I recently received an enquiry asking about my wedding photography services, all of it was perfectly normal until I read the P.S. line at the bottom. This seemingly wonderfully worded enquiry which lulled me into it ended on a rather strange note. I was asked to give my thoughts and opinions on “Same-Sex Marriage”.
Knowing the names and details given in the email, it was safe to assume that the couple were heterosexual which confused me even more. I mean, why would anyone care about my thoughts? Needless to say, I replied telling the couple I was available on their chosen date and that I treat and judge people on their actions alone.
The reply however enraged, confused and saddened me. I was told that because of my viewpoint they would turn down my offer of photographing their upcoming wedding. Now, let us make this clear, it was not the lack of work nor not “making the cut” that made me react the way I did, but it was the reason why the decision had been made.
Only because of a belief, which you are perfectly entitled to have, you denied my services. I mean, do you ask your car mechanic if he fixes “Gay Cars”? Or when you need a plumber, did you ask them if they install “Same-Sex Showers”? Would you turn away to seek other professionals if they said they previously worked for people in the LGBT+ community? I doubt it.
Now, having your opinion is perfectly acceptable. However, thankfully your opinion isn't the law as most of us have matured enough to understand that other people like different things. We also understand that the fact other people who do like different things it doesn't affect our lives in the grand scheme of things.
For example, I hate mushrooms, they actually make me really ill, but I'm hardly going to stop going to Tesco just because they also sell mushrooms alongside all of the other food I can eat! You might not drink alcohol, but I bet you do your weekly shop in a place that sells it?! The same applies here, why refuse a service which also caters for others? It's just madness.
Sadly for you, the current year is 2018, not 1918 and the world, in general, has a beautiful thing called growth, evolution and moving forward. Even in my lifetime (born in 1991), I have witnessed a change in the world, and in general, it is for the better. I actually remember being confused by the fact that only men and women could marry each other, but then again that's just the innocence of childhood, that cuts right through the taught bullshit of adults.
In December 2005 Parliament created civil partnerships, which gave same-sex couples who entered into them the same rights and responsibilities of marriage. However, the Government made clear that they were not marriages. Then, in July 2013, Parliament did something amazing which, was also way overdue, they legalised what you call “Same-Sex Marriage”.
It is, however, wrong to call it that, from the 29th of March 2014 onwards there has only ever been marriages inside England and Wales, regardless of sex. The same vows are said, the same book is signed, and the same smiles, laughs and looks are given as you all stumble on the word ‘Solemnly’.
This is why I don’t believe in “Same-Sex Weddings”, I simply believe in weddings, I believe in love, grace and compassion. I believe the famous words of 1 Corinthians 13:4–8, the recipe of love where we are told that:
“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Diversity is what makes us stronger and its also what makes us individual. As we all know love is a crazy little thing and I am happy that you and your partner are in love with each other. I am over the moon for the emotions you must be feeling as you plan your wedding day and as you start the journey of marriage. I am however disheartened that you wish to deny the same freedom to others who feel the same as you do. Simply because of who they feel those feelings for.
I will never alter my stance on who I photograph. I photograph people in love. It is actually that simple. It is also where my agenda starts and ends. Nothing more nothing less. I adore photography and I am so blessed to do this as my full-time job it is actually unreal!
I photograph that small smirk that sets off belly laughs in the ceremony. I photograph that longing look. I photograph the couple who dedicate their lives to better each other. I photograph couples who adore each other. I photograph couples who are down to earth. I photograph people who believe in the best of people. I photograph the stories these couples have to tell, and I help them. Each look, each kiss, each hand being held during the speeches. Each tear that falls, as emotions bubble over. I photograph it all. I document a lifetime of emotions in one day.
I see it all, and do you know what? I photograph all of those same things regardless of gender. Why?
Because emotions are a human thing. Not a sexual thing.
P.S. Be careful out there I hear “Gay” Is contagious.
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