Born in Russia, Emin moved to New York City in 2001. Currently, he lives in The Bronx, NY. A self-taught photographer, Emin credits WPJA and the WPJA photographers for inspiring him to become a wedding photographer. He says, “WPJA helped me to create a vision and grow as a photographer. When I photograph a wedding, I am motivated to do it better, to be more creative.”
Emin, the only person to ever simultaneously win Photographer of the Year for both WPJA and AG|WPJA, is clearly a competitive force. However, he says he doesn’t try to win in any competition. “I started my own competition in my head,” he says. As such, he claims he is never nervous about results and credits the organization as a mentor through the many inspirational images he finds there.
Emin’s foundational philosophy about his work is that a photographer’s images are directly tied to their own personal experience. He attributes successful images as “luck, multiplied by your experience,” and, of course, your camera skills. “It the camera should be just an extension of your hand or eye.” He believes that pressing a shutter button will not create an exact replication of a moment. Rather, the ability to capture moments is shaped by one’s own individuality, and thus the creative process renders an image as a vicarious expression of self and subject. As he explains, “Merely holding a camera does not mean the gods will give you the shot. You must have something inside you. If so, it will be immediately visible within the photo.”
2008 - Photographer of the year in the AGWPJA.
2009 - Top 5 WPJA Photographer for 2009
2011 - Photographer of the Year in the WPJA.
2012 - WPJA POY First Runner Up
2014 - Photographer of the Year in the WPJA.
2014 - Photographer of the Year in the AGWPJA.
164 Awards for Documentary Wedding Photography
38 Diamond Awards for Engagement Portraits
206 Awards from the Artistic Guild of Wedding Photojournalists
22 TOP Wedding Photographer Titles
The WPJA proudly recognizes Emin Kuliyev as a TOP International Wedding Photographer. Members holding the most contest points at the end of each year are ranked as TOP Wedding Photographers or, in some cases POY - Photographer of the Year.
3 'At Work' Photos
The following photos are of Emin Kuliyev at work.
2 Client Letters
The following letters are from the clients of Emin Kuliyev.
Married: 4 years ago
Dear Emin, Thank you a million times over. You have such a unique perspective and heartwarming sense of humor—our wedding photos are unlike others we've ever seen. We so appreciate the care and thought you put into each image to give us such a special collection. Thank you, too, for going above and beyond (literally spending extra time) to makes sure you captured our complete story, and for being so reliable and responsive along the way. We would whole-heartedly recommend you, and wish you all the best.
Married: 8 years ago
Alexa & Gregory
Emin, we could not be happier with our wedding photos. You captured the joyful chaos of the day with an eye that is both playful and poetic. Thank you so very much for being a part of the day and a part of our lives. We wish you and your family all the very best!