Being an LGBTQ photographer, who tends to shoot majority LGBTQ subjects, it can sometimes feel like I'm existing in a bit of a vacuum; my work tends to differ vastly from a lot of other freelancers I see - not necessarily so much in style, but definitely in subject matter and approach. In the UK, the photography community is still dominated by cis-straight, middle aged white men, and this undoubtedly has an effect on the kind of work that is produced, shared and seen.
Now don't get me wrong - there are some amazingly skilled, hardworking and talented guys working in photography, whose images I would happily ogle all day long. But when an industry is made up of one demographic, the work produced tends to reflect that demographic, and can make the industry as a whole feel inaccessible to anyone from outside it - in this case, that includes me!
Finding amazing queer photographers online has always been a real source of joy for me. It reaffirms my belief that there is no one right way to do photography - and that as a wedding photographer I can market myself however and to whoever I like! It also means that I get to gush over tons of cool images of queer people being awesome!
So here are five other LGBTQ photographers who really inspire me, and whose work you should definitely check out!
I first came across Emily April Allen's work back during the covid-19 lockdown in 2020. Emily had started a lockdown project called Queers in Quarantine, which aimed to promote visibility and connection in Nashville's queer community throughout the pandemic. Since then, she's created other outstanding projects focused around the queer community, including the Nashville Bi-Diaries and Nashville Businesses who Stand with the Trans Community. Her work is a gorgeous celebration of queer identity, and I love her portraits for their vibrancy, outstanding use of natural environments, and the authenticity that always, always shines through.
Tarik Carroll is a New York/LA based, fashion photographer, body positive activist and visual artist. His portrait work is some of the most exciting I've ever seen, using colour in a way that feels almost pop art in style. Outside that, his portraits often promote self-love, body-positivity and empowerment; back in 2017 he founded The EveryMAN Project, with the aim of creating a visual conversation about what masculinity is and means. It is a truly fantastic photography project which challenges the notion of hyper-masculinity by photographing men from all different types of backgrounds.
Tia Nash is a non-binary wedding photographer based in New Orleans, and ohmygosh do they have it down. Not only does Tia create outstanding wedding images - working with both digital and film photography at weddings - but their instagram feed is a constant source of brilliant advice for anyone trying to work in the photography industry. I'm so inspired by their willingness to embrace their own niche, having created a unique style and approach to wedding photography - which, as they say themselves, can often just look really samey!
I was first introduced to DeLovie Kwagala through Pride Photo Award, and instantly found their portrait style incredibly affecting. DeLovie is a self-taught, non-binary queer photographer and social activist from Kampala, Uganda; their work explores belonging and identity amongst the Ugandan queer community. I have absolutely fallen in love with their project The Quingdom - In Transition - a gorgeous, at-times-moving-at-times-celebratory exploration of queer expression and identity.
Jen Avery is a wedding photographer based in Austin, Texas. Their work is colourful, exciting and full of life - their personality shines through in so many of their images! I first came across their work when I googled 'polyamory photographer', curious to see whether that was something that even existed. Jen is so far the only photographer I've come across who photographs throuples/triads at all - let alone in a manner that is non-judgemental and clearly full of respect.