Rangefinder magazine is considered the top international publication for wedding and portrait photographers. Each year they announce their 30 rising stars of wedding photography in the world – photographers who’ve been working at the job for less than 5 years full time who are pushing boundaries, demonstrating excellence in the craft and raising standards. Earlier this year I got an email from Rangefinder letting me know that I had been shortlisted and inviting me to submit a portfolio for the judges’ consideration. I was taken aback – shocked but very excited. This would pretty much be the ultimate accolade were I to make the list, surpassing any other award or type of recognition I can think of. To cut to the chase: I didn’t make the final list. In truth I never really succeeded in convincing myself I was worthy of a place on what will certainly turn out to be a list of formidable talent but nevertheless when the email with the bad news hit my inbox last week I was pretty crushed to read it.
At first the idea of blogging about this never occurred to me. Like, why would I want to shout about a failure? But I spoke to two or three friends about it and it really helped to give me some perspective (thanks guys!) and realise that I was looking at this all wrong. I think it’s an inherently British thing to be humble and play down your achievements. What I have come to realise over the past few days is that rather than wallowing in disappointment I should actually be celebrating this as an immense achievement and a career landmark. There are 30 who will be announced on the final list and these will have been chosen from fewer than 250 who actually made the shortlist. 250 photographers, considered as amongst the most impressive emerging talents of 2016 in the world – in.the.world – and I’m one of them. Wow. On reflection I’ll take that and allow myself a sliver of pride.
Here are the portfolio images I submitted to the judges:
Rangefinder 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography 2016 – my portfolio submission