Charlotte Kiri Photography Wanaka

Rangefinder 30 Rising Stars 2021

Rangefinder 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography 2021

Wow. We can’t believe we are writing this blog. It feels like a dream. We have been named as one of the Rangefinder Top 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography.

A bit about the competition: Every year Rangefinder, the leading international wedding and portrait photography magazine curates a coveted list of the best 30 wedding photographers worldwide by strict invitation/nomination.

In their words, “a group of emerging photographers of the year who’ve exhibited promising talent, artistic prowess, a unique voice and creative direction in wedding photography. The industry’s latest trends can be found within their portfolios of work and serve as creative inspiration for other emerging photographers and seasoned professionals to think of new ideas for their work.” Rangefinder editors and judges look through hundreds of nominees to designate the honor to 30 photographers worldwide.

We are not sure how you get nominated it’s a bit of a mystical mystery like Harry Potter, or a unicorn, but even more magical. THANKYOU to who nominated us and believed in us. When the nomination email popped into my inbox we initially thought someone was playing a joke on us!

We spent weeks going through images following our nomination, looking back at all the weddings we have captured. We took everything into consideration from the color matching, to the story throughout our portfolio. It made us so nostalgic and humbling to look back on what we had captured in 4 years and all the clients who had trusted us to be part of our day.

There was so much doubt going through our images. “Would we be good enough?” “Are our photos too bright compared to past winners?” “Are we talented enough or worthy enough?’”.

November 6 ding I see the email from Rangefinder in my inbox…

 Hi Charlotte,

The judges have made their decision: 

Cue shaky hands… I can feel the sweat forming on my palms.

I can only see this much of the email on my iPhone ^^ and have to click into the email. I’m holding my breath at this point preparing myself for the pang of disappointment I’m about to feel.

“You are part of the Rangefinder 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography this year! Congratulations!!!”

I don’t know if any of you have seem the Kim Kardashian episode when she loses her giant 4+ carat diamond earring into the ocean in Bora Bora.

Yep I totally Kim K ugly cried and I’ve just got out of the shower so picture this… me just in my undies ugly crying reading this email. I quickly ring Bruno who is out with Audrey “WE WON WE WON HOLY SHIT we WON.” Bruno has no idea what I’m talking about what did we win???I don’t realise I’m on speaker phone and Audrey pipes up in her cute 7-year-old voice “Well mum I’m so glad you’ve won since you did swear, which is naughty but since you won I won’t make you put money in the swear jar today.”

I shoved on clothes and run into the spare room as my parents are visiting. WE WON WE WON…  “What we won lotto?” my dad says looking wide eyes as he’s spending his imaginary lotto winnings. “No, I won the photography comp it’s better than lotto!” My dad starts crying and my mum we are all crying like little babies hugging each other.

My parents have always believed in me. They bought my first film camera for me at high school. Funny story my school told me my art grades were not good enough to do 6th form photography. My parents had to go and meet with the principal to convince them to let me into course for 6th form. I remember it being a big deal at the time, because apparently if you can’t draw a still life flower pot with flowers in it well, then you will never make it as a photographer. Oh the irony… still can’t draw.

3 plus weeks of this huge secret on our hearts. It has been the longest wait of not telling anyone until today!

We would love to thank everyone who has helped and believed us from the start. First our families and all our photography friends and industry friends who have helped us. I want to name you all, but don’t want to forget anyone – you know who you are and we are beyond grateful. Thank you to Rangefinder and Libby Peterson and Jacqueline Tobin. Hopefully one day we will get to meet you both!

All our clients who have trusted us over the past 4-years. Especially those who have stuck by us during this pandemic and been understanding and kind in a really challenging time for us all. I promise we will smash your wedding pics out of the park when the time comes.

Bruno the other half of Charlotte Kiri –the amazing talented husband I have. Amazing videographer, second shooter, dad (the list is long he does it all). This business would not be where it’s without you and your support. You always are the best listener and caring human. I’m so glad to do life with you!

All the vendors we work with in Wanaka and Queenstown without you guys this award would not be ours.  Your beautiful venues, food, flowers, hair, makeup, helicopters and talent helps us create the epic images we do.

Last but not least – our love our muse Audrey. We would never be photographers without you coming into our lives. Your kindness and beautiful soul are everything we aspire to be. You make us the proudest parents in the world. Every moment of passion poured into this business is to give you the best future. We love you.

This award finally we’d like to dedicate to Bruno’s beautiful mother Nicole who passed away recently. We know she would have been really proud of us right now.

You can see our full Rangefinder honorees post here

                     Our full write up here


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