How to Hire a Wedding Photographer for Your Gay Wedding
[title maintitle=”” subtitle=”Tips on hiring the right photographer for you gay wedding”]
[dropcap letter=”P”]lanning a lesbian or gay wedding? Your choice of wedding photographer is even more important when you’re gay because their familiarity with same-sex weddings is crucial. This creative professional will be getting quite intimate with you and your partner: zooming in with a mega lens while you kiss, guiding you into romantic embraces for photo ops and then witnessing your love over and over as they edit all the images. You want them to feel comfortable around you just as much as they need to make you feel at ease.
Lesbian brides Robyn and Michelle kissed with ease in front of their gay-friendly wedding photographer, Erin Hoyt.
A symbiotic relationship between the couple and the photographer(s) enables everyone to breathe and just be who they are. If you’re not an actor, chances are you’ve not ever had your kissing formally photographed. If you’re comfortable with the photographer, that easy-breezy feeling translates into you looking your best in your engagement and wedding photos.
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Without exception, all of your vendors need to be wholly supportive of your relationship. This is especially essential with your photographers who are going to be all up in your romantic business. But more than just being supportive, it’s even better if they have experience working with LGBTQ+ couples in some capacity. Don’t be shy in asking if they have experience in this field if you don’t see any mention of it on their website or in their marketing materials.
Eric and Edgar’s wedding was captured by Brian Leahy Photography.
It’s a rough lesson to learn after you have hired someone who takes exceptional photos but is suddenly putting you and your partner into over-the-top heteronormative poses. Many of the world’s leading photographers are nervous doing their first same-sex wedding because of one simple fact: They’ve built their entire career on pigeon-holing their couples into gender-specific heterosexual ideals of what’s the “norm.”
Surely there’s one strong, strapping man who’s going to be shot to show off his commitment to protecting the fair, feminine princess bride, right? Not always though sometimes we see this in LGBTQ+ relationships and that’s perfect, too. It’s not OK for the photographers to do this disservice to LGBTQ+ couples though (and straight people too, for that matter). Gender equality translates to all facets of humans, and most people could experience fuller expressions of themselves if society would ease up on expecting people to fall into an either/or category of gender as well as the typically associated stereotypical expectations of gender.
Gloria and Maggie’s wedding celebrated their love as well as marriage equality. It was critical to have someone like Jessica Hill, a wedding photographer who believed in the validity of their commitment.
QUESTIONS TO ASK PHOTOGRAPHERS
- Have you ever worked with an LGBTQ+ couple before?
- Do you consider yourself gay-friendly?
- What’s your photography style?
- You’ll already have an idea of this from their website, but see how they describe it—and if you like what they say.
- What’s your plan if you are sick the day of my wedding?
- They should have a backup photographer who will come up.
- What’s your plan if your equipment fails on the day of my wedding?
- Will I receive high-resolution watermark-free images of all of my wedding photos?
- Hint: Make sure that’s in the contract.
- What’s your turnaround time on wedding photos?
- Make sure that’s in the contract. Some couples mistakenly believe they’ll receive them right after the wedding, only to be waiting for a year.
- Will I retain the rights to my photographs?
- Get that yes in writing.
- Do you charge extra for travel?
- Many photographers now include their travel expenses inside their packages for booking ease.
Kirsten Ott Palladino
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