As a straight, cisgender wedding photographer, capturing LGBTQ+ love stories has become a meaningful part of my journey. The experiences shared by these couples have not only enriched my portfolio but have also deepened my commitment to inclusivity. In this article, I’ll explore how I started photographing LGBTQ+ weddings, the challenges I’ve navigated, and the lessons I’ve learned along the way.
How It Began
My journey began with William and Shawn in 2017. A complimentary engagement shoot turned into a pivotal moment for my business. The images caught Equally Wed’s attention, leading to multiple articles and a lasting relationship. This experience set the stage for more LGBTQ+ couples to choose me as their photographer.
Addressing Tokenism and Fetishism: It’s crucial to avoid tokenism or fetishism when working with LGBTQ+ clients. Tokenism, making symbolic efforts for inclusion, and fetishism can be uncomfortable for couples. I reflect on this challenge and aim to present genuine representations of love.
Equally Wed Pro Certification: To enhance my understanding, I enrolled in Equally Wed Pro’s LGBTQ+ certified training course. It opened my eyes to nuances like the importance of using terms like ‘queer’ respectfully and understanding that not all trans individuals are open about their identity.
Tailoring Services for LGBTQ+ Couples
Understanding Unique Stories: Every couple is different, and LGBTQ+ weddings demand a personalized approach. I acknowledge the diversity within the LGBTQ+ community and tailor my services accordingly. The personal nature of marriage proposals and gender-neutral wedding party names are aspects I explore respectfully.
How I Support LGBTQ+ Couples
Listening and Learning: Key to supporting LGBTQ+ couples is active listening. I create a space for couples to share their stories naturally. Asking respectful questions about pronouns and being enthusiastic and supportive are essential elements of my approach.
In conclusion, my journey in photographing LGBTQ+ weddings is a continuous learning experience. I aim to contribute to a more inclusive wedding world by showcasing diverse love stories. As I move forward, I remain committed to treating every couple with respect, sensitivity, and a genuine celebration of their unique journey.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How did you start shooting LGBTQ+ weddings?
A: My journey began with William and Shawn in 2017, leading to Equally Wed’s recognition and subsequent LGBTQ+ bookings.
Q: How do you avoid tokenism or fetishism when working with LGBTQ+ clients?
A: I am mindful of avoiding tokenism and fetishism by presenting genuine representations of love and respecting the unique stories of each couple.
Q: What steps do you take to connect with trans people in couples?
A: I make intentional efforts to connect with trans-identifying couples, fostering relationships and understanding their stories with compassion and transparency.