Bobbi was recently asked to give comments and background from her over 40 years as a member of not only the wedding industry community, but in the LGBTQ+ community. Of course it was an honor for her to do so. The resulting piece on the Wedding Pro Blog had to be shortened for editorial needs but it’s just so good I wanted to post it in it’s entirety!
I am sure like many wedding pros in the LGBTQ+ community, one of my proudest moments is that marriage equality happened during my lifetime and we can now legally get married, have a wedding and add that I DO chapter to our story.
When I entered the industry, 40 years ago, there were few women photographers, let alone any that were gay. Fast forward to 2021 and the photography community is predominantly women, but still very few that are secure in disclosing themselves as LGBTQ+.
Representation in general is very important for me
Representation in general is very important for me and even more so that we see inclusion and diversity in our industry, that we are showing ALL couples celebrating their wedding day. While there have been great strides in recognizing that inclusion and representation is needed, we as an industry still have work to be done to make sure all wedding pros are safe and accepted. We also need to know that we have allies and the support of our fellow wedding pros to help show LGBTQ+ couples that they are safe and accepted and wedding pros cannot wait to begin planning and working on their wedding.
Some of my proudest moments are when I am asked to speak on how to make your business more inclusive and taking on those questions that will help let LGBTQ+ couples know they can contact you and that you are excited to be a part of their day. While I do feel that getting to know more about the LGBTQ+ community and history does fall on our allies, I will always be open, honest and available to share my story and help wedding pros understand why there is still fear and concern when couples begin to research wedding pros for their wedding.
The more we share our stories then the more we all grow. My mission is to leave this industry better for others to not just find a seat at the table but to know they are welcome to sit and join anytime and have a voice in how our industry continues to evolve.
Maybe I am even more proud of seeing other LGBTQ+ photographers, planners and DJ’s etc., feel safer and more accepted to be able to be who they are and live their authentic life working and building a career they love because they have seen me be out and proud and sharing my story and living my truth. It has not been easy to have doors open when I knocked on them because of who I love, and as I mentioned we still have work to do, but we must continue to lead with kindness and be the change we want to see. When we look past our differences, we are all in this industry because we have a passion to celebrate the privilege of loving others and while it is cliché, Love really is Love and all love deserves to have creative professionals deliver extraordinary wedding memories.
Love really is Love
I’m equally proud that every time someone told me that I would never be hired as a lesbian wedding photographer, or that my “lifestyle choice” would never be accepted in professional associations (FYI it’s NOT a “lifestyle choice”)– I am still being hired. I am proud to be in an industry that knows there is still much to be done, but that together we can and will be on the right side of history.