Industry News

Our 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography 2021 Are Here!

December 1, 2021

By RF Staff

The wait is over! We are thrilled to announce our 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography 2021. Our esteemed 30 honorees have been sworn to secrecy for the last month but finally, they can shout it from the rooftops and revel in the excitement of joining the 30 Rising Stars alumni. Extra special to us is that 2021 marks our tenth year running this competition, and each year the talent continues to get stronger and more diverse from all corners of the globe. This year, our 30 are based in such farflung places as Vietnam, Ireland, Malaysia, Finland and New Zealand, as well as local markets to the U.S.—Michigan, California, North Carolina, Arkansas and New York, among others.

In case you are not familiar, this prestigious list recognizes and honors wedding photographers who are creating an indelible mark on the industry and inspiring it to evolve aesthetically.

[Read: How to Become One of Rangefinder’s 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography]

Each year, the Rangefinder editors invite photo industry leaders—including other editors, photographers, wedding planners and vendors—to nominate wedding photographers from around the world for consideration. Age is not a factor, but qualified nominees must have been shooting weddings full-time for five years or less. Once a photographer gets nominated, they put together a submission of 30 images that wholly represent their signature as a wedding photographer. When the editorial and creative staff at Rangefinder judges these submissions, they look for compelling narratives, consistent technique, visual cohesion and diverse subject matter.

These emerging photographers show promise in taking the aesthetics of
wedding photography to new places. Visionaries today, they are the educators and mentors of the future. Our five judges are mesmerized by the process as we encounter unique perspectives and creative approaches that blow us away. 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. 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 less mask-wearing couples than what we saw in 2020.

But enough with our verbal descriptions! Gear up, dig in and prepare to get absorbed in the stunning imagery created by this year’s 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography:

Adrián Vilanova

Andrea Verenini

Arte Visual MF (Sebastian Bravo)

Bernadeta Kupiec

Cedar & Pines (Megan and Nate Kantor)

Charlotte Kiri Photography (Charlotte and Bruno)

Chonfan Bong

Emily Black

Emma and Rich

Eshant Raju Oguri

Fotomagoria (Magdalena Glowacka)

Gabrielle Desmarchais

Jennifer Boris

John Branch IV

Jon Gazzignato

Julie Blin

Kane CY

Maja Tsolo

Malorie Kerouac

Mariana Pierce

Martina Ruffini

Nina & Darek

Paulina Bichara

Phan Tien

Phylicia Willis

Pyry Kantonen

Remain in Light Photography (Mairéad McDaid)

Ryanne Hollies

Stori Photos (Kristi Boatright)

The Salty Shutter (Dane Tucker)