Rangefinder magazine has announced its annual list of top wedding photography newcomers, now in its fourth year, highlighting the work of 30 photographers to watch. The list of more than 200 nominees was chosen by referrals from editors, wedding planners and past recipients. A judges panel including Rangefinder editor-in-chief Jacqueline Tobin selected the 30 photographers who make up the list. See some of their images here and check out Rangefinder's online gallery to see work from all of this year's honorees.

 Press release:

Rangefinder Magazine Announces 4th Annual
"30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography"

Honorees Selected from More than 200 Entries Worldwide Represent “Remarkable Talent and Inspiration for Photographers at All Levels of Experience and Expertise”

New York – November 6, 2015– Rangefinder magazine, the premier publication for wedding and portrait photographers, and the official publication of the annual Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) Conference + Expo, has announced the photographers selected for its 4th annual “30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography.” The honorees were selected from more than 200 portfolios worldwide, including submissions from Croatia, France, England, New Zealand, Scotland, Tahiti, and all over the U.S. An exhibition of images from this year’s 30 Rising Stars will be on display at the WPPI Conference + Expo in Las Vegas from March 3-10, 2016.

“The work submitted by this year’s nominees represented an incredible sense of creativity and uniqueness that reflects a fresh perspective on an age-old event by a new crop of image makers,” explains Jacqueline Tobin, editor-in-chief of Rangefinder and member of this year’s judges panel. “We were struck by the drama, mood and atmosphere in many of the submissions, resulting in some truly epic wedding moments. The work represented by the 30 honorees is remarkable and continues to provide inspiration to photographers at all levels in the industry.”

As 2014 Rising Star Erum Rizvi further explains the impact of the competition, “referrals, support and motivation is the key to staying relevant in this business. Learning from our peers and having a solid support network pushes us further as a community and as an industry.”

Each year, industry leaders including photo editors, wedding planners, bloggers, and past Rising Stars are asked to nominate photographers who have displayed exceptional quality and creativity in their work, and have been shooting professionally for five years or less. 

Nominees are invited to submit a portfolio of 30 images that represent key moments throughout the wedding day such as the ceremony, individual and group portraits, and reception, among other moments. Some of the elements nominators and judges look for in submissions include: real emotion from subjects, uniquely interesting composition and perspective, and a fearless sense of experimentation in their work. “For me, I look for images that take my breath away, have what I call a ‘gut-punch’ impact, and are fresh and timeless,” adds Tobin.

In addition to Tobin, judges for this year’s competition included Rangefinder’sfeatures editor Libby Peterson, art director Kelly O’Leary, WPPI director Jason Groupp, and custom media manager Moneer Masih-Tehrani. The panel dedicated three weeks to viewing, discussing and sometimes debating over more than 6,000 images. What struck the jury the most, aside from the entries themselves, was that one-third of entrants were shooting film to some extent in their work and approximately one-quarter of them had only been shooting professionally for 21Ž2 years or less.

“Being selected as part of ‘the 30’ gives a sense of validation and acceptance within the industry,” explains 2015 Rising Star Chris Sansom of Sansom Photography, which he operates along with his wife, Verity, in the U.K. “Being a part of this special group is the difference between seeing what we do as a job and seeing it as our passion that we are prepared to pour our heart and soul into. Verity and I are both honored and humbled with this recognition.”

During the WPPI conference, honorees, nominators and judges will all participate in a panel discussion to share their personal experiences, describe how they approach their work in a way that elevates them to an elite status, and what nominators were looking for when they submitted names to this year’s competition. The panel discussion will take place on Monday, March 7 from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. For more information, please visit the WPPI 2016 Seminar Schedule.

To view the work submitted by this year’s “30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography,” visit the online gallery created by 30 Rising Stars sponsor ShootProof.  The print exhibit on display during WPPI is produced by 30 Rising Stars sponsor Richard Photo Lab. 

To view the November digital edition of Rangefinder, please visit Rangefinderonline.com.

Rangefinder’s '30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photographers' for 2015 include:

Amanda Marie Schwinghammer
Amber Gress
Caroline Petters
Chellise Michael + Mike Busse
Chris and Verity Sansom
Danelle Bohane
Dark Roux (Jamie and Heather)
David Matthew Fiser
Forged in the North (Ryan and Heidi Browne)
Free the Bird (Jai Long)
Helene Havard
Hugh Whitaker
Jim Pollard
Joseph West
Joshua Mikhaiel
Katch Silva
The Kitcheners (Dylan and Joanna)
Kristen Marie Parker
Leah Huete
Lisa Jane
Meg Van Kampen
Oli Sansom
Petar Jurica
Samuel Docker
Shari + Mike
Storytellers & Co (Aga and Marcin)
Thierry Joubert
This Modern Love (Tim Millen)
Tomasz Wagner
The Twins (Kelly and Caroline)