OHIO ELOPEMENT & PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER
Based in Cleveland, Ohio
Not only do I support the LGBTQ+ community, I am a member of it!
HEY THERE, I'M ART.
I truly love being a photographer because it allows me to share in people’s most cherished moments. I create a relaxed and creative experience for all my new friends.
I take pride in the fact my atmosphere makes people feel comfortable and celebrated!
Photography is an art to me and I love candid, creative, timeless, and toned down moodier colors.
Your proudly gay Cleveland photographer
How to Find Your Ohio, LGBTQ+ Friendly Photographer!
The first look:
Taking multiple resources into account when looking for your vendors, including their social media, and personal recommendations from fellow community members. Viewing their Websites, Socials, Portfolios, and Contracts can tell you a lot of information about your potential photographer.
You should also consider hiring someone who's part of the LGBTQ+ community themselves, as they're likely to have a greater understanding of what you're looking for on your big day. In a perfect world, finding an inclusive photographer would be completely stress-free. While it is what we strive for, it isn't always the case. Particularly when you have the added concern of finding vendors inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community.
Use social media to your advantage :
We all could get lost in images on Instagram and boards on Pinterest amid planning, but it's essential to know that they can be helpful tools, too. Hashtags are your friend. Utilize social media as much as possible, and search whatever hashtags represent you as a couple.
As you begin your search, it's important to remember that a photographer's social media following is just one tiny piece of the puzzle. We often get blinded by someone's social media following numbers, just like everyone else out there. Just because someone has a lot of followers, that doesn't mean they know how to work in every single setting or especially with LGBTQ+ individuals and couples.
Use Multiple Sources:
Whether you've been sorting through photographer directories or primarily using Instagram and Facebook, it's essential to get to know who they are both as a photographer and as a person. When you search for photographers, don't just look at one source. The most important thing is finding a photographer that you can connect with since he or she will be spending the whole day with you. It's essential to look past the initial, glamorous shots you see on their socials, also known as hero images.
Look at the details, emotions, and moments that they capture. Just because someone is on page one of Google or trending on Instagram, that doesn't mean they are automatically the best at what they do.
Sift through their Websites and Portfolios:
Many photographers promote themselves as inclusive, but it's essential to look through their websites and portfolios before asking questions. Are there visual representations of individuals/couples in the LGBTQ+ community? Is the language on their websites and socials inclusive?
There are plenty of photographers out there that are upfront with this information, so why send that awkward email asking if they will be comfortable working with you when they should be upfront and inviting?
Prioritize someone who has worked with other LGBTQ+ couples:
When it comes to photography, finding someone who has worked with other LGBTQ+ individuals is critical. There are differences in posing and interacting with friends and family that an experienced photographer will know about, especially when it comes to pronoun usage. Someone familiar with the LGBTQ+ community will have a diversity of experience that will avoid putting any of your loved ones in an uncomfortable position on your session day.
This includes being wary of photographers who say they haven't worked with LGBTQ+ individuals/couples but have always wanted to. You're not seeing us as a natural people. You're seeing us as an opportunity.
Consider someone who's part of the LGBTQ+ community:
We all have a coming-out story! An experience with feelings of 'otherness' that changed how we interact with each other and the rest of the world. There is always a feeling of safety being in a place where queerness is excepted, celebrated, and familiar. Having someone who understands that is a huge plus.
In addition to the collective understanding, it's also a great way to give back to the LGBTQ+ community.
Be transparent, but remember it's their job to make you feel comfortable:
If you have any specific concerns, you should feel more than comfortable enough to share them with your photographer. Matter of fact you should feel invited and welcomed to share them. You want as much transparency as possible. Your photographer should not be putting you inboxes.
Whether you're just beginning your photography quest or starting to get contacts in order, it's essential to make sure that you pick someone who's going to have your back first and foremost. There are plenty of photographers out there who go beyond inclusivity and are excited to celebrate you and your journey/love story with you.
Choosing an LGBTQ+ Friendly Photographer: Tips & Mistakes to Avoid
Choosing the right person to photograph your session is hard enough, but choosing an LGBTQ- photographer comes with added challenges. While most states have laws now protecting LGBTQ+ couples from discrimination, a few don't.
These tips below, especially the last one, will help you make sure you find your perfect photographer.
Talk it over with your partner and have a plan:
A crucial step to hiring a LGBTQ+ photographer is creating an atmosphere of ease by first talking it over with your partner. You will want to agree with your partner on certain expectations towards photography. Then, you`ll need to find a good middle ground between what you each envision.
For example, you want all candid shots, your partner wants traditional posed pictures. A solid middle ground would be a mixture of both styles. You agree to an amount of posed photos; your partner agrees to an amount of candid photos and everyone is happy.
Flat Out Ask Them If They Are LGBTQ+ Friendly
Just ask, "Are you genuinely okay with photographing individuals from the LGBTQ+ community?"
The last thing you want is photographer taking your session just because they`re afraid of a lawsuit, then only putting minimal effort into creating stunning memories for you. Hire someone who is supportive and wants to be a part of your session.
Finding reviews of your photographer should not be a full-time job!
Reviews, Reviews, and More Reviews
You read the reviews before buying a new car or choosing a restaurant for dinner, right? So, it makes sense to check them out before choosing your LGBTQ+-friendly photographer!
Checking reviews helps you understand your potential photographers pros and cons of hiring them and what to expect.
Questions to Ask Wedding Photographer
- Have you ever worked with an LGBTQ+ couple before?
- Do you consider yourself LGBTQ+-friendly?
- What's your photography style? (You'll already have an idea of this from their website, but see how they describe it—and if you like what they say.)
- Will I receive high-resolution watermark-free images of all of my wedding photos? (Hint: Make sure that's in the contract.)
- What's your turnaround time on photos? (Make sure that's in the contract. Some couples mistakenly believe they'll receive them right after the session, only waiting for a year.)
- Do you charge extra for travel? (Many photographers now include their travel expenses inside their packages for booking ease.)
- What is your plan B if any of your camera equipment does not work on the session day?
- Will I retain the printing rights to my wedding pictures and make sure that this has been mentioned in the contract, so there are no surprises at the end?
- What will be the cost of the entire package?
- Are there any additional charges?
- If there are any accommodation expenses, or will they be taken care of by you?
Once you get to know all the details mentioned above in regards to the photographer, it will then become a comfortable and smooth experience for you and your family. Apart from these details, make sure your photographer keeps in mind the religious restrictions, location, and other limitations, which will help the photographer capture special moments and document the ceremony through photographs.
The most incredible thing about photographing the LGBTQ+ Community is seeing the freedom these individuals possess to do things their way. Weddings can be highly emotional since many of the couples have been together for many years before finally gaining the right to legally marry. If you have been wanting to start working with LGBTQ+ individuals and couples, do it. You won't regret it. These individuals and couples are a blast to work with and are eager to educate answer questions and calm your uneasiness.
Have questions? Send me a message!
Fill out the form below to say Hi!
or email me directly at Artg@artgoansphotography.com
Are you more of a texter?
Great, me too. Text me at (330) 485-3184