Tyler Wirken

2017 Guest Judge



Tyler doesn’t consider himself as just a wedding and family photographer but more a family historian.

Starting out as a photojournalist, he discovered a passion for documentary photography early in his career and never looked back.

After over a decade in the wedding and family business, Tyler found himself questioning a lot of conventional ideas about weddings and family portraits. That’s when he asked himself– why am I doing this?

He believes those why questions help him create more meaningful photographs. And that’s why he’s on a mission to help other photographers ask those same tough questions.

Teaching photographers – pushing them to answer their own “why” questions – is a passion that started over a decade ago at The Foundation Workshop and led Tyler to teach at various workshops worldwide including Creative Live. He now spends most of his time as a personal mentor to photographers worldwide as part of his Wirkshop Series.

Voted one of the “Top Ten Wedding Photographers in the World” by American Photo in 2013, Tyler’s best “accolades” are actually his wife and two boys, who have his heart and remind him why he’s dedicated to documenting family history. That’s why he’s often overheard saying, “At my funeral, if you all say I was a good photographer, then I’ve failed miserably at life.”

The Documentary Family Awards is an international competition in search of the insightful and meaningful ways that documentary photographers explore the interpretation of family.