The foundation of Carolina Rivera’s wedding photography is anchored in the emotions and feelings she wants viewers to walk away with. To achieve that goal, she uses “harsh” natural light very heavily, along with close-up points of view dominating her more intimate frames.

“My style is dramatic, moody, and with some cinematic undertones that create a bit of tension in the image,” Rivera explains. “I embrace grain, camera blur or even slightly out-of-focus moments to prioritize the feelings in the photo.”

As a strong believer that photography is about how you see things and not about the tools you use, RIvera keeps her setup pretty simple and rarely upgrades, though she is currently transitioning over from the Nikon D750 to the Nikon Z6. She uses all primes—35mm and 85mm being her favorite combo, as well as the 24mm and 50mm—”because I love to be up close and in people’s faces most of the time.”

Check out the official announcement of this year’s 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography, along with the editors’ observations on the list of 2020.