As promised, today we are announcing the winners of our 2nd Annual $29 Wedding Photography Contest! Just like last year, this has been so fun to read the entries and interact with those who participated.  Even though we extended the deadline past my actual birthday, I have to say that this contest has added a whole extra level of joy and excitement to my birthday and I can't wait to see what next year brings.   Thank you so much to all who participated and to all those who spread the word to family members and friends! But you're not reading this to get all warm and fuzzy about my joyful times, you want to know who won!!!  But before I announce the winners, I have to say that this year is turning out to be so much better than last year because I have found several other photographers who are willing to photograph the weddings of the runners up!  That's right, we might have four couples benefit from this contest, not just one!  I'm busy working out the details on that, so if you entered and didn't win, keep your eyes on your inbox because I might be in touch over the next day or two letting you know if you might be eligible to receive $29 wedding photography from another photographer!

So without further ado, I introduce to you Paul and Kyle!  It was tough to pick the winner as I knew it would be, but in the end our expert judges (read Sarah and me), felt that these two were a perfect fit!

For the first time ever in the illustrious history of this contest, we received entries from sisters who are both getting married in the same year!  Yikes!  Kyle and her sister Haley are both getting married in 2011 and they both entered fantastic videos!  They also both submitted letters of "reference" from family members and friends which I thought was a clever idea.  It was tough choosing between these two, but in the end Kyle and Paul's entry won our hearts!

In particular, there were three or four things that steered me towards them.  (1) Paul is a very good friend of John whose wedding we photographed last New Year's Eve.  John is one of the nicest guys I have ever met, so if he's good friends with Paul - Paul must be a good guy too.  When I saw this video I knew I recognized Paul because I have a strange way of remembering the faces of people I've photographed.  It turns out that Paul was a groomsman in John and Jill's wedding and I dug this picture out to prove it!  Here is a photograph of Paul and Kyle enjoying our photo booth at that wedding!

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(2) Kyle was the first person to contact me about the contest last week.  (3)  Their letters from family and friends paint a picture of a fantastic relationship that began in high school and survived a long distance separation during college.  They have gained the respect, admiration, and support of their family and friends which is so very helpful in beginning a new life together as husband and wife!  (4) The video they created is amazingly funny and creative!  They used stop motion photography to create a unique look, which I thought was a nice touch.  Last but not least, they used a Rusted Root song which used to be one of my favorite bands that I haven't heard in years!  Take a few minutes and check this out - I believe it when they told me that they put in 50+ hours on this video!

For some reason, I had some issues embedding the video in this post, but if you click on the image below, you can witness their creativity for yourself!

My guess is that if they put this kind of creative work into a video to win a photography package for their wedding that the rest of their wedding will be top notch and filled with fun and laughter!  For now I'm off to celebrate with some left-over cake.  Congratulations Kyle and Paul!  We can't wait to get this ball rolling - it's going to be fun!  We'll be in touch soon.

PS - It would appear as though the reality of entering my early thirties has arrived.  We will be owners of our first mini van in three days.  Yikes!

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