Manifesting Photographer Podcast Show Notes

Navigating Identity and Inclusion in the Wedding Industry | Making Sure Your Business is Safe for the LGBTQ+ Community

February 6, 2024

breeannakay

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Manifesting Photographer Podcast Show Notes

In this deeply personal episode of the Manifesting Photographer Podcast, host Breeanna welcomes Kate, a skilled photographer with a story of courage, authenticity, and professional growth. As a queer business owner, she shares the challenges and triumphs that have defined her journey in the industry, particularly following her decision to come out publicly and integrate her true self into her business. From losing housing and clients to finding a community where she feels safe and acknowledged, Kate opens up about the cost of being authentically herself and the incredible support she has since received.

The modern wedding industry, has been ground for photographers enchanting soon-to-be-wed couples with images of their happiest day. Yet, as we move into an increasingly inclusive society, traditional norms are being reevaluated, and there’s a shift toward embracing all forms of love and identity. Kate, a photographer based in Germany, peels back the layers of embracing one’s authentic self in the professional realm and the power of inclusive photography.

Key Takeaways:

  • Authenticity and Business: Coming out as queer can have significant financial and social repercussions, but maintaining authenticity is invaluable for personal well-being and attracting clientele who are supportive and safe.
  • Inclusivity in Action: Wedding photographers can take practical steps to be more inclusive, such as revisiting language on websites, prompting non-heteronormative posing, and avoiding assumptions about gender and orientation.
  • The Power of Representation: Including queer love content in portfolios is essential not only for showing inclusivity but also for uplifting LGBTQ+ voices in the industry and offering representation that validates and attracts diverse clientele.

Authenticity in the Face of Adversity

A compelling journey towards authenticity, for many, comes with a substantial cost. For Katelyn Kristine, this was no metaphor. Upon coming out, she faced not just a staggering $40,000 blowback but also took a heavy toll in her personal relationships. From being kicked out of her living situation to seeing contracts terminated, Kate’s story is one of resilience. She remarks, “Being authentically you in your business is worth way more than any amount of bookings or followers.” Drawing upon her experience, Kate emphasizes that authenticity should never be the sacrificed to gain success in business.

In a society where the wedding industry is tightly woven with heteronormative traditions, pushing the envelope can lead to losses – but also significant gains. The clients who do book, Kate emphasizes, are those who not only support but cherish and respect her identity. This powerful stance plays a considerable role in shaping a client base that’s not only inclusive but also deeply affirming.

Practical Steps Towards Inclusion

Kate points out simple changes you can make to align business practices with inclusive values, such as using gender-neutral language like ‘partner one’ and ‘partner two’ in inquiry forms. Additionally, she reminds photographers to ask for pronouns and practice using them to foster a respectful and inclusive environment.

She advises photographers to guide couples with prompts that allow for natural interaction rather than enforcing traditional, heteronormative poses. By doing so, photographs mirror the authentic love stories without the constraints of societal norms, leading to a more truthful and diverse representation.

The impact of such inclusion is meaningful. It dismantles barriers; it educates the uninformed and makes the industry a welcoming space for all lovers. As photographers learn to capture the essence of each relationship without prejudice, the market will inherently shift toward a more inclusive portrayal of love.

The Resonance of Representation

Kate fiercely advocates for representation. She mentions the importance of sharing queer love content throughout the year, not just during Pride month, to normalize and celebrate these relationships. Such visibility in portfolios confirms a commitment to embracing all forms of love, not as a marketing strategy but as a genuine representation of one’s support.

Moreover, sharing and highlighting the work of LGBTQ+ creatives can help fight the negative reactions that many in the queer community face online.

Kate’s narrative is one of hope and transformation. The power in her story and practices stems from a place deeper than business—it is the quest for a world where every story can be told and every love celebrated.

Notable Quotes:

  • “Being authentically you in your business is worth way more than any amount of bookings or followers.” – Kate
  • “When I came out, I realized how not alone I am. There are so many beautiful gay, lesbian, queer creatives, photographers, couples that feel validated and who just received me with open arms.” – Kate
  • “I’ll always be really grateful for that.” – Kate on the acceptance she found after coming out.

Resources:

Listen to the full episode to delve deeper into Kate’s journey of integrating her identity with her professional life and learn more about fostering inclusivity in the creative industry.

About the Guest:

Kate, also known as Katelyn of Katelyn Kristine Photography, is a talented and passionate photographer with a history rooted in a small Christian college and an initial career as a high school English teacher, and later, a youth ministry director. She pivoted to photography during the COVID-19 pandemic when her traditional career paths closed down. Now flourishing in her craft, she specializes in wedding photography, embracing her journey as a queer photographer and business owner. Kate recently transitioned her business to Europe, adding to her expansive portfolio with photography experiences in Italy, Portugal, Amsterdam, and Luxembourg.

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