Rangefinder magazine released their fifth annual 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography list. After following this curation for five years, I’d say that this could be the strongest group of photographers yet. It is on the verge of mind-blowing that one of the main criteria is that each entrant has been in business for under five years. Here is an image from Jacob Loafman, he’s been a professional photographer for one year:
It is always interesting to see this group, they always go on to define the industry in the coming years. That is, if they aren’t already. Many of the included photographers are already diversifying into running photography workshops, conferences, selling presets, or running popular social media groups.
A big change for this year, moments are back. Emotion packed images are eclipsing the past few years landscape dominated photographers. Here is a great example from Jess Hunter:
You can tell that the industry is quickly changing as people rush to differentiate themselves from the pack. The use of prisms, reflections, moody editing, and experimental compositions is evident across the board. It shows that the level of skill and talent has shot through the roof due to social media like Facebook and Instagram allowing photographers to be inspired in a way that wasn’t as available even three years ago. I think the next few years will be very interesting as people realize that what is experimental one day is an overdone trend online three weeks later. One trend that is still rolling strong, the Iceland wedding. Here is a stunning Iceland image from Lukas Piatek, the person who started Looks Like Film:
It feels like Iceland might be on the verge of played out, I know that crowds are quickly becoming an issue at all of the popular locations. I’m starting to wonder what the next destination hotspot will be. One thing that isn’t going to slow down, elopements and small weddings. These are becoming so popular that you have photographers that specialize almost entirely in them. Here is an image from Nicole Mason, a Portland based photographer that shoots many elopements:
I know I said there were fewer overt landscapes with tiny couples, but this image by Adonye Jaja is stunning:
Another absolute favorite from this set is Pablo Beglez. His portfolio knocked me back when I saw it. He’s pushing the limits of both composition, hipster sensibilities, and beautifully lit emotional moments. The first image was a dress shot. It was so gorgeously composed, but to kick it to the next level he had the bride hold the dress in a window, so you see her arm instead of reverting to the typical hanger in the window that every other photographer has done.
This batch of photographers should inspire for years to come. Definitely exciting times in the wedding photography industry. It will be great to look back on this group in a few years, they are without question the future.