Rangefinder Reveals the Coveted List and Full Online Gallery of 30 Rising Stars 2015!

By // October 21, 2015 // Posted in Featured Articles, Industry News, Photography, Wedding

It’s finally here! We’ve been dying to tell the world about our new list of 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography (and we’re sure our honorees have been, too), and we’re so happy the day has finally come. Trust us when we say that you will not forget the names below—these guys are giving it their all, and we expect even more amazing work from them in the future. Welcome to the Rf 30 alumni, Rising Stars of 2015!


Photo © Chellise Michael Photography

As we celebrate our fourth year of Rf’s 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography and congratulate this year’s honorees, we’d like to note some high points: we were struck by the drama, mood and atmosphere in many of the submissions, resulting in some positively evocative “epic wedding moments.” It’s also been refreshing to witness how many of last year’s honorees nominated their peers this year, and how many of this year’s headshots were taken by past 30 winners or nominees. It’s a tight-knit industry where everyone learns from and truly supports one another.

Rangefinder’s 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography 2015:

Amanda Marie Schwinghammer

Amber Gress

Caroline Petters

Chellise Michael and Mike Busse

Sansom Photography (Chris and Verity)

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)

Congratulations to all the winners! Follow Rf on Instagram to see more photos from the honorees—we’re dedicating one day in November to each Rising Star.

We also want to give an extra big THANK YOU to our sponsors, Richard Photo Lab and ShootProof. ShootProof created the stunning full online gallery of work from this year’s Rising Stars, so be sure to peruse all the wonderful imagery (use the code RANGEFINDER30 to receive 30 percent off your first year as a new signup). Make sure to get your hands on the November issue (or your eyes on the digital edition) when it debuts next week—though you may be able to get your hands on a copy at PhotoPlus Expo, happening now at the Javits Center in New York City.

If you’re in town, sit in on our 30 Rising Stars panel (Thursday, October 22, 4:30-6:30 p.m., Javits Center) for some amazing discussions on how to get nominated, what the judges are looking for, how to find your voice, sustain and grow your business, and much more. The panel will consist of Kristi Drago-Price (former BRIDES photo editor, founder of Editor’s Edge and general wedding photography industry expert), Erum Rizvi (wedding photographer and 30 Rising Star of 2014), Libby Peterson (Rf features editor and 30 Rising Stars judge), Jason Groupp (WPPI director and 30 Rising Stars judge) with moderator Jacqueline Tobin (Rf editor-in-chief and Rising Stars judge).

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Jacqueline Tobin

Jacqueline Tobin

Jacqueline Tobin is the Editor-in-Chief of Rangefinder magazine and the author of Wedding Photography Unveiled: Inspiration and Insight From 20 Top Photographers (Amphoto Books, 2009); and The Luminous Portrait (Amphoto Books, 2012). The second-generation native New Yorker cherishes her Sunday mornings hunkered down with The New York Times, fresh bagels and a great cup of coffee.

Previously from Jacqueline Tobin:


  1. So thrilled to see some friends on there–congrats to the winners! Also, it would be so lovely if the 30 Rising Stars panel was livecast or available for streaming later for WPPI members that aren’t in town? Please let me know if this is happening because I wouldn’t want to miss it! :)

    • It’s a great suggestion Sarah. I will ask Jason Groupp , WPPI Director, to consider it. Thanks!!

    • Yes I have. And I’ve written a book on wedding photography, taken an Elizabeth Messina wedding photography workshop and done countless reviews over the past 30 years. Why do you ask?

  2. Hi there,

    I just wondered if the photographers enter themselves to be considered for the shortlist or do you search yourselves for the winners? If the first, when is the rough entry date next year?

    Many thanks,


    • Hi Sam, thanks for your inquiry. photographers can’t nominate themselves but they can be nominated by other photographers, by the RF edit staff and by photo editors, bloggers and other industry types. Next year th eRangefinder 30 list will be in December so I think we will start inviting nominees to submit work in September (and so we will solicit nominations from the industry in the summer). Thanks!

  3. Looks like you’ve decided that in order to be a “rising star” you need to use film emulation filters to tone your images?…wow…what a great time in wedding photography we’re in…

  4. Great list. Although you could probably just whittle down the list to a handful as the photographers styles start to become indistinguishable.