Contest Rules

West Coast Wedding Awards (WCWA) Contest Rules

1. Who can submit (Contest Entrants – CE)

The West Coast Wedding Awards are open to legal residents of Alaska (US), Yukon (Canada), British Columbia (Canada), Washington (US), Oregon (US) or California (US) who are of legal age in their jurisdiction of residence. Contest Entrants (CE) must reside within the above mentioned provinces or states at the time of submission. 

If an entry is submitted under a business name, the name of the person who took the photograph must also be included in the submission. (f.e. Second shooter or associate who took the photograph)

The WCWA contest is a contest open to professional photographers. A photographer qualifies as a professional in the context of WCWA if they: have a business license or official work as a wedding photographer for a company. 

 WCWA may request the CE to provide proof of qualification as defined above. . Proof includes but is not limited to any form of legal document, such as a  business licence, employment contract as a photographer. Should the CE fail to share sufficient proof of their qualification as a professional photographer as specified above they will be immediately disqualified from the contest, without refund of any paid fees.

2. Image specifications

2.1 Content

WCWA strictly excludes content with racist, obscene, pornographic, defamatory or otherwise objectionable or inappropriate content. WCWA strictly excludes objects or behavior that is illegal within the geographic region of WCWA. 

WCWA asks participants to be mindful when submitting photographs of children, for example to avoid a photograph that shows private areas.

Entries deemed inappropriate will be disqualified at the judges sole discretion. 

WCWA welcomes inclusive entries that promote diversity in the wedding industry: f.e. Differently abled bodies, different body types, visual minorities and LGBTQ+ couples and weddings. 

No images taken at a styled photoshoot, workshop or seminar are eligible to be entered into the contest.

2.2 Technical specifications

Images submitted have to be 1500 pixels on the long side. 

The photograph can’t have a or logo on it.

If more than 1 file is submitted, it has to be zipped. Total file size can’t exceed 8MB. 

Examples of file names: f.e. groupphoto-waterbottle-1.jpg 

First part of the file name (very important!) = category name

Second part of the file name = 2 random words

The file name can’t have the photographer’s or company name in it. 

Digital manipulation, alteration, compositing or enhancing (“photoshopping”) of the entries is allowed on the following conditions:

  • the image is entered in one or more of the categories 3.2 to 3.4 and 3.6 to 3.7. 
  • Manipulations, alterations or enhancements may only be applied to remove undesired objects.
  • Compositing for light and exposure is also allowed.
  • Compositing in post-processing (after the images have been created) is allowed only to replace parts of subjects (for instance eye or head swap) or scenery (for instance sky replacement) in the photo. All images used for the entry must be created by the Contest Entrant.
  • Any other form of compositing for entries is only allowed if performed in camera (by overlapping two or more exposures)

For entries in the category 3.5 (photojournalism), no photoshopping is allowed, except for conversion to black and white.

The jury may at any time request the Contest Entrant to provide the original unaltered images that have been used to create the Entry.

3. Submission rules per category

3.1 General

By submitting their entry into the WCWA contest, the contestant declares to be hired as the photographer of the event depicted in the entry.

Submitted photographs for categories 3.2 to 3.7 must be taken between October 1st 2022 and September 30th 2023.

If a category does not receive sufficient entries, WCWA reserves the right to cancel the category and the Contest Entrants will receive a full refund of the submission fees for the canceled category. 

3.2 Engagement 

Photograph of a couple that is engaged. The photo can’t be taken on the wedding day. The couple in the photograph isn’t wearing a wedding-specific outfit. 

3.3 Wedding Couple 

Photograph of a couple together, taken on the wedding day. 

3.4 Group photo at a wedding (Wedding party or family photo)

Photograph taken on the day of the wedding, showing a group of people, either the wedding party or other guests with (or without) the couple. 

3.5 Photojournalism

A photograph taken at any point during the wedding day where the subjects aren’t posed.

3.6 Detail photograph

A photograph showcasing a wedding day detail. (For example, but not limited to, the wedding dress, decor setup, the flowers, …)

3.7 Furry Friends (and other animals)

Photograph that includes an animal on the wedding day. Animals can’t be in the process of relieving themselves in the photograph. 

4. How to participate in the contest

4.1 Website entry + payment

In order to qualify as a valid entry in the contest, a submission of a photograph and payment of the submission fee is required.

The submission fees for categories 3.2 to 3.7 are:

  • Early bird pricing from Oct. 9-15, 2023: 25 CAD for the first photo or 20 CAD per entry if more than one are submitted by the same CE
  • Regular pricing from Oct. 16-31, 2023: 30 CAD for the first photo or 25 CAD per entry if more than one are submitted by the same CE

The CE can upload one or more  photographs through the website: on page

Payment can be fulfilled online through the website. 

Online entries must be made by the authorized account holder of the email address submitted at the time of entry. 

Contest entrants acknowledge that payments are final and non-refundable with as sole (except if a category is canceled as specified in 3.1)

4.2 Submission timing

WCWA accepts submissions starting on09/10/2023 until 12:00pm PST on 31/10/2023

5. Judging

5.1 The judges

Judges will be professional photographers, chosen at the sole discretion of the WCWA organization, and may be replaced if required. Judges are not allowed to  enter submissions in the WCWA contest. 

The WCWA will share the judges’ information on the WCWA website.

All entries will be judged by 3 judges.

5.2 The judging process

Judges will assess and score  each entry photo on a scale from 1 – 100 on the following criteria:

  • Composition: organization of space and objects in the photograph (does everything in the photograph contribute to the image?)
  • Creativity: how unique is this photo (did the photographer do something different?)
  • Lighting: does the choice of lighting enhance the image?
  • Aesthetics: Is this photo a piece of art? Does it provoke emotion? 
  • Editing: does the editing choice enhance the subject? Is the colour (or lack thereof) enhancing the subject?

For each entry, the scores are added up, and used to rank the entries per category.

Judges provide a brief comment on the entry to the CE.  

6. Contest results and winners

6.0 Ranking of results

For each category, entries will be ranked in ascending order by total judging scores.

If for any reason an entry should be reassessed or disqualified, the entries within the affected category will be ranked again according to the updated scores of the entries.

A CE can only win (place in the top 3) once per category. If a CE ranks in the top three more than once in a single category, their highest ranking photo will be selected. The other photograph(s) that would have placed in the top 3 will receive an honorary mention on the website. However the other places in the top 3 will be rewarded to two other Contest Entrants with the next highest scores.

6.1 When will the results be received

For each category the 3 entries with the highest scores will be made public on the WCWA website on 01/12/2023. Their scores will also be made public on the website. 

For all entries, contestants will receive their scores and a judges’ comments via email.

6.2 What does the winner receive? 

For each category, the Contestant who submitted the photo with the highest score, will receive the following:

– the WCWA trophy (designs may vary per year) . The contestants may choose to pick up their trophy in person in Vancouver, BC, or have it shipped to them to the billing address provided on the payment checkout form.

– acknowledgement on the WCWA website. 

7. Copyright and licensing

By submitting their entry into the WCWA contest, Contest Entrants acknowledge and explicitly accept these contest terms. 

Additionally, by submitting their entry to the contest, Contest Entrants acknowledge and grant WCWA a perpetual license to use any of the  submitted photographs in WCWA online media and for promotional materials such as, but not limited to the WCWA website, Facebook page and Instagram page. WCWA commits to credit the image with the information of photographer, provided at the time of submission. The copyright always remains with the photographer.

Each submitted entry must be an original photograph taken by the contest entrant. By entering the contest, the entrant acknowledges that they own the copyright of the photograph and that they are the one that created the photograph. They also acknowledge and confirm that explicit permission and release was granted by the subjects in the entry. 

If at any point during or after the contest proof of a violation of these conditions should arise, WCWA reserves the right to request the Contest entrant proof of rectification, and if needed may reassess the final score or disqualify the entry, and revoke any and all benefits of winning the contest.

8. WCWA liability

By entering the WCWA contest, the CE acknowledges WCWA cannot be held liable for any losses or damages arising out of or relating to participation in the contest. 

The  entrant waives the right to claim any and all damages of WCWA.

WCWA assumes no responsibility for any problems with or technical malfunctions of computer online systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any email entry to be received on account of technical problems, human errors of any kind, or any combination thereof.

WCWA is not liable for any other errors, problems or difficulties of any kind, whether human, mechanical, electronic, or otherwise, relating in any way to the Contest, including those errors, problems or difficulties that may relate to the administration of the Contest, the processing of entries, the advertising of the Contest, the announcement of any prize or prize winner, or the cancellation or postponement of any event.


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West Coast Wedding Awards is an awards program for photographers residing on the west coast of Canada and USA.


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