infographic stating rangefinders 30 rising stars of wedding photography

Are you ready to become the next big thing in wedding photography? Then listen up, because we've got the ultimate guide to breaking into the big leagues we're talking about the Rangefinder’s 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography list. It is a highly coveted honor by the magazine that recognizes the industry's top up-and-comers. In this post, we'll explore everything about Rangefinder’s 30 Rising Stars and share some insights and closely-guarded secrets to help you join the ranks of these elite photographers and make a name for yourself in this competitive wedding photography industry. Let's get you ready to shoot for the stars!

What Is Rangefinder’s 30 Rising Stars Of Wedding Photography?

infographic stating rangefinders 30 rising stars of wedding photography honors top wedding photographers who bring skill creativity and fresh perspectives to the industry

Every year, Rangefinder Magazine celebrates the most promising emerging wedding photographers by presenting them with the prestigious "30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography" award. As an esteemed monthly publication for wedding and portrait photographers, Rangefinder Magazine also serves as the official publication of WPPI.

The annual list recognizes the world's most promising wedding photographers who have been in the business for five years or less. The list is curated by the editors of Rangefinder Magazine, who meticulously review thousands of submissions from photographers around the globe before handpicking 30 individuals who showcase unique talent, fresh perspectives, and exceptional storytelling abilities. Getting featured is a perfect way to showcase your images and encourage ideal clients to learn more about you and your brand.

Suggested Read: The Keys To Submitting Your Wedding Photography To Magazines

Why Is The Magazine Award So Prestigious?

Being named one of Rangefinder top 30 wedding photographers is a game-changer for any wedding photographer. This accolade is a testament to their exceptional skills, creativity, and ability to capture the true essence of a couple's special day. 

The award-winning recognition not only validates one's talent but also opens doors to new opportunities, high-profile clients, and establishes a reputation as an industry leader. Additionally, you'll join an exclusive community of fellow Rangefinder’s Rising Stars, allowing you to network, collaborate, and learn from the best in the business.

Unveil The Secrets To Becoming One Of The 30 Rising Stars

infographic stating the judges look for wedding photographers who are versatile and have unique styles

Being a remarkable wedding photographer requires excelling in various genres of the medium, including still life and tabletop, photojournalism, fashion, landscape, portraiture, and more. When Rangefinder selects 30 incredibly talented Rising Stars from around the globe, the judges consider nominees who truly stand out, taking into account multiple factors. It's perfectly fine if a photographer specializes only in Indian weddings, only does black-and-white film weddings, or only shoots fashion-inspired weddings. Whether you are a niche shooter or run the gamut in wedding photography ideas, looks, and styles, the panel looks for work that leaves a lasting impression no matter how you create it.

Gian Carlo, a recent Rangefinder honoree, shared a "cheat sheet" mental checklist that judges, including himself, use when reviewing the Rangefinder’s 30 Rising Stars submissions:

1. Emotion

Aim to make viewers feel the wedding, not just see it. Focus on capturing genuine moments of love, joy, and even vulnerability. Plus, capture those subtle or overt emotions that resonate with the audience. By being attuned to the emotions around you and using your creative skills to convey them in your images, you can produce a powerful visual narrative that wins the judges’ hearts.

2. Consistency And Flow

Present a portfolio that showcases a cohesive body of work with a signature style across different weddings, like a cohesive portfolio highlighting your signature outdoor wedding photography styles. Include only the strongest images, and if narrowing them down is difficult, ask a fellow photographer for an objective opinion.

3. Editorial Quality

Think about which images, including those with golden hour photography inspiration, would look best in print. Attempt printing them out, organizing them in different sizes and scales, and evaluating how well they complement one another to create a visually appealing presentation.

infographic stating to stand out strive for timeless unforgettable photos that redefine modern wedding photography

4. Sense Of Humor

Incorporate a sense of humor into wedding photography by embracing quirkiness and wit, allowing the work to stand out as unique and original. While not every image needs to be humorous, capturing candid moments with a lighthearted touch can add a delightful dimension to the photos. Focus on genuine interactions, playful exchanges, and unexpected situations that showcase the couple's personality and the joyful atmosphere of the day and create images that feel authentic, fresh, and memorable, leaving a lasting impression on your couples and the judges.

5. It’s In The Details

Submitting stunning portraits of brides and grooms from multiple weddings isn't enough. Show a full range of the day, from getting ready to the ceremony, portraits, reception, and all the extraordinary details in between that make those moments even more special. 

Suggested Read: Going Against The Grain In Wedding Photography

6. Trends

While following trends is not necessary, incorporating them can be beneficial. However, it's important to make sure they stand out from the crowd. Being inspired by trends is encouraged, but adding a personal touch or creating new trends can catch the judges' attention. A great wedding photo combines artistry and technical skills, going beyond traditional photography. To make an impact, aim for timeless and unforgettable images that redefine modern wedding photography and capture the essence of the special day. 

During the judging process of last year's Rangefinder contest submissions, judges noticed some fascinating trends during last year's judging process. Photojournalistic and documentary-style weddings are becoming more popular than ever. Detail shots are now more artistic and innovative, leading to fewer clichéd shots (meaning fewer wedding dresses hanging from tree limbs a welcome change!). Dark and moody scenes are also in vogue, and cute children are present everywhere, taking on roles such as ring bearers, flower girls, and dancing queens. It was intriguing to see such a diverse range of entries, leaving us excited for what the future holds for wedding photographers.

Further Read: Becoming A Pro Wedding Photographer: Getting To The Top And Staying There

Participating in renowned photography contests like Rangefinder's 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography and having your work showcased is an excellent way of sharing your images with a broader audience, building profitable business relationships, and networking with industry experts. By implementing the tips mentioned above, you can develop photos that resonate with viewers on a deeper level, breathe new life into moments, and showcase your unique style and skills. Following these tips will improve your chances of making an impression on Rangefinder judges and securing a place on the coveted list. 

At ShootDotEdit, we offer tips to improve your photography skills and assist you by reducing your post-production workload through custom photo editing services. Check our pricing plans to see how we can help your wedding photography business.

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