Veteran photographer Thea Dodds and wedding innovator Kathryn Hamm, authors of the groundbreaking guide Capturing Love: The Art of Lesbian & Gay Wedding Photography (Authentic Weddings, $32.95), will celebrate this Valentine's Day with a new appreciation of what works-and what doesn't-when it comes to creating spectacular engagement and wedding portraits for gay and lesbian couples.
Together, the two authors, one a New Hampshire-based wedding photographer and the other a Virginia-based same-sex wedding expert and educator, spent countless hours last fall exploring the notion that the current mainstream wedding photography resources available to photographers are insufficient in a changing marketplace, which now includes increasing numbers of same-sex couples.
Their conversation and realization led to the consummation of their own publishing firm, Authentic Weddings, and their first book, Capturing Love, designed to help photographers understand how photographing same-sex couples can be different from heterosexual couples even though they now share the same legal marriage rights in nine states (MA, IA, CT, NH, VT, ME, MD, WA) and the District of Columbia.
"I photographed my first gay wedding almost 10 years ago," says Dodds. "And, it wasn't just the first gay wedding I'd worked; it was also the first gay wedding I'd ever attended! I had an absolutely amazing time, but during the course of the wedding and those that followed, I realized that photographing same-sex couples and photographing them well requires more than a "plug and play" approach from the standard wedding playbook."
"Simply put," Dodds says, "what works for a straight couple won't always work for a gay or lesbian couple. Weddings are changing, and photography education needs to change, too."
Featuring stunning example photographs from 38 of the top gay and lesbian wedding photographers, and showcasing 46 same-sex couples, Capturing Love debunks the myth that "same-sex couples are just like straight couples" and can be photographed the same way. Through these examples, through personal stories about the couples photographed, and through detailed commentary from the authors, the guide provides a compelling new look at how couples are changing in the 21st century, and how weddings are changing with them.
Select images from Capturing Love are available by request, if used with proper attribution.
"We are deeply grateful to the talented photographers and couples who have shared their inspired images of authentic love with us," says Hamm. "They have allowed us to indulge as deeply in the promise love and commitment as we might in our favorite box of chocolates on February 14, and we are excited to share our collaboration with the growing number of professionals, couples and loved ones interested in learning more about gay and lesbian weddings."