I have been waiting (what feels like) FOREVER for today. Back in July I received an email to tell me that I had been nominated for Rangefinder Magazine's annual '30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography'. I still get butterflies when I think about it. I read and re-read the email a few times and then just sat staring at it.
This is a really prestigious, worldwide (gulp) industry 'award' for want of a better word. Rangefinder describes it as "the best emerging talent in the industry today, nominated by industry insiders (blog and magazine editors, veteran photographers, vendor sponsors and RF editors) and judged by the Rangefinder editorial staff".
Photographers cannot nominate themselves. And I had no idea who had nominated me but I wanted to kiss them.
Some of the photographers who have graced this list in previous years are people I admire HUGELY... Fer Juaristi, Nordica, Nirav Patel, Emma Case, Logan Cole, Andria Lindquist, Marianne Taylor, Sean Flanigan (who I get to meet in Italy on a workshop in just a few weeks), Ed Peers and last but by no means least, the amazing Sassy from Assassynation. I have pored over the list for the last couple of years, ogling the work of these inspirational photographers from all over the world... to think I could be on it too was crazy and very humbling.
After many hours, hundreds of photographs and a lot of swapping and changing I sent off my requested 30 images and tried not to think about it (I failed).
Fast forward a month... email arrives....'We've Chosen!'. A MILLION things went through my head - many of them expletives. I wasn't expecting to hear until November... "Congratulations Claire! We at Rangefinder have chosen you as one of the 30 Rising Stars of 2014!'
I don't think I squealed, I didn't even cry (unusual for me)... I was just floored and sat there in disbelief. I told my husband, Dad and a few very close friends but I wasn't allowed to announce anything publicly until today and it's been killing me!
So yeah... I am on THAT list. One of 30 Rising Stars... in the WORLD. My mind is officially blown. All because I got back off my honeymoon with a renewed love for photography and decided to sell my wedding dress to fund my first 'proper' camera.
A BIG shout out to my amazing couples...past, present and future. Whether you're featured above/in the magazine or not, it's you who make what I do possible and so much more than just a job. Thank you.
I'm also thankful to Blair de Laubenfels, co-founder of JunebugWeddings.com, who nominated me (I later found out) and to the judges who chose my work from the 150 nominated. And to Andrea, Kate, Ade, Maria, Anna and Nicola for helping me to choose which images to submit. Without you I would still be deciding!
Seriously proud to be joined on the list by the very talented Alan, Andy and Hannah. To think Hannah and I had a mutual commiseration party all planned out involving Facebook chat and lots of gin. ;-) I'm so excited to see who else is on there with us.
UPDATED: You can view the full gallery here: http://rangefinder.shootproof.com/event/890104/view