The Most Important Piece of Advice for Planning Your LGBTQ Wedding

“I’m shooting my first same sex wedding. Any tips on how to pose the couple?”

I see this question fairly often in wedding photography forums. It’s an understandable concern for a person who has never been in the situation. You can’t use ‘poses’ the same way for LGBTQ couples. They can look awkward and like you’re forcing a straight look..

Recently, I saw a reply from a wedding photographer (who also happened to be gay) that made me think about how I work with LGBTQ couples.

I’ve been photographing LGBTQ weddings since the beginning of my wedding photography career. They weren’t technically ‘weddings’ back then. They were ‘commitment ceremonies‘, since they weren’t legally binding.

Union League Club same sex wedding by Casey Fatchett -

One of the first weddings I photographed was for two absolutely fabulous gentlemen who met at a highland dancing class. Their wedding party, and many of their guests, were decked out in full Edwardian regalia. It basically looked like the race track scene from My Fair Lady.

same sex wedding photographer

same sex wedding photographer

There was a highland dancing exhibition at the cocktail hour, poetry readings, and more highland dancing at the reception that everyone took part in. It was fantastic!

same sex wedding photographer As the years went by, and I began photographing more and more of these ceremonies.

same sex wedding photographer

I was struck by two things about these amazing couples.

The first thing that hit me was the level of uncertainty. Would they be able to get legally married some day? How would people react? And, most often, how would wedding vendors react to being asked to work a LGBTQ wedding?

It shouldn’t be surprising. These couples often have to deal with anger and hatred and rejection, but not when they’re dealing with me.

Every time I would read a wedding inquiry that said, “This is a same sex wedding, are you okay with that?” My heart would break a little bit.

Why? Because they felt they had to ask. They were unsure if the person they were contacting would deny them service.

I have many friends in the LGBTQ community. They’re wonderful, incredible, resilient, loving people.

new york city same sex wedding

And that’s the second thing that amazed me about these couples – the love.

Same sex wedding photographer

Not that it was different, or more powerful, or expressed in some incomprehensible to straight people way…as a matter of fact, love is love.

same sex wedding photographer

Advice for Photographers Shooting LGBTQ Weddings

That’s why my answer to that question about how to pose LGBTQ wedding couples is always the same – pose them like they’re in love. In fact, I don’t really have ‘pose’ them – or any couples – at all! I guide and offer little bits of direction and I give them topics to talk about, but I don’t say, “Stand here. Put your hands here. Look here.” That is the way to take the life out of a picture, in my opinion.

But if you get a couple’s true personalities to show, and they start to interact with one another like they would on any other day – all of that love is going to show in the pictures. Whatever their gender or sexual orientation, that’s what it is really all about, right? The love…

Rainy day same sex wedding by Casey Fatchett -

Advice for LGBTQ Couples Planning a Wedding

My advice to you is this – Find vendors who treat you like you’re a couple in love. Wedding vendors who immediately dispel that sense of uncertainty and embrace the joy of your wedding day.

And if you’re having trouble finding a photographer who is willing to do your wedding, or you feel uncomfortable in front of the camera – get in touch with me. I don’t care where you are, contact me and we will figure something out. You deserve great pictures.

self portrait

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