The judges have made their decision: You are officially a 2022 Rangefinder 30 Rising Star of Wedding Photography! Congratulations!
A year ago (yes, that's right, I can't believe it has taken me a year to write this up and make a song and dance of it on my website), this email landed in my inbox, handing me a prestigious career-defining award and topping off a year that has probably left my ego over-inflated.
The whole thing is a super cloak in dagger experience! Every year, the editors of Rangefinder ask industry tastemakers—other editors, photographers, agents and consultants—to nominate wedding photographers from around the world for consideration.
Once you're nominated, you receive an email under the guise of secrecy (tell no one!) and have to submit your strongest 30 images to the Rangefinders Judging panel, choosing a selection of images that show off your style and carry a distinct voice of their own. They must also showcase a variety of moments throughout a wedding day, showing consistency throughout. Picking these images was one of the most reflective and challenging things I've ever curated a series of pictures for.
Once the judges have deliberated over the submissions, the 30 winners for the year are chosen and named Rangefinder Magazine's 30 Rising Stars. The New York-based magazine describes these 30 people as "A group of emerging photographers who've exhibited promising talent, artistic prowess, a unique voice and creative direction in wedding photography. Visionaries today are the educators and mentors of the future." I couldn't believe I had been named one of them for 2022.
Winners were told roughly a month before it was official news and strictly told to TELL NO ONE; keeping it a secret was no easy task! Especially as I was speaking at a conference (Nine Dots Gathering) full of other wedding photographers with plenty of drinks flowing, I walked around for three days, being entirely sure I'd say something by accident, spilling the beans and consequently having my star revoked. Luckily, my lips stayed shut, and giving my talk was distracting enough event to override my star-related excitement!
It's OFFICIAL! THE RiSING STAR ANNOUNCEMENT
When it was finally announced, it no longer felt like a concept; it was real; it was a real pinch-me moment in my career. Thank you to all of my couples, every single one of you past and future, for all your support. I've left a more in-depth thank you at the very end for anyone who wants to read that. For everyone else, I won't give you the whole Oscars experience because, make no mistake, this is basically the Oscars of wedding photography.
I cannot begin to describe the feeling of winning this competition, especially alongside some of my friends who also appeared on the list. Congratulations to Hollie Mateer and the duo that is Janina & Jawad. Getting the nomination is an honour in itself. I've poured years of work into starting and growing my business and even more of myself. The Rising Star award was so validating in many ways and made me feel like my personal style and tone of voice for photography had been recognised by the photography industry as something worth celebrating. Something which I am lucky my wonderful couples had seen all along.
Below are my final 30 images. Enjoy looking through them and I hope they inspire you.
Buckle in for a mini Oscars speech
Thank you to my family for their patience when I was at my absolute busiest and in a period of wildfire-style growth! To my original mentor, Helen Whitaker, who gave me a new lease on life when she showed me the joy of photographing weddings. My friend Gavin Power, thank you for helping me through a dark period and encouraging me to bring my creative side even more into my photography. To PKIR and This is Reportage for the community and the fantastic awards body that has pushed me creatively. To Nine Dots for their community and support, for putting faith in me as a photographer to share my story even before this was announced. Honestly, the lead-up to winning this was a wild few years of my life, and I'd really love to say a final thank you to my biggest supporter, my loving husband, who tirelessly creates a safe space to be creative and actively encourages me to dream every step of the way.