WPJA Photographer of the Year (POY)

2012 WPJA PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

2012 POY Steve Matteo

Illinois, United States
Steve Matteo

All professional photographers know there is no training like on-the-job training. Many receive it from working as an apprentice, learning the tricks of the trade from a seasoned photographer. For WPJA’s Photographer of the Year, Steve Matteo, on-the-job training came from photographing live sporting events for the dailies. At the time, he was carving out a career that he had long dreamed of. He did not know that he was also creating a solid foundation and a bridge to becoming a wedding photojournalist and further exploring and refining his craft.

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2011 WPJA PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

2011 POY Emin Kuliyev

New York, United States
Emin Kuliyev

While he speaks in short clipped sentences, Emin Kuliyev produces photographs that evoke a wealth of words and emotions. His work reveals a laser-like focus on the emotion of the moment, capturing the height of his subjects’ reactions. Though he humbly describes, “I can't explain it to myself—everything happens by itself. No control on my level. I just click on the button when I feel that I must do it,” his images speak to more than just excellent timing.

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2010 WPJA PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

2010 POY Dave Getzschman

Northern California, United States
Dave Getzschman

Let’s forget about the “rules” of photography. Lighting, subjects, composition, set all that aside. What we are looking at here is what makes us human—emotion—it is what defines the work of WPJA’s Photographer of the Year, Dave Getzschman. The people in his photographs are not just elements in a dramatic setting, interacting superbly with their counterparts. They are not just subjects printed and framed for nostalgia’s sake. They are human beings full of emotion.

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2009 WPJA PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

2009 POY Carlo Carletti

Siena, Italy
Carlo Carletti

For the second time in three years Carlo Carletti of Italy has been honored with the prestigious WPJA Photographer of the Year (POY). Carletti is the first to win the title twice, having won it previously in 2006. In addition to the honor and a $1,000 grand prize, Carletti’s name, for the second time, will be permanently engraved on a traveling trophy, which he is to keep for one year.

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2008 WPJA PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

2008 POY Franck Boutonnet

Lyon, France
Franck Boutonnet

The WPJA is proud to honor Franck Boutonnet of Lyon, France as its 2008 Photographer of the Year. Along with this title, Franck received a $1,000 grand prize. His name will also be permanently engraved on the WPJA Traveling Trophy.

The first thing that makes Mr. Boutonnet's work stand-out is his ability to capture light within any environment with striking results either in black and white or vibrant color. Each composition also offers a multitude of layers, from the subject's emotional expression to the candid activity in the back- and foreground.

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2007 WPJA PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

2007 POY Ben Chrisman

Northern California, United States
Ben Chrisman

The WPJA is pleased to announce Ben Chrisman as it's 2007 Photographer of the Year. In addition to this distinguished title, Ben also received a $1,000 grand prize and his name has been permanently engraved on the WPJA Traveling Trophy.

Growing up, Ben was surrounded by creativity, his mother immensely artistic and his aunt a wedding photographer. He knew from an early age that he, too, wanted to pursue a career in the visual arts. So, when the opportunity presented itself to work as high school yearbook photographer, he grabbed it.

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2006 WPJA PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

2006 POY Carlo Carletti

Siena, Italy
Carlo Carletti

The WPJA is proud to honor Carlo Carletti as its 2006 Photographer of the Year. Along with this title, Carlo received a $1,000 grand prize. His name was also permanently engraved on the WPJA Traveling Trophy.

Carletti’s photojournalism career started in 1987, when he began freelance magazine and newspaper collaborations in Tuscany, Italy.

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2005 WPJA PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

2005 POY Huy Nguyen

Texas, United States
Huy Nguyen

The WPJA honored Huy Nguyen with its distinguished 2005 Photographer of the Year award. With this recognition, Huy received the $1,000 grand prize and his name was permanently engraved on the WPJA Traveling Trophy.

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2004 WPJA PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

2004 POY Gary Allen

North Carolina, United States
Gary Allen

The WPJA proudly honors Gary Allen as 2004 Photographer of the Year. Along with this title, Gary received a $1,000 grand prize and his name is engraved permanently on the WPJA Traveling Trophy. Gary’s principal pride, however, is the recognition this award represents within distinguished WPJA company and the message it sends from a notable panel of photojournalism judges.

The award represents excellence within his photojournalism profession. “Winning the award is that much sweeter,” he said.

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2003 WPJA PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

2003 Photographer of the Year

Nebraska, United States
Eric Francis

The WPJA is proud to honor Eric Francis as 2003 Photographer of the Year. Along with this title, Eric won the $1,000 grand prize and his name is engraved permanently on the WPJA Traveling Trophy.

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2002 WPJA PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

2002 Photographer of the Year - David Beckstead

Washington, United States
David Beckstead

David Beckstead earned the Wedding Photojournalist Association's first Photographer of the Year Award in 2002. What makes Beckstead unique are images that reflect an artistry that often requires the artist to test the edges of former photographic 'limits'. But the artistic leading edge of wedding photography is exactly where David Beckstead wants to be.

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