Let me start off with a little back ground here. To give a little perspective as to where I am coming from.
I grew up in a VERY and I mean VERY conservative home. I am the oldest of 8. Was homeschooled. Lived in the middle of nowhere. Could only wear dresses. If it wasn’t in the Bible it was of the devil. We spent (what seemed like) ever waking moment at our very outspoken and radical Pentecostal church. No TV. No movies. No music unless it was christian.
Exciting. I know.
I grew up with the idea and doctrine that marriage was between one man and one woman. Why? Because the bible said so. If anyone loved someone of the same sex- they were going to spend eternity burning in hell. Why? Because the bible said so. Like many people I believed what my parents did. They were my example, they knew best. And I’m by no means trying to knock Christianity here, I’m just explaining how I was raised.
Once I got older I began to question a LOT of things. I never understood why some invisible being could let a small child in our church die from cancer but was so very concerned about who someone loved. When I asked questions I was told “thats just the way it is”.
I started to rebel (shocker) and really look at what I had been taught my whole life. Why these people who were suppose to love everyone- hated this group of individuals so badly.
At 17 I found myself pregnant and ostracized from the church. Looked down upon because of a choice I made to do something that was reserved for marriage.
Then, and I remember it like yesterday, my aunt called me and said “I have to tell you something. I’m gay.”
I was like “Cool. I’m pregnant”.
Want to take bets who was more shocked?! Who the family still spoke to after those announcements?
From that moment on- I decided it was completely unnecessary to allow someone to tell you who you could and could not love. I saw first hand the hate your own family can show just for who you want to be with.
I have went out of my way to make sure any and all LGBTQ+ individuals I come into contact with feel safe, welcome and accepted. No one deserves to be treated badly for the way they were born.
It’s 2020 and it breaks my heart when almost weekly I see posts about people wanting to get married but because of their sexual orientation they were denied services. I mean, come on people!! Can we mature and move out of caves already!? Can we progress as a society enough to make everyone feel loved and welcome?!
If you identify with the LGBTQ+ community just know- I love you.
I want you to feel so comfortable in my presence and in front of my camera that you don’t have to “come out” to me as a potential client. I want you to just be like “I am getting married and this is my partner”. Let me know your preferred pro-nouns and I will try to the best of my ability to use them accordingly.
I don’t want you to sacrifice your authentic selves for the sake of keeping other people comfortable. Love all over one another- in public. ZERO explanation needed. And if someone feels the need to speak out against it? Guess what? I can be pretty intimidating when I am defending what I believe in. In the most respectful way, of course. 😉
I want you to be YOU. The BOTH of you! TOGETHER!
Don’t down play your personalities. Your affection. Your romance. Your relationship.
You deserve to be excited to be with the one you have searched for and love. You deserve to be celebrated, just as much as anyone else.
And let me tell you what- I AM HERE FOR IT!!
I am a safe place. You are accepted and loved and cherished and celebrated.
Having worked so closely with the LGBTQ+ community for years and having experience with weddings. I have both witnessed and heard some of the most heartbreaking stories.
I am fully aware of family dynamics and how they may be different on your day vs another wedding. I know that certain parts of the wedding day may be more sensitive for you than anyone else. And I will do my best to help navigate you through those moments.
From families who said they were coming and didn’t show. To parents refusing to even acknowledge your existence. To vendors refusing to deliver paid for goods once they found out “what kind of wedding it was”. I have been there for it. Seeing the ugliest of the ugly. And just know the tears you shed- I will be doing the same for you.
But, I have also witnessed some of the most beautiful moments. Ones where whole families without hesitation have showed up with nothing but support. Families who said they would not come- show up last second and embrace their child who was about to be wed. Dads who were there but didn’t want to be- decide to give a speech and ask his daughter and new daughter in-law for a dance at the last second. Grandpas shaking the hands of their new grandson in-law and smiling.
The world is changing. Some of it for the better. And I fully believe that marriage equality is one of those things!! I will be right there next to you, making sure it happens.
If you are looking for a photographer, I think I may know one 😉 shoot me a message- let’s talk!!