Matthew D'Agostino joins Love Life Images as our newest Associate Photographer available for 2014 weddings
Pleased to announce and welcome talented Matthew D'Agostino as our newest Associate Photographer. We know him as Dag, and he's been working with us a second photographer for about a year now. He came to us with a solid background as a documentary photographer, and we have enjoyed seeing his work through the weddings this past year. What is your background in photography?
I’ve been a photographer since 1996, where I worked in newspapers, the wire services including the AP and Reuters, and did freelance work abroad and in the States. My background is in newspaper reportage where capturing the moment is most important. A lot of how I approach photography is about being the best observer I can. I have a graduate degree in ethnography which helps me to observe people and pay attention to details that tell a larger story. For example, how people touch each other when they meet tells me a lot about their relationship.
How did you end up in the DC/MD/VA area?
I moved here with my life partner to take a job working as the White House Historical Association Photographer. The office is located in one of DC’s best wedding venues, the Decatur House and we sit right off Lafayette Park near the White House.
What do you love about photographing weddings?
It’s intense! You have to be completely on. It’s like training for a race - you have to be in top form, and you have to be ready for anything. It’s a discovery of moments. In the process of doing the photography, you find something about the story that you didn’t know going in. Maybe you have preconceived notions, but you have to pay attention and what comes out of that is unique.
What photographer has inspired you the most?
Sabastiao Salgado! When I first opened his book, that was the end of my day. Also Steven Rubin, a documentary photographer who volunteered alongside me to help teach inner city kids how to document their lives. His work is fantastic and it fits into a way of living that I admire. I have more of his photographs on my wall than of my own.
What is your dream job in photography?
If someone said to me, “Can you describe Italy to me?” And they would send me off for a month to photograph it, and I would come back with a book. I would love to be doing more intense long-term work that someone is going to pay me enough to do so I can make a living.
Why would someone hire you to document their wedding?
It’s the best money they will ever spend! I’m very good at making photographs and staying out of the way, allowing people to behave as they would normally behave without my interruption. I listen well. A lot of making people feel comfortable is allowing them the freedom of telling the story the way they want it to be heard. When you work as a newspaper photographer, you have to be able to handle anything, so I can make great photos in any kind of situation. I’m very determined. I’m not going to let weather, bad lighting, challenging personalities, or any other distraction get in the way of making great pictures. (He’s saying this to me on the phone while the White House motorcade is screaming by.) Nothing really phases me, and I’ve learned over the years to just go with it. Stay calm and just photograph it!
Want to know more about Dag? Check out his Day in the Life Slideshow: http://lovelifeimages.com/dayinthelifedag