Introducing the 2018 Adobe Rising Stars of Photography

If two people take photographs of the same thing, the resulting photographs will rarely look the same. And if those two people live halfway across the world from each other, their perspectives are likely to be even more distinct. It’s when people share their unique perspectives and ways of interpreting the world that our minds open and our horizons expand. And that’s what we aimed to do with this year’s Adobe Rising Stars of Photography.

After searching for photographers spanning different photographic styles, subjects, and purposes, we landed on this diverse lineup of individuals from across the globe. From an Indonesian high schooler, to an environmental conservationist in Los Angeles, this group of emerging photographers are the ones to watch. Dive in for a little insight into the different perspectives of each of our 10 Adobe Rising Stars, and follow along on the Lightroom Instagram for more of their work over the next few weeks.

Gabriella Achadinha – age 26, South Africa

Hailing from Cape Town, Gabriella Achadinha takes full advantage of the city’s lively art scene. With a background in film production and a love of cinema, Gabriella picked up analog photography on a whim after some of her friends had begun experimenting with it. What started as a hobby has evolved into a passion as Gabriella photographs everything from people she encounters in her travels, to local fashion and commercial shoots.

Sarah Blesener – age 26, USA

The daughter of an engineer and a teacher, Sarah Blesener grew up with no particular emphasis on art or photography. However, her family’s strong affinity for communication meant Sarah took naturally to visual storytelling. Her documentary photography centers around adolescence and coming-of-age stories in the face of political unrest across Russia, Eastern Europe, and the U.S. Sarah believes this young perspective complicates issues that can otherwise seem black and white. She strives to illuminate stories that are underrepresented or misrepresented, and to encourage an empathetic dialogue around the issues they raise.

Michael Theodric – age 16, Indonesia

Always learning, practicing, and improving, 16-year-old Michael Theodric photographs the streets around his home in Indonesia. His parents support and encourage their son’s eight-year-and-counting hobby as Michael spends most of his time (when not in school) taking photographs. He hopes to use his work to educate and enlighten, revealing pockets of Indonesian culture overlooked by outsiders.

Mette Lampcov – age 50, Denmark

With a background in painting, Mette Lampcov was always immersed in visual arts, but it wasn’t until six years ago that the Danish goldsmith and jeweler discovered documentary photography. Disappointed by the lack of goldsmithing schools in the U.S., Mette was on the verge of moving back to Europe, but photography compelled her to stay. The industry allowed her into a world she had never before seen. Photography gave her an outlet for profound engagement with humanity, in addition to the discovery of a new creative art form. In her current work, Mette focuses on climate change, addressing the issues that affect us most visibly: drought, flooding, and temperature. Through this lens, she photographs the landscape around the people it affects. As a result, she’s become obsessed with climate science and, although her views about the effects of her own work are modest, she hopes her photography can bring awareness and open people’s minds to the issues she’s tackling.

Eza Chung – age 27, USA

An interior designer by profession, Eza Chung found her introduction to photography five years ago when she began taking photographs of architecture and man-made spaces on her iPhone. She loves capturing the repetition and rhythm in architecture, and uses people in her shots to show scale and reference. Although Eza currently practices photography on the side, she wants to combine her passion with her profession. Her goal is to capture her own interior design projects, and tell the story of her own spaces as an interior stylist.

Irynka Hromotska – age 23, Ukraine

Born into an academic family, Irynka Hromotska grew up in an environment that encouraged learning. She took up photography at the age of 20, and learned to use her new DSLR from YouTube tutorials and interviews with photojournalists. A self-taught photographer, Irynka strays from formal portraiture, leaning towards street photography, through which she can capture images of women and children in their uncontrived surroundings. Irynka’s projects center around women’s rights, and she hopes to use her work to show how women live, their everyday struggles, as well as their happy moments.

Sunny Herzinger – age 30, Germany

During the week, Sunny Herzinger is an engineer. However, when he’s out of the office, he is likely on a mountain in Germany somewhere, taking photographs. Sunny has always loved hiking, traveling, being in nature, and, on his first trip to the U.S., he took a camera with him to capture memories from his travels. Since then, he has never left his camera behind. Being outdoors inspires him to take photographs of his surroundings, and photography inspires him to get outside. He hopes his photography has a similar effect on his viewers.

David Leøng – age 26, USA

For San Francisco native David Leøng, his love for photography grew out of his love for his home city. Throughout his life, David explored San Francisco on foot, and, as he did, he discovered new houses, flowers, vantage points, etc. After training his eye to spot things that he found interesting, he learned how to work with light, bought a camera, and started photographing his exploration. His work combines unique models with complimentary environments to create a story, but, for David, it’s not until after he’s taken a photo that the story comes to mind. In fact, David’s favorite photographs are the ones which drive people to draw their own conclusions and invent their own stories.

Mekdela Maskal – age 27, Ethiopia

Carrying on the family tradition of two generations before her, Mekdela Maskal photographs her experiences. Born to Ethiopian immigrant parents, much of Mekdela’s subject matter centers around stories of people and places that are untold or underrepresented. Her current work for Mama Hope’s campaign called Stop the Pity focuses on advocating for developing countries without the Western lens so often used by aid organizations. Mekdela strives to provide nuanced and joyous perspectives that tell individual people’s stories.

Grace Chen – age 28, USA

Food and travel photographer Grace Chen’s dream is to hike all around the world, capturing the best landscapes and meals along the way. Born and raised in San Francisco, Grace still calls the city her home, but has been traveling for the past two years, photographing her wanderings across the globe. With each shot, her goal is not only to show the beauty of her setting, but also to invoke a motivation to travel there.