Inclusivity – what I stand for
It’s about time I re-introduce myself, as myself.
A decade ago when I started working as a photographer I was still in college. Trying to be accepted and respected enough to get recommended. I thought I had something to prove and joined groups to meet with other professionals.
It was there I learned that working at weddings is a dream…and also how fatphobic, heteronormative, and sexist the wedding industry in Puerto Rico can be.
I heard photographers discuss how ‘plus-size’ brides weren’t ‘good for advertising’. How they would prefer not to show images of tattooed/pierced couples in their portfolios because it wasn’t ‘elegant’.
I heard vendors discuss how they wanted to be ‘let known in advance’ that the couple was same-sex, so they could ‘prepare’. How they didn’t get ‘which one was the girl’ when it came to two gender non-conforming men getting engagement photos. When I spoke up to disagree with these comments, I ended up being excluded from activities and even banned from social groups.
I sat to have dinner at work as a wedding photographer, as a queer person of color listening to people comment about how the groom might really be ‘gay’ because he was being ’too feminine’…and other things I’d rather not mention. I was told I needed to ‘look more presentable’, put more make-up on and emulate other femmes in the industry. I was often told I was ’too serious about these things’ and ’needed to relax’.
I ‘toned myself down’ and hid my tattoos. I became quieter about things that mattered to me. I wanted to survive and do good enough work that would speak for itself.
At ~400 events photographed it’s time I focus on what I’ve always wanted in my life. Couples that want to work with me because they like my art and vendors who aren’t only looking to create ‘publishable’ weddings with ‘commercial couples’. Many of you already have been part of this journey and we’ve become great friends.
I am part of the LGBTQ+ community and my business is INCLUSIVE – I want to photograph ALL weddings
I know that yes, I will probably lose a lot of recommendations after this. That I’ll lose even more followers than the times I’ve shared LGBTQ couples. And that’s okay! I’m super happy for those of you who decide to stay.
Here, inclusivity and connection are at the core of the art we’ll create. Here, we are creating a safe space for all — myself included.