This amazing photographer specialises in same-sex weddings
Emma from Shotgun Weddings spills the beans on our exciting #WinYourWeddingDay competition
We are super excited about our amazing Win Your Dream Wedding Day competition, in which you have the chance to nab a fairytale wedding day worth £15,000. We've teamed up with the lovely people at Shotgun Weddings to offer this incredible prize. We caught up with photographer Emma Joanne from Shotgun to find out more about the services they offer.
DIVA: Tell us about you and your company.
EMMA JOANNE: I am a professional weddings, portraits and events photographer and I specialise in same-sex weddings in the amazing gay capital of Europe, Brighton! I have been shooting weddings for over seven years and do my best to produce work that is fresh, exciting and forward-thinking, with the aim to represent my couples as they truly are, whilst blowing out the protocol and steadfast traditions that still reside in typical traditional weddings!
What sets you apart from competitors?
I believe my outlook and ethos on weddings and equality in general sets me apart from other photographers in a saturated photography market, who still follow certain trends in how they go about shooting weddings. I want to create images my clients are wowed by but that equally represent themselves, as unique lifelong partners taking this very special commitment together.
What’s your experience of working with same-sex couples?
I have been lucky enough to have worked with some truly amazing same-sex couples, who have great ideas of their own or just trust me to do my thing on the day. My aim at every wedding is to produce the most creative and true set of images for my couple, without compromising them as people in any way. I am encouraged by the notion that same-sex couples can literally re-write the rule book on weddings if they so wish, or stick with tradition if they choose to. I am also excited that as women, we can take steps to disregard the gender bias that is inherent in today's typical, traditional ceremony and that to me is an amazing, forward thinking prospect! We are literally changing history with every same sex wedding that takes place, so much so that one day, a same sex wedding will be perfectly normal in all circles and we won't be categorising people by their sexual preferences anymore. A wedding will just be a wedding of a couple in love!
Do you think the wedding industry generally is inclusive enough of same-sex couples?
I believe the wedding industry has been very slow on the up take and inclusion of same sex couples and they are still promoting the typical heterosexual marriage as the norm, without considering that perhaps not all couples feel the same. We still have a long way to go to see same-sex marriages celebrated by the industry as much as their straight counterparts, but I believe it is the same with any minority group. Things are always a struggle particularly with a deep rooted / gender biased industry such as weddings, but well worth the effort in the end! Besides, without a lot of effort from a lot of people, same-sex weddings would never have been legalised in the first place so we have that huge milestone to celebrate.
Tell us about your favourite wedding memory.
I have been privileged to capture so many weddings, which have provided me with a whole multitude of memories throughout the years, but they can be very emotional affairs. It would be very hard not to be moved by some of the moments that have taken place at the weddings I have captured. If I was to recall one of those beautiful moments, it was witnessing the father of one of my brides arriving at the wedding after refusing his invite, only to give his blessing which obviously made the couple's day! Another more crazy/spontaneous moment involved one whole bridal party gate crashing my couple's bridal suite (they were encouraged to do so by the couple themselves!) I ended up with the most brilliant images akin to a modern rendition of a Renaissance painting, with the party sprawled out in fashionable style, all over the four poster bed... hilarious!
What advice would you give to a couple planning their wedding?
Well in terms of photography, I would encourage any couple to find themselves a photographer whom they truly connect with, as the photographer is such an integral part of their day. There has been a lot of emphasis on skimping on the cost of wedding photography in recent years. This is mainly because the price for a photographer has come down hugely, largely because the industry is not regulated and everyone with a decent camera is a photographer, right? Wrong! It takes special skills to capture weddings, so much so that you have to know your camera inside out and move, not just at a fast pace, but ahead of the game to anticipate moments before they even take place. Along with that, a photographer has to be very experienced in all types of lighting and the use of creative flash, in order to consistently produce images that are exposed and framed correctly. These points are aside from having a creative eye and genuine rapport with your couple as a photographer, which for me has been the hardest but most rewarding thing of all to learn and, in my eyes, is not something that can be taught.
In reality, after all the vows have been said, the champagne drunk and the flowers have wilted, the ONLY thing left from your amazing day in physical format will be the images themselves, so it makes sense to find someone who is passionate and highly experienced (as well as creative) in the photographic field to produce what it is you dream of. It is through the photographer's eyes your wedding will be captured and it is important your photographer takes this aspect as a storyteller seriously and that you absolutely love the stories they have captured thus far!
Why have you decided to take part in this competition?
I decided to put this competition together, as quite frankly I see "Win Your Wedding" competitions and other prizes for heterosexual couples in the mainstream media all the time. I wanted to see same sex couples get excited about having the same opportunity by an industry that celebrates gay marriage. I knew that DIVA magazine would share my excitement and I am very honoured to be collaborating with them and some very special suppliers to make this amazing competition just what it is, a competition and an opportunity of a lifetime for one lucky couple!
What can the winner expect from you on their big day?
The winners of this wonderful competition can expect exactly the same service I offer to all my unique couples when they book with me. That is my own personal attention to their likes, dislikes, dreams and ideas, of how I can best contribute to capturing their day in its truest, most natural but altogether awesome form! That combined with a set of knockout images from their amazing wedding day, they can keep and reflect upon forever more. I am getting excited just thinking about the whole prospect and I really cannot wait to meet the lucky winners and start to help them conjure up the magic of their very special day!
Find out how to enter our Win Your Wedding Day competition by clicking here.
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