Every year, Rangefinder Magazine announces their 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography, a list of the best 30 photographers from around the world to watch out for in the coming years. This is a highly coveted award for wedding photographers as it is extremely exclusive with this year’s list having 300 photographers nominated. All photographers nominated must have been in business professionally no more than five years. They also must be nominated by an highly respected industry profession or one of Rangefinder’s editors.
Oh man, where do I even start with this? Well, I can finally share the secret that I’ve been holding on to since July. I was nominated for Rangefinder’s 30 Rising Star of Wedding Photography 2019, however I did not make the final list. I remember getting an email notification from Rangefinder on my phone as I got back into my car with my Chipotle order on a random Wednesday in July. I was so confused because it was an invitation to submit a portfolio of 30 images for the competition. I kept thinking to myself, “No way, this must be a mistake. Why on Earth would they want me to submit for this? Don’t they know I’m a new wedding photography, I don’t even have 1000 followers on Instagram!”.
I shared the news with Lindsay and my parents before I realized how humbling this experience was. Going through this process and selecting a portfolio to submit gave me an opportunity to see how far I’ve come. 5 years ago, I didn’t even own a camera. 3 years ago, I assisted in my very first wedding. Just over a year ago, I quit my corporate job to pursue this creative passion that came out of nowhere. I find it still so surreal that I’m even writing this post. 2017’s 30 Rising Star was my first introduction the list and to many talented photographers that inspired me today like Ben Sowry, A Wild Escape, and KnowMe Fotographie. I had no idea wedding photography could look like pieces of art and was immediately going down a rabbit hole. I kept thinking about how crazy it would be to one day be on the list, not even for a minute thinking I would be nominated in my first year of eligibility.
Being as competitive and a perfectionist that I am, I could be extremely bummed that I didn’t make the final list, however I’m not. I’m excited and proud for being even considered for the list this year. This definitely has given me a confidence boost in my work and I’m stoked for what’s to come in the future. I am eternally grateful to all the photography colleagues and industry folks who I’ve learned from and helped me get my start. To all of my couples, thank you. Thank you for trusting me and for inviting me to photograph your lives. I am incredibly humbled for this experience and stoked to growing in my craft.
Huge congratulations to those who made this year’s list!
These are the photos that I submitted for my portfolio: