2013 Artistic Guild Photographer of the Year - Daniele Vertelli

Daniele Vertelli, Italy

For some, a dream ends when they wake up. For Daniele Vertelli, the dream is so much more. It does not only entertain one’s sleep or consume daydreams. For Vertelli, it is what a career is built upon. 

Spanning decades and exotic destinations, earning recognition and amassing awards, Vertelli’s career grew out of his boyhood dream to become a professional photographer. Upon receiving a camera from his mother at the age of nine, Vertelli recalls, “I immediately realized that becoming a professional photographer was my dream.” 

This 2013 AG WPJA Photographer of the Year’s dream quickly turned into a journey—a physical incarnation of his dream. He began working at a photographic studio and moved from macro to landscape photography and then from architectural to fashion photography. All along the way, he has received many awards and gained notoriety. 

It was Emin Kuliyev, another WPJA POY, who gave Vertelli advice he cherishes. When asked how the awards have changed his life, Kuliyev said, “They have only changed the possibility of meeting people like me [Vertelli].” It is in this spirit that the wedding photojournalists have created a community of mutual learning and appreciation. It is a rich and rewarding group to be a part of. 

Of his work, Vertelli says, “I love to dive into emotions, from the most striking ones to the simpler, private ones that only an attentive eye sees.” His portfolio of work brings to life those moments that could have easily been lost in a crowd. From the comical and stunned expression of a bridesmaid whose bouquet has attracted a bee to a young flower girl reprimanded by the bride’s pointed finger, only a trained, attentive eye captures these images. 

Similar to the care that Vertelli takes in capturing that special moment, he applies great precision to his post-production work. As he sees it, “Photoshop allows me to better express myself. It is my signature style and I love to deliver to my customers a unique product, specifically for them.” His style is discreet, drawing the viewer’s attention to the intended target ever so carefully. It highlights the image in a way that further draws out the emotions in the subject and the moment. 

From the introduction of Photoshop, Vertelli took to it. In the beginning, he notes that he did ‘terrible things.’ Now when he looks back at his work, he is able to smile. He recalls, “I needed to unleash my creativity. Photoshop has been, and still is, the perfect means to do so.” 

Vertelli has more than realized his childhood dream of being a professional photographer. It is the dreamers, as Vertelli sees it, who change the world. His portfolio of work testifies that it is the dreamers who truly see the world in all its beauty, splendor and detail.


– Lauren Ragland / For the Wedding Photojournalist Association