History Was Made, We Move Forward
After a very long battle, we won! Same-sex marriage became legal in New York State in 2011, but it was not until June 26, 2015 that “the Supreme Court ruled that it is legal for all Americans, no matter their gender or sexual orientation, to marry the people they love.” Fast-forward to 2020-21, same-sex marriage has become commonplace.
For the record, I feel a little uncomfortable referring to our marriages as “same-sex weddings” or “gay weddings.” The battle that our community has fought for so long is not so that we can have “special rights,” but so that we can be free to marry who we love — that we hold the same rights that most citizens in the U.S. have always enjoyed.
So, until recently, I’ve taken a somewhat political stance by not qualifying our unions any differently than “weddings.” However, given the relative newness of it all and the way in which people search for goods and services on the internet, I identify it as “gay wedding photography” here.
I photographed my first gay wedding in 2010 which saw Josie and Pankti get married on the beach in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Now, nearly half of my business is gay wedding photography. This experience has also contributed towards my willingness to think and talk about our weddings differently. While we now have the same rights everyone else has, when it comes to marriage, our ceremonies and celebrations often take a different form.
Why do I love photographing gay weddings?
In large part, it’s because many of my clients never imagined the possibility of a nationally legal marriage for themselves. While it’s commonplace in 2020-21, it’s still a historically new phenomenon. There’s an added layer to the celebration because — after having been in loving, committed relationships for 10, 15, 25 years, some having raised families in that time — they are now able to get married. These are truly remarkable events.
My approach to any wedding informs what you will ultimately see in my photographs — I listen to my clients, first. I want to know everything about your wedding and the two of you. How did you meet? What do you like about each other? How did you decide to get married? What are you families like? What are you wearing? Who is speaking? What are you most excited about and looking forward to about your wedding? What kind of pictures do you like? Where do you want me to photograph you? Are you comfortable in front of the camera? Do you need help knowing how to stand? Or do you prefer more candid portraits? Everyone has a different level of comfort in front of a camera and I want to know yours.
I love photographing people. It is my passion. People continually surprise me. You just never know what they will do from one moment to the next, which is why I love photographing weddings. For one or two days, people come together from different parts of the world, different families, different cultures, all with one thing in common: they are celebrating two people WHO they love. It’s a melting pot of love and connection. As the phenomenon of gay weddings just begins to unfold, there is often a remarkable intensity that I’m fortunate to be able to document.