“Welcome to overrated”, Jonathan Canlas said to me when I told him I’d been picked for “the list”.
He really didn’t have to say it though, there’s no way I can live up to being on that list, but I’ve actually decided to put all that aside. Sure, there are plenty of deserving photographers out there, but holy moly, some of the best wedding photographers in the world (Jose Villa, Ben Chrisman, Cliff Mautner, Elizabeth Messina, Jeff Ascough among others) nominated 100+ photographers around the world and together with the editors of the largest photography magazine in the world they then went through everyone’s portfolios and picked their final ten.
And I made the final cut.
When I found out my first reaction was – of course – disbelief. The email looked just like any other email in my inbox, but the subject did stand out a little.
Subject: Congratulations from American Photo
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2011 19:17:12 -0400
From: Aimee Baldridge
I’m writing on behalf of American Photo magazine. First of all, I’d like to congratulate you for being nominated by your peers and selected by the editors to be featured as one of American Photo’s 2011 Top Ten Wedding Photographers.
I think I read it three times. And then I had a couple of hours of joy, told some people and had a celebratory bottle of Bollinger that night.
But then I started to freak out completely. I had a week of feeling embarrassed that I had been picked. Some of the other photographers on that list are wedding photography royalty, among them the biggest names in Australia. I shot a wedding and kept thinking to myself “what would a top ten photographer do here?” and I had brain meltdown after brain meltdown.
Over the last six weeks it’s grown on me and now I’m (pretty) cool with it. American Photo put me on their list and I’m very flattered and super happy about it, but at the end of the day I can only do what I do and hope people like it. If I look at that pedestal they’ve put me on, I will start behaving differently and we can’t have any of that.
But hey, top of the world, baby!
American Photo Top Ten Wedding Photographers in the World 2011
(In no particular order)
Nate & Jaclyn Kaiser – Image Is Found
Parker J Pfister
Camille & Chadwick Bensler – Jonetsu Studios
Jesse & Whitney Chamberlin – Our Labor of Love