Rino Cordella

My thoughts on judging an international wedding photography competition

I recently had the honour of judging an international wedding photography contest for Fearless Photography and for Master of Weddinh Photography UK.

What is Fearless Photography?
Fearless runs contents throughout the year and typically receives thousands of entries from around the world. There is no limit for submissions, so if an image is awesome, it gets an award. The judging is harsh and appears to become more difficult with each round.

Which categories did I judge?
I was delighted to judge the Fearless Photography Awards for Fun & Playful, Art & Beauty, Real Moments and Master of Wedding Photography, which included some awesome international wedding photography.
Receiving an internationally recognised photography award means recognition from your colleagues, and professional appreciation of your work, creativity and dedication to photography. The only honour greater than winning a competition like this is being invited to judge it. And I accepted filled with a sense of having my professional opinion valued and recognised.

What were the challenges of judging an international wedding photography competition?
Judging the Fearless Photographers Awards, especially, the Master of Wedding Photography Award was no easy feat. Selecting and evaluating the best wedding photos was a personal journey. It led me back in the limitless passion for photography that I’d had as a child. It transported me to the magical moment when I first realised how time and movement could be frozen forever.

What was the quality like?
Exceptionally high quality made the competition difficult to judge. It is never easy to evaluate the twists and turns of a visual story. Casting a critical eye over my passionate peers’ work was more difficult than I had originally imagined. Then, of course, there is the challenge of choosing something ‘absolutely awesome’ from the creative and engaging entries.

What did you learn from judging an international photography competition?
It was a great experience and I hit a huge learning curve. Mid-way when the doors to reflection and inspiration flew open, I myself conceived some completely unexpected and unprecedented ideas.

How do you judge an international photography competition?
Well to start with, it is absolutely necessary to adhere to strict assessment criteria. These criteria, based on the fundamental principles of photography, provide a roadmap to the final decision.

What skills does a fearless photographer need?
I believe that awesome and fearless photography is the art of emotional and visual storytelling.
Photographers have to develop an original eye, a knack for seeing things in a unique or artistic way, and know what and when to shoot. They must possess the technical post-production skills that ensure that the moment is captured. The final photo should always communicate and document the moment’s truth.

What are the judges 3 key criteria in assessing award winning wedding photography?
1. Technical quality: this includes; image composition, framing and light. These skills distinguish a professional photograph from an amateur one. They represent what must be the ‘essential starting point’ of photographic evaluation.
2. Post-production quality: a photo should be post-produced impeccably. An image will be penalized, if it is not post-produced correctly. It needs to be emotionally addictive and perfectly composed to avoid devaluing. Post-production contributes towards the story telling, that makes a photo special.
3. Emotionally provocative photography: an awesome photo involves, stimulates and provokes a range of feelings, reflections and memories. It identifies its subjects characters’ and their relationships. These essential aspects of photography make an image timeless.

Below are the photos and photographers I chose.

Fearless Photographers Awards-Photo by Claudiu Negrea (Arad, Romania).

fearless photographers awards

Fearless Photographers award – Foto di Jay Cassario (Southern New Jersey, USA).

premio fearless photographers

Master of Wedding Photography award – Foto di Dan Wooton, England.

master of wedding photography

Master of Wedding Photography award – Foto di Richard Howman-England.

master of wedding photography award