strange glow in the distance (most likely from street lamps) which I thought would ruin the image but it looked like a sunrise so we used that glow to create a silhouette. It’s one of those perfect surprises that you never expect and it makes an image special.

The contest, in its second year, had US$30,000 in prizes up for grabs, with sponsorship from Nikon Australia, Atkins Prolab, Kodak Alaris, ThinkTank, and others. There are 12 categories – O’Day won the Couple Portrait, while Tey took out the Engagement/Non Wedding.

Perth photographer, James Simmons, won Single Capture:

Photo: James Simmons.

The contest is run by Luke Simon, who set out to create a ‘new benchmark for wedding photography competitions’. He told ProCounter in 2017 that he launched the contest after noticing a lack of competitions dedicated solely to wedding photography.

At the time we wrote:
‘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?)’

While the contest received an unknown number of entries from 61 countries, there’s been a significant uptick in the mainstream media coverage compared with last year.

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