I have been named one of American Photo’s Top 10 World’s Best Wedding Photographers for 2013. Pinch me.

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“Awards don’t matter,” I tell myself. “I don’t do this job for awards.” And for the most part, I actually believe it. They’re handy signposts for my competitive spirit, but this is an industry where you are only as good as the photo you take next. After all, you will never hear a bride say “I hated my photos, but that’s OK because he’s taken really great photos for other people!”

But making the American Photo Top 10 list sweeps that aside for a moment in a rush of euphoria and amazement. Partially because this is The Big One, the list that everyone wants to be on, and which has been graced by unbelievably talented photographers who have inspired me from the beginning of my career to today. But mostly because this list is nominated by these incredible photographers. It still surprises and bewilders me that these people even know who I am, so to have them say “Yes, he belongs on a list of the best of the best,” is an honor too big for me to wrap my head around. Thank you.

It is also incredible to be named along with nine other photographers who are not only incredible, but who include personal friends such as Todd Hunter McGaw, or the man who made me laugh myself to tears this past week at the Foundation Workshop, Tyler Wirken.

But mostly thank you to my clients and their friends and families, for not only being amazing, but choosing to be amazing in front of my lens. You are awesome, and that’s what this shows. I’m just the guy that gets to document that.

But the competitive spirit in me must push me further. I can’t stop at the world. Wedding photographers of Mars, watch your back.

Jonas Peterson - It’s finally out :)

Congrats, buddy, well deserved.

Cole - Awesome. Well deserved indeed. I’m surprised it took so long haha…

Jason - Congrats Ryan, great news. Well deserved. :)

Kath Scott - Congratulations!!! I loved ‘I’m just the guy that gets to document that.’ Well done.

Sara Kelly Johns - I want a print copy of this issue! Please?

Sachin - Well done man!! Enjoy it !! Watch out Mars ;)

Craig Cacchioli - Well done Ryan. Congratulations. It’s a nice feeling to receive recognition from your peers. The only thing now is that you are going to have to let even more brides down because you can’t photograph their wedding – doh!

Dan O'Day - congratulation mate.. Ill buy you a celebratory beer in Vegas

Dale Lempa - Super cool! Congrats.

fer juaristi - dude, congrats brother! well deserved!

Priya Patel - Great news! Congrats, Ryan! Very well deserved.

newton - Osm, congrats.

Stevenson Martin - congrats!

Agnes Earthel - Congratulations, Ryan! You deserve nothing less :)

Rob - Well done dude!!!!

Mike Garrard - Amazing news, well done Ryan! What a week it was for you in the end!

Mariel Fontaine - Congratulations! I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more. Not because I know anything about wedding photography (other than drooling over your work on the internet and facebook)… but because in the one time I had the pleasure of meeting you (at a workshop in Dallas when I came up to visit Valerie) you were kind, welcoming, and encouraging in how open, straightforward and frank you were about every aspect of your work. Your genuine love for people and what you do shines, and that’s magnetic. It shows in your work- people are beautiful in front of your lens for a reason. Keep smiling. I’ve found that the smallest kindness toward another continues to humble everyone it reaches. And congratulations again, on such a big recognition!

PS- I might have to be the first lady to get married on Mars now.

Daniel Krieger - Great job Ryan that’s awesome… well deserved!

Mario - Awesome! Congrats and very nice pictures… jandmphotos

Monica Justesen Photography - Wow, that’s absolutely amazing, Ryan! And 110% well-deserved!

Congratulations!

Jeremy Bischoff - So deserved, thank you for remaining so humble!

rich - totally well deserved. congratulations!

Eric McDuffie - Congratulation, Ryan!

Johnny Arguedas - Fantastic, and well deserved. Congratulations!

Jeff Lee Movies.com - Congratulations, Ryan. I checked out your pictures on the Net and I loved them.

Josh Jones - Congrats! Very much deserved!!

Phil - very well deserved. Congratulations sir!!!!

Lane Greene - Honored to have been one of your clients. Twice! (That’s two weddings to the same lady, folks.)

Trond-Daniel Kastnes Kvalvik - Congrats! You deserve it man, your work is absolutely stunning and your a huge inspiration!

Tim Bishop - Very happy for you Ryan, well deserved – have been inspired by you for a long while, indeed watch out Mars! :)

Yechiel - Congratulations Ryan! you are an awesome inspiration source!

Leslie Isaac Kok - Congratulations Ryan! U deserved the title no doubt!

stefan - hochzeitsfotograf schweiz - congrats man, that is amazing!

Chris Anderson - Well deserved! Your work inspires me like almost no other. Wanted you to shoot my wedding last year but were already booked that weekend. Looking forward to seeing you speak at WPPI. Keep up the great work!

Becky - How awesome for you! Congratulations! I hope to someday be so honored as to make that cut. Again, so happy for you.

Brooke - Wow that is amazing, congratulations!!

june - Congratulations!! You are such an inspiration to us and we cant think of anyone that deserves it more.

blair delaubenfels - Very well deserved Ryan! We’re super excited to see your class at WPPI this year!

Irish Photographers - Nice and cool photos, one of the most beautiful and romantic weddings photos

Yaneck+Sasha - Chicago Wedding Photographers - big big big congrats!!! Absolutely well deserved and brought up with such modesty:)

Michael Costa - Epic!