the contest caption on the photo reads:
- Mea Shearim, the ultra-Orthodox district of Jerusalem. Newly married couple Aaron and Rivkeh will be alone together for the first time after their wedding ceremony. Their marriage was arranged by their families. The 18-year-olds met once to confirm the choice; since then they have been prohibited to meet or even talk.
National Geographic Traveler Director of Photography Dan Westergren, one of this year's judges, shares his thoughts on the second-place winner:
"Photography is a powerful tool for showing the ways that people around the world are clearly different but in many ways the same. The Orthodox fur hat and wedding dress are clues that this picture was taken in a very distinctive place. But the smile and laughter of the bride and groom indicate that these are teenagers reacting to a new situation.
"When I look at the image I can't help but think about the nature of love and marriage around the world. Here is a scene that in many parts of the world could be a young couple on their first date. Because of the clothes they are wearing I know that this is not a lighthearted encounter but the beginning of a lifelong commitment. Any photograph that can make me think that much deserves to be a winner."