Samuel Goh and Qay Put South East Asia on the Map as Rising Stars of Rangefinder Magazine

Photo by Samuel Goh of Samuel Goh Photography

We’ve always believed in the importance of #supportinglocal, and celebrating the amazing diversity and talent of our region, so we were positively thrilled to find out that Samuel Goh (Singapore) and Qay (Malaysia) were selected for Rangefinder’s 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography. Rangefinder is a prestigious international photography magazine, and to have not just one, but two representatives from our region is truly inspiring!

One of Samuel Goh’s photos was also nominated earlier this year for Junebug Weddings’ Best Engagement Photos of 2017. Check it out!

We’re so proud of your success, happy that Asian talent is being recognized, and excited to see what lies ahead!

Samuel Goh of Samuel Goh Photography

A word from Samuel Goh…
Most of my photography idols have at some point been featured in Rangefinder magazine. For any photographer, it is THE magazine to be in.

Going through the lists and galleries from the previous years though, my heart sank. All of the weddings were in the western hemisphere, with super cool venues and trendy wedding culture, not to mention jaw-droppingly beautiful places that we aren’t blessed to have in Singapore.

It’s wasn’t until the later part of 2016 that I fought within myself to let go of my notion of what beautiful was supposed to mean, and really tried hard to embrace what we have in this country. History, heritage, and architecture are things that we have, and it’s essential to give up the elusive notion of wedding photographs with mountains and deep forests, confetti in the woods and Icelandic waterfalls.

Our own wedding culture is slowly changing, and I’m proud to be a part of this movement. I’m not alone though – other photographers and vendors are also starting to embrace what we have, and I’m so proud of it. We don’t have to conform to what is trendy in the current wedding industry –  what we have is good, and I’m sure we can make it better.

Still, I never even dreamed that I would be in Rangefinder’s list, as it seemed simply unachievable.

One random day, I came across Marko Marinkovic’s set of images that he photographed for my previous client and it was so amazing. I reached out to compliment him and unknowingly, he nominated me for Rangefinder’s Top 30 Rising Stars for 2018. Without his nomination, this wouldn’t have been possible so I can’t be thankful enough.

Most importantly, I wouldn’t have done this without the clients who give me 110% of their trust to do whatever I want, knowing that it’s best for them – this is for all of you.


Qay of Weddings by Qay

A word from Qay…
To be honest, this is like a dream except this time the dream came true. There are no words that can encapsulate the magnitude of what this means to me and how humbled I truly am.

Becoming a Rising Star was something I had hoped to achieve next year, as it still seemed so far and beyond reach – yet I'm sharing the news this year. It feels like a reward for all the hard work I've put in and all the risks I took from the beginning.

How did I achieve it? Listening to my inner voice was the key, and ignoring negative vibes in the industry. Learning to accept criticism from others, as that is how I learned from my mistakes. Practice, practice, and practice – there is no shortcut to it. I had to believe in myself and my style of photography, even when people made jokes about me and my style.

Being an Asian and Malaysian photographer among the 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography is unbelievable. I'm not a well-known photographer here in Malaysia. I bring my own style, and it will take time for the Asian market to accept it. I feel great that I'm representing Malaysia and am the first Malaysian to be listed. This proves that we, Asian and Malaysian photographers can do it, and we’re on the same level as others photographers worldwide.

Rangefinder candidates are accepted only if they are selected or nominated by previous Rangefinder winners or a Rangefinder editor. I was nominated by one of the Rangefinder editors after they featured a photo from me as their Photo of the Day. They found my photo through Instagram.

It was quite a last minute nomination and I was left with about 2 weeks to select 30 images from different weddings to create a story.


Congratulations once again, Samuel and Qay – we couldn’t be prouder of you both!


More features from Samuel Goh
Gabriel and Sarah’s Wedding at the Museum of Contemporary Arts
Forever Love: A Styled Shoot at Coney Island Park With a Mature-Age Couple
The Robot and the Unicorn: Gabriel and Clara's Wedding at Lepark
A Photographer Shares Thoughts and Tips on How to Get Great Wedding Photos