Rangefinder Reveals its 30 Rising Stars in Wedding Photography

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Rangefinder has announced the 2021 finalists of its annual “30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography” awards that celebrate creativity and vision in wedding photography.

First launched as a magazine in the early 1950s, Rangefinder is now a fully-online publication for all things photography and business, particularly weddings and portraits. Its name also is tightly associated with the annual Wedding and Portrait Photographer International (WPPI) show.

The publication’s annual “30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography” awards aim to showcase talented emerging photographers, and Rangefinder’s editors say they cull through the many nominations to select a list of photographers who they believe leave a significant mark on the industry and inspire it to evolve aesthetically.

This year marks Rangefinder’s tenth year running this competition and the 2021 winners are based all around the world: Vietnam, Ireland, Malaysia, Finland, New Zealand, and local markets to the United States, such as Michigan, California, New York, among others.

The long-awaited list of 30 winners has now been released and includes Adrián Vilanova from Spain, Chonfan Bang from Malaysia, Emily Black from the United Kingdom, Gabrielle Desmarchais from Canada, Pyri Kantonen from Finland, and other talents across the world. Some of their reactions to winning are captured in the video below.

During the year, the nominees can be submitted by other editors, photographers, wedding planners, and vendors. Age is not a factor but to qualify, the nominees must have been shooting weddings full-time for five years or less.

Once a photographer is nominated, they are invited to put together a submission of 30 images that wholly represent their signature style as a wedding photographer. During the judging process, Rangefinder staff looks for compelling narratives, consistent technique, visual cohesion, and diverse subject matter.

“This year, the competition grew to dizzying heights (literally!) as we encountered lots of intentional blur and abstract painterly looks, as well as some drone shots that were very architectural in nature,” Rangefinder says, summarizing what the judges noticed in this year’s submissions.

“We also took note that the dark and moody look is back as nominees really leaned into shooting with dark shadows and not-so-ideal weather conditions. Lastly, there were far more elopements and intimate weddings showcased this year, but far fewer mask-wearing couples than what we saw in 2020.”

The full list of all 2021 honorees can be found on Rangefinder’s website.

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