Ever since we launched the WPAI, we’ve had a lot of questions about what the WPAI was all about. Creating the association has been a huge labour of love, and we’re totally in love with the huge amount of positivity we’ve got from the community at large. Of course, in speaking with literally hundreds of photographers from all over India – we’ve noticed that lots of folks have various ideas about what the WPAI is all about and some of the answers aren’t very clear. So, here are answers to some of the questions we’ve had. If you have a question that isn’t covered here, comment below!
Q: What exactly is the WPAI?
A: The WPAI is an Indian Association for Wedding Photographers, and is open for all photographers who shoot weddings in India. The objective of the WPAI is twofold:
a. To create a community of wedding photographers thereby driving excellence in our work, method of conducting business and creating collaborations that enhance the community in general.
b. To set the benchmark for wedding photography in India, thereby providing brides and grooms a genuine curated list of wedding photographers who excel at what they do.
The WPAI seeks to engage with ALL wedding photographers in India, but ultimately recommends that photographers seek membership to avail the benefits of being a part of the WPAI.
Q: How is the WPAI different from a wedding portal? Don’t other wedding portals also have listings of photographers?
A: The WPAI is so much more than just a wedding portal. On the face of it, there are certain visual similarities – but that’s where it ends. One small part of the WPAI is the directory on it’s website; and the approach to the WPAI directory is very different from regular portals. The WPAI directory is a badge of merit; without handpicked or special lists. Members who are listed on the directory have proved their mettle and have been approved by a selection committee. Members don’t pay for special privileges – anyone who makes it into the WPAI is listed here. The directory is ultimately a curated list of experienced wedding photographers based on capability.
Q: Why should I apply to become a member of WPAI?
A: If you are a wedding photographer, there are just SO MANY reasons to become a member of the WPAI. In no particular order, here is why:
1. Driving Excellence: We will push you to work better. Via photography competitions, portfolio reviews, annual challenges and more.
2. Support: The WPAI is a support system for photographers. We will soon be adding associations with tax consultants, lawyers and other service providers that will HELP you run your business.
3. Continuos Learning: Members will have access to workshops, seminars, photowalks and other activities that will help drive the passion for photography.
4. Networking: The WPAI will host mixers and events in major metros all over India. Friendships from such mixers are lifelong; not to mention to sense of camaraderie and excitement that is generated from bringing a bunch of wedding photographers under the same roof!
5. More Business: The WPAI directory was formed with one purpose only: To provide brides and grooms with a curated list of GOOD wedding photographers; a list that wasn’t based on exorbitant payments to 3rd party wedding portals that create listings based on payments and not capability. Clients will be able to contact WPAI members directly without gated registrations and other bottlenecks.
6. And more! We have a lot more planned in the pipeline. More exciting announcements soon!
Q: Why should I pay for membership? The portals charge too!
A: In order for the WPAI to be successful, and create the value for photographers that we want to – we need to run it like a independent unit and not as a side project. This means that we need to be able to afford office space, a team, utilities, IT, technology and so on. Unlike the portals, the WPAI isn’t a “let’s drive profit” business; we do not have investment bankers sniffing at our heels looking for a profit. We do not have banks waiting to recover interest on loans. But we do want to have funds that we can use to help the community. Membership costs are nominal – and we are working to add benefits that will help members recover their investment in membership fees easily.
Q: It’s too early for the WPAI to host awards.
A: No it’s not. We gave this a lot of thought – and rolled out contests immediately as part of our larger plan to create standards and benchmarks for Indian Wedding Photography. Standards that will be decided by INDIAN wedding photographers – and benchmarks that we will use for the entire industry to follow. How “old” the WPAI is, is really immaterial. This is an objective that we wanted to create from the get go, and we are immensely proud to have a panel of extremely talented judges on board. The pool of photographers submitting for awards may be smaller in the first edition of the awards, but the end product will still be the same: a gallery of images that represent great work being done in India.
Q: Who exactly “approves” membership to the WPAI? Why do I need to apply and be approved? OR I’ve been in the industry for X years, why was my application rejected?!
A: Membership to the WPAI is dependant on a majority vote by an expert panel that is comprised of WPAI founding members and advisory members. The reason we ask you to submit at least three full wedding galleries for review is to get a sense of your general aesthetic and capabilities. Applications for membership are fully confidential – and our objective is to help photographers achieve a common standard. We review photographers solely by the quality of work they are submitting for review – and not based on the “number of years” they’ve been in the industry. If your application was not approved, it could have been for a variety of reasons. For instance, did you curate your best work for review? Have you had a look at the work that existing WPAI members are doing? We ENCOURAGE prospective members to re-apply after 3 months by fixing the issues that could have caused their application to have been rejected in the first place.
Q: What exactly do I “GET” for my membership fees?
A: You get to be in a community of amazing wedding photographers! But of course, that’s not just it. We have a very exciting list of member benefits for WPAI members – this will be announced very soon!
Q: What does the WPAI have planned for 2017?
A: Lots. We’ve flagged off with the directory and WPAI contests. We’re soon going to launch city wise meetups and mixers, workshops, Live sessions a grand event and much more! Stay tuned to the WPAI Facebook Page to be up to date with things as they happen.
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