Gay marriage celebrant and co-founder of The Equality Network, Bronte Price, offers us more advice on how to ensure that photographers with LGBTI weddings in the diary make their clients wedding run as successfully and smoothly as possible.
Tip 3: Post to social media, without approval, at your peril
Most wedding photographers are accustomed to shooting weddings and then, soon after, sending the couple some quick pics for them to share amongst their friends and post to social media. It’s almost a given that everyone will want to see these happy snaps of their big day.
But one of the most surprising trends I’m seeing amongst the LGBTI couples I’m marrying is that many of them remain highly private, even closeted.
Never assume that one or both parties in an LGBTI wedding are out and proud. They may not even identify as LGBTI. They may be out in some parts of their lives but not others. I have certainly had couples say to me that they were petrified that their work colleagues might find out about them getting married as they’d lose their job; or that they were very concerned that their church would somehow find out about their marriage and turn them away from the church.
The pink rule here is ASK. Never assume that everyone wants photos of them and their wedding splashed publicly on any social media platform. For some, it can literally devastate their lives. And, clearly, ignoring this advice can potentially destroy your business.
Tip 4: Sharpen those skills!
It’s fair to say that wedding photographers have traditionally relied on the differences between a bride and a groom to help them make the bride stand out. Usually, the bride is in white and the groom is in a darker shade. It can even get a little ho-hum from a wedding photographer’s point of view, shooting very similar subjects in relatively similar surroundings, wedding after wedding.
LGBTI weddings present photographers with some different challenges. There may be two brides. You will want to treat them equivocally. Neither one is more worthy of your photos than the other. There may be no light and shade that you’d typically expect from a white bride’s dress and a dark groom’s jacket, so your management of lighting will be imperative. Or there may be two grooms. Try to avoid treating one of them with a little less focus than the other, like you might do with a groom and a bride. And try to avoid giving one a little less attention than you might if you were photographing a father and son or a groom and his best man. They both deserve your attention. And, again, there might be less variance in light and shade in the attire they have chosen to wear.
Also, watch your banter when you’re photographing your LGBTI couples. Remember, some of these couples are not used to displaying their affection in public. They’ve been conditioned to that for their entire lives. So for you to perhaps suggest on their wedding day that they kiss and hug and hold hands because it will provide you with some fabulous photos, won’t endear you to them. And to keep prodding them for some family photos may just push buttons that you don’t even know about. It’s very possible that blood family members won’t be present at the wedding as they’re estranged from them – so don’t prod for something that is painful for them to be reminded of, let alone they want to disclose details of to you. If you persist, it will show them how little effort you have made to get to know them and how little you respect them.