Round 5: Self-Portraits closes in
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Petronella Lugemwa’s Challenge - Winner

For her winner, Petronella chose this tender moment between a bride and her mother, expertly photographed by Sam Mallory

“I always ask couples to tell me what kind of images will be most important to them, but this bride simply requested I encapsulate the emotions of the day,” Sam explained. “That’s certainly a big task! Fortunately, at the very beginning, while the bride was getting ready, her mother came over to help tie her dress, and I was able to produce this image. I knew it would be a lasting memento for them to share.

“This moment was all about the close bond, and the unspoken but clear communication of joy and excitement for the day ahead. I wanted my composition to reflect this as best as possible. I tried to keep the image tight, while still showing the story’s context. To accentuate the positivity of the moment, I kept the image very bright, by letting the light from the window wash over the scene. The rest was about simply ensuring I had an aperture that could keep both subjects in focus, as well as framing a balanced composition that drove the leading lines of the window towards the subjects.”

A documentarian approach was key for this particular type of wedding photograph. “My aim is to allow events to unfold naturally, with one caveat – that it all happens in the best light available,” Sam continued. “In this case, I asked the bride to get ready near the window, knowing it could serve as a bright, diffused light source. But, I let the moment play out uninterrupted from there.

“Weddings are so much fun, because they require the use of portraiture, editorial, landscape, and still life photography skills, all to tell a couple’s story. Plus, the day is typically blooming with emotion.”

Evidently, Petronella was enamoured by the winning photo, and she told us why. “I chose Sam’s image because it best leveraged the tips shared in the video. Sam thoughtfully documented a moment by getting to know the client, understanding what and who was important to them, and looking for those opportunities throughout the day. The image communicates a candid, genuine moment between mother and daughter. It tells a memorable story that the newly married couple can love and feel connected to.”

Watch Petronella Lugemwa’s Challenge

Winning photographer

Sam Mallory

“I am completely in awe that my photo was selected amongst all of the incredible images. It’s the highest level of compliment to have Petronella Lugemwa select my image and I am truly thrilled. Even better, the prize is a tool that will elevate my imagery and inspire me to create more… I can’t wait to start using it!”