December 6, 2023
A small bird coming in for a crash landing helped win Tara Lilly of Tara Lily Photography the title of International Wedding Photographer of the Year. The Canadian wedding photographer beat out over 300 of her peers to rise to the top of the annual competition, reports My Modern Met.
As Lily recalls, “Mikaela and Mitch held an intimate mountaintop wedding in Whistler, Canada. We took 4×4 jeeps up to an alpine meadow, home to a number of animals, including whiskey jacks. (If you’ve visited Whistler in the winter, you may have seen these small birds entertain skiers waiting in the lift line by landing on their ski poles held in the air.)
“Just as Mitch began his vows, a curious whiskey jack swooped in and landed directly on top of Mikaela’s head. Mikaela’s shock, surprise, and laughter were not enough to dissuade this bird from his perch. “I’m Snow White!” Mikaela laughed.”
For her efforts, Lily is taking home a prize pool, including a share of over $3,000 and products from award spon
Over 1,700 images were submitted to 11 categories that show the creative range of
sors. In second place, Italian photographer Carmelo Ucchino captured a couple’s romantic first dance as water cascaded from the ceiling. The dramatic black-and-white image also won the Dance Floor category.
possibilities when it comes to wedding photography. “It was an absolute joy judging so many diverse entries and the quality of imagery was off the charts,” shared judge and photographer Dee Kampe, who won last year’s contest.
“I was drawn to the winning entry for its perfection in capturing this chance encounter,” she continues. “It’s joyous, uplifting, and makes me grin from ear to ear just looking at it. There’s pure, unfiltered emotion, there’s surprise, there’s the unexpected. It encapsulates the emotions and narrative that runs through an entire wedding day in a single frame.”
This year’s contest was more successful than ever. Now in its seventh year, the International Wedding Photographer of the Year saw an increase in entries—showing that the world is back on track when it comes to celebrating these important life moments.
Research contact: @mymodernmet