Rangefinder’s 30 Rising Stars of 2016 Are Here!

December 1, 2016

By Laura Brauer

We’ve been waiting for this day for months and are ecstatic to finally be able to share the names of this year’s unbelievable talent that make up our 30 Rising Stars of 2016! We’re sure the 30 talented photographers listed below are relieved, too, as they’re finally able to unleash their designation upon the social media stratosphere after eight very long weeks. For our part, of all the competition judging we do every year, picking just 30 honorees from 200 unbelievable submissions is always the most difficult, but it’s always an honor to get to see all of the beautiful work that pours in from all around the globe, and the challenge is well worth it.

As we celebrate this year’s honorees and hallmark our fifth year of the competition, we’d also like to briefly highlight some key observations made during the judging process: photojournalistic and documentary-style weddings are back in fashion with photographers and clients; detail shots are becoming more artistic and innovative (meaning fewer dresses hanging from tree limbs and curtain rods, thank goodness); couples set against grand sweeping landscapes are still a thing, but more spontaneous moments (veil mishaps and hair in faces) and big expressions are getting traded for dark, moody scenes; and we’ve unofficially dubbed this the year of the child—ring bearers, flower girls, dancing kids, etc­. They were everywhere and we loved seeing them in all their dressed-up glory.

Photo © Rosey Red Photography

Photo © Rosey Red Photography

Now without further ado, an enormous congratulations to…

Adonye Jaja
Age: 34 | Resides: Denver, CO | Years in business: 4

Don + Helen
Ages: 31 (Don), 28 (Helen) | Reside: Canary Islands, Spain | Years in business: 2

Eclection Photography (Heather Shuker)
Age: 45 | Resides: London, England | Years in business: 3

Francesco Spighi
Age: 39 | Resides: Florence, Italy | Years in business: 1

Gian Carlo
Age: 44 | Resides: Orlando, FL | Years in business: 4

Hartman Outdoor Photography
Ages: 32 (Josh), 30 (Shelley) | Reside: In a traveling RV | Years in business: 3

Heather Liddell
Age: 29 | Resides: Hawkes Bay, New Zealand | Years in business: 2

The Hendrys
Ages: 32 (Darren), 29 (Sarah) | Reside: Forfar, Scotland | Years in business: 5

Igor Demba
Age: 29 | Resides: Peterborough, England | Years in business: 4

Jacob Loafman
Age: 32 | Resides: St. Louis, MO | Years in business: 1

Jean-Laurent Gaudy
Age: 37 | Resides: New York, NY | Years in business: 4

Jess Hunter
Age: 25 | Resides: Yakima, Washington | Years in business: 2

Joel & Justyna
Ages: 39 (Joel), 33 (Justyna) | Reside: Ottawa, Canada | Years in business: 2

Lato Photography
Ages: 32 (Tommy), 29 (Laura) | Reside: Modena, Italy | Years in business: 3

Laura Babb
Age: 36 | Resides: Bath, England | Years in business: 4

Lauren Scotti
Age: 28 | Resides: Orange County, CA | Years in business: 4

LOVE + WOLVES CO (Jacob Murphy)
Age: 31 | Resides: Brooklyn, NY/San Francisco, CA | Years in business: 5

Lucy Spartalis
Age: 32 | Resides: Melbourne, Australia | Years in business: 4

Lukas Piatek
Age: 30 | Resides: Bottrop, Germany | Years in business: 4

Marko Marinkovic
Age: 31 | Resides: Dubrovnik, Croatia | Years in business: 4

Nick Tucker
Age: 45 | Resides: London, England | Years in business: 5

Nicole Mason
Age: 23 | Resides: Portland, OR | Years in business: 3

Pablo Beglez
Age: 41 | Resides: Gran Canaria, Spain | Years in business: 4

Paulo Santos
Age: 40 | Resides: Northumberland, England | Years in business: 3

People TrueLove Tellers
Ages: 34 (Daniel), 32 (Gloria) | Reside: Miranda de Ebro, Spain | Years in business: 5

Rafal Bojar
Age: 32 | Resides: Warsaw, Poland | Years in business: 2

Rosey Red Photography (Ashley and Ben Kochanowski)
Ages: 29 | Reside: Columbus, OH | Years in business: 2

Sullivan & Sullivan Photography
Ages: 32 (Laura), 30 (Tim) | Reside: Seattle, WA/Chicago, IL | Years in business: 2

Tim Kelly and Nadine Ellen
Ages: 30 (Nadine), 29 (Tim) | Reside: Wellington, New Zealand | Years in business: 3.5

With Love & Embers (Ryan and Jillian McGrath)
Ages: 30 | Reside: Annville, PA | Years in business: 4


Follow Rf on Instagram @rfwppi to see more photos from the honorees—we’re dedicating a day in December to each Rising Star, during which they’ll share the stories behind their shots and tips to boot.

We also want to give an extra big THANK YOU to our sponsors, Richard Photo Lab and ShootProof. Check out the stunning ShootProof online gallery of all of the 30 Rising Stars’ submissions here. Thank you also to everyone who took the time to submit work (and congratulations again on getting nominated!), and a big shout-out to our awesome nominees! Check out who nominated photographers this year in our December issue.

Welcome to the Rf 30 family, 2016-ers!