"Oh my goodness!  Was this ever a difficult contest to curate!  I initially selected 384 photos that I felt were worthy of awards.  I had to do two more passes to get that number down to an acceptable amount.

I truly LOVE moments and thought I would definitely choose a moment as my “favourite” photo.  The thing is, there were so many incredible moments in this contest that I couldn’t even come close to narrowing it down to just one.  The strangest thing of all is that I ended up choosing a photo that almost hit the chopping block in my first pass.  The thing is, the more I see it, the more I like it.  And when trying to choose a favourite it just kept jumping out in my mind.  

For me this image stood out as a work of juxtapositions.  Red vs. Green.  Old vs. New.  East vs. West.  Smile vs. Stoic.  

I love the clean composition and the creative framing with the photographer choosing to frame the groom within the mirror.  I love the processing of this image.  For my personal taste it is not too light and airy, nor is it to dark and contrasty.  It draws me in without distracting and I feel is perfect for the subject matter.  

I love the simple palette of complementary colours on display and how the subtle gold ties everything together.  I feel it is timeless piece with an early 1940’s vibe and decor, but with elements such as the eyewear that would fit in almost any era within the past century.  Was this taken 100 years ago or just yesterday?  As a Canadian the decor resonates with me as something distinctly found in old Europe or perhaps North America but we see the bride and groom in vibrant traditional Asian attire.  For me it’s almost like two worlds meet, co-exist and thrive.  The fact that they are mostly in red and the environment is mostly in green seems to pay homage to this.  The fact that they have a little bit of green in their red and the environment has a little bit of red in its green gives a sense of connectedness, harmony and balance between the two representations.  Almost like Yin and Yang.

I love how the groom has a playful and innocent smile and yet seems tense and almost robotic, while the bride looks as cool as a cucumber, strong and yet loose in her posture.

The image sets my imagination on fire.  It takes me beyond the image itself and has me visualizing an infinite amount of streets this shop could be placed on.  What is upstairs from where they are standing?  IS there an upstairs?  What would the basement look like?  What does the signage outside look like?  Where did this couple go afterwards?  It is rare that an image does this for me.  I find myself daydreaming of the bigger yet invisible place and story all this is connected to.

Even as I write this I am finding more that I love about this photo.  And to think I almost threw this image out.  It makes me wonder how much more beauty and mystery and wonder we pass by without a second thought in our daily lives, all because we did not take the time to appreciate and experience them for what they are.”
Mathieu Louis-Seize
Jury member 21st round Masters of Dutch Wedding Photography

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