“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Sep 1, 2017


The title of this blog is from a quote by Michael Jordan. The longer version is “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Currently we are in the “missing the game winning shot” part of this quote. 

A few months ago we received an email from Rangefinder that we were nominated for their Rangefinder top 30 Rising Stars. We were asked to submit 30 images that showcase who we are as photographers. Christa and I compiled images and then continued to review and edit and switch certain images out. This process was crazy. Trying to sum up who you are as photographers within 30 images is no easy task. However, we got to a point that we felt we were ready to hit the Submit button. We showed a few other photographers the collection and they gave their insight, but for the most part, we got great feedback and told the collection was strong and had a good chance of winning. 

We waited weeks for the results. Today was the day we would all be emailed and some of us photographers were messaging back and forth waiting for the results. I felt honored to be nominated but was ok with the idea of not winning, though it would be cool. 1:41 I hear the email alert and begin to read. My eyes were immediately drawn to the word unfortunately. That’s never an easy word to read but I can honestly say it did not shake me up. I love what I do but it does not define me. Before we are wedding photographer’s, Christa and I are sons and daughters of the Most High God, a husband and wife who love each other dearly with some arguing here and there, parents to baby Jonah who makes his appearance later this year, and lovers of our families, church and city. So though it would have been cool to win, we are ok with not winning as well. 

Rangefinder also offered for those who didn’t win to meet with their chief editor and discuss the reason for their decisions and what could be done for next year. Though I am VERY thankful for them offering their time to do that, I truly can not see myself doing that. I look at our collection and it is filled with emotion and real moments and that is what we have built our brand on. I do not want to risk switching what we do for a chance to gain recognition or win a contest. Our brand has been successful and has impacted our couples because of what we do and I could never sway from that. We may never win a contest but as long as our couples continue to fall in love with their galleries, we consider that success. 

We are looking forward to see who did win top 30 and we want to encourage those who did not to keep their heads up. I know a few of you who got the same email as we did, but want you to know how incredible and inspiring your work is to us. Once again, thank you Rangefinder for this awesome opportunity. 

-Phil and Christa Porto

Here are our 30 images that we submitted. 





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