2009 Artistic Guild Photographer of the Year - Marcin Labedzki

Marcin Labedzki, Poland

The WPJA is honoring a member of the Artistic Guild of the Wedding Photojournalist Association (AG|WPJA) with a Photographer of the Year (POY) award. Marcin Labedzki of Gdansk, Poland, has earned through contest points the title of AG|WPJA POY 2009. In addition to the title, Labedzki will receive a $1,000 cash prize and a trophy with his name engraved on it. Labedzki began photographing weddings in 2003 when the photojournalism style was in its infancy in Poland. Until then all Polish wedding photography was staged and posed, so Labedzki’s reporting style was fresh and exciting, winning him awards and a steady clientele that grew through word of mouth advertising.

Labedzki gets inspired by looking at the work of master photographers, including Helmut Newton and Richard Avedon, he says, and by reading fashion magazines. Although he never pursues couples during a wedding, “I’m also not the kind of photographer that hides in the corner. I like to be very close, so my favorite lenses are Canon 35mm f/1.4 and fisheye 16mm f/2.8. I always have the camera next to my eye so I observe everything through the lens because sometimes the most important moments can disappear just when you are about to lift the camera.”

– Lorna Gentry / For the Wedding Photojournalist Association