December 1st, 2020 marks two very special occasions for me – I released my new website to you all who are here reading this, and I also made a special announcement. It all happened so fast, way too fast, and I am honestly feeling like I’m on an adrenaline kick from all the high fiving going on, from these 2 incredible feats.
Today I was named one of the Rangefinder Rising Stars of Wedding Photography in 2020 – a title I do not hold too lightly, as it’s one that surrounds me with amazingly talented wedding photographers from around the globe – talent that makes me have to pinch my arm and ask myself “am I really here?”
Why yes, yes I am really here.
While this award, or title, however you might call it, came as a mind blowing surprise to be first, nominated, and second actually winning amongst over 200 candidates considered, it is something that I have been working on for quite some time. No, I have not been working on this particular award, although I have been following the Rangefinder Rising Stars of Wedding Photography list for some time now, for the incredible list of inspiring photographers. I have actually just been working on myself. Since I have been young.
I always knew I wanted to be an artist, from the time I could start drawing stick figures. I never knew what kind – but I knew I wanted to use this creative medium to express my thoughts into the world. High school led me to photography, which became college, and through a non-specific path, I found my way to documenting weddings. I am here now, and so happy that I’ve found a love for taking a medium within an industry that was once known as very traditional and square (meaning, you had to take wedding photos a certain way or no one would hire you) – to the creative medium that I always knew it to be.
As an artist we create work for ourselves. When that art is recognized by people who want to hire us for it, it’s a huge accomplishment. When that art is recognized by peers, it feels encouraging. When that art is recognized by industry leaders like Rangefinder Magazine and placed into a category among so many other talented individuals, I can’t help but be grateful and humbled, and thankful that I stuck out the highs and lows while I tried to find my place in a very large and competitive artistic world.
The process to win this title was not an easy one. Once nominated, it’s not just about slapping together a portfolio and hoping your images will speak for themselves. Photography is not just about creating epic images that win awards. What takes you from being a good photographer to a great photographer is in the curation of a good portfolio – the storytelling – the blending of colors – and the consistency in your style. So in choosing my images to present to Rangefinder, it was not just about the images that made you stop, but also about the images that threaded together to tell the story of who I am as a photographer. Combined with a little deep soul digging to get some words out of me about my process and philosophies, I came up with my entry. And then I crossed my fingers and waited (not so) patiently.
Honestly, I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for my peers in the photography industry who support and raise each other up daily. There is a Community over Competition feeling that I am so grateful for and that has gotten me to where I am now. Having peers to look up to, while also being able to extend a hand to those just starting, is the best feeling ever.
After much stumbling, I know I have chosen the right path for me.
My success does not come alone – there are 29 other insanely talented individuals who I share this honor with this year (not to mention previous years’ lists). Congratulations to my fellow colleagues Adriana Rivera Miranda, Alina+Patrick, Andre Brown, Willow+Wolf, The Foxes, Camila Urrea, Chi Chi Ari Love, The Perfect Statement, Lilly Red, Kindred, Henri Tieu, Jessie Lyee, Josh Olson, Karin Lundin, Liam Warton, The Woods, Mel Ray, Yellow Bird Visuals, Vivid Symphony, Moesia Davis, Olivia+Dan, Romain Didier, Sacia Matthews, Sophie Lin Berard, Stanlo, Studio Fotografico Bacci, Styrmir+Heiðdís,Valeria Bross, Virgina+Evan. More image from this year’s selection of photographers can be found here.
Lastly, I have to thank the real stars: my clients – the people who so vulnerably opened up their hearts to me, in order for me to catch a glimpse of their life and capture it through my lens. Thank you for trusting in me to capture it.
I leave you with my winning portfolio selection that I submitted to Rangefinder.