Kentucky-based photographer Lacy Hilliard recently ran an ad for her business in a local magazine. Little did she know that one of the photos would trigger a reader so badly, that they had to call her and leave an angry voicemail. The photo shows a homosexual couple, and it got the caller so offended, that they called it “ungodly” and “disgusting,” telling the photographer to “rethink her values.”
After finding the perfect wedding videographer, Paula Fries and Katie Brown soon learned that they weren’t the perfect clients – because they are a same-sex couple. The husband and wife team of videographers refused to work with them in order to “stay true to their beliefs.” Fries and Brown spoke about it in the media, and also shared the email they got from the videographers.
I’m a middle aged, married, hetero, caucasian guy with two kids. I don’t get out much – so I was really intrigued when I booked a gig to photograph my first same sex wedding.
The wedding was a small ceremony under a beautiful old beech tree on the grounds of the Grand Victorian B&B at Reif Estates Winery in Niagara On The Lake. This is the kind of venue that all wedding photographers dream about – it’s hard to take a bad picture here (and to top it off every course of the meal was paired with a different wine).
In other words, I was really looking forward photographing my first same sex wedding – and it was fabulous (of course).
However, one thing that I didn’t realize until I was in the middle of photographing the grooms together was how many of my go-to wedding poses involve very distinct masculine and feminine gender roles.
If you’re a wedding photographer, sooner or later you will find yourself photographing a same sex wedding, so I thought I would take this opportunity to share a few of my thoughts on what I learned photographing a same sex couple.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states brought with it quite a stir in the photography community. One group was cheering in victory, calling for further legislation making it illegal for photographers and wedding vendors to refuse clients based on religious beliefs. Another group was crying out that their religious freedoms were now in jeopardy and their businesses could face extinction. And still others were indifferent. (We gotta have the indifferent ones…)
While a small minority seemed to have made their voices heard loud and clear, a recent poll conducted by Caddell Associates indicates that more than 80% of Americans still believe a photographer should have the right to decline a wedding based on religious beliefs.
For those just now crawling out from under a rock, the United States has been an open battleground since last week’s Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. The Right is attacking the left and saying our doom is upon us; the Left is rubbing it in the faces of the Right.
Ten years ago, Los Angeles photographer Ed Freeman took a photo symbolizing gay pride. The photo recreated the pose of the iconic Raising of the Flag on Iwo Jima taken by Joe Rosenthal during the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945, replacing embattled Marines with shirtless men and swapping the American flag for a rainbow flag.
After the Supreme Court decision, Freeman shared the image on his Facebook page, a move which sparked great controversy, including death threats.
With latest US events about LGBT marriage, I suspected there would be an impact on the photography business (after all, someone shoots all those weddings, strigat or LGBT) and Florida based Brentwood Photography were one of the firsts to take a hit as a photography business who supports gay marriage.
They bounced pretty well though if you ask me…