Are you planning a short-notice, small wedding or elopement?

Many couples don’t want to wait. They are planning to get married in the very near future, eloping, or rushing a small ceremony with their photographer, some close friends, and family but dispensing with or postponing the reception party. 

View WPJA photo stories from smaller weddings - WedElope | Choose love, not fear!

2018 AG Photographer of the Year - Matteo Originale

Matteo Originale, Italy

Matteo Originale excels at work that is, well, original.  In his wedding photography business, he has honed a point of view that combines an artistic flair for post-production manipulation and enhancement.

Matteo Originale is the 2018 Photographer of the Year for the Artistic Guild of the Wedding Photojournalist Association. It is his second time to earn the title, having been named the AG|WPJA POY two years earlier.

Across Matteo's AG|WPJA contest-winning images, his work exhibits a dedication to creative, emotional interpretation — bringing the feelings to the fore through the use of techniques he first learned in the darkroom and later learned to employ with digital editing.

In addition to the two out of every three weekends he works shooting weddings, in the two years between his AG|WPJA titles he's put his photographic talents to other uses, as well. One, a photo essay project, represented the legacy of apartheid in the Langa township of Cape Town, South Africa. For another photo essay, he recorded the work of volunteers striving to address the hardships posed by modern poverty for a "World Day of the Poor" exhibition held at the local shrine of St. Anthony.

In addition to the two out of every three weekends he works shooting weddings, in the two years between his AG|WPJA titles he's put his photographic talents to other uses, as well. One, a photo essay project, represented the legacy of apartheid in the Langa township of Cape Town, South Africa. For another photo essay, he recorded the work of volunteers striving to address the hardships posed by modern poverty for a "World Day of the Poor" exhibition held at the local shrine of St. Anthony.

Matteo has dedicated his time to raising awareness and ensuring that marginalized groups receive the attention they deserve and might not have received otherwise. Beyond that, Matteo’s desire to work with these impoverished groups comes from a place of love and giving love, and the simple hope that his presence and work might give people a voice or make them feel heard. Through his photography, Matteo is a storyteller, bringing light to the inequality and unsafe conditions in Cape Town, and humanizing those suffering in La Spezia while showcasing the wonderful yet overlooked work of the 2,000 volunteers helping at Sant'Antonio a Gaggiola.

From the seriousness of racism and poverty to the joy and high feeling of a wedding day, Matteo's work is driven by the subjective quality of whatever he is photographing. As he says, "I love to photograph a wedding, because it is a 'special' day, full of strong emotions — emotions that I try to reproduce in my shots."

"The best thing about my job is that many of those spouses are today my friends," he says.