I met Karly and Dana during the photography workshop called “Changing the Lens”. This inclusivity workshop was not a regular photography workshop. It mainly focused on how to be intentionally inclusive – or just how to do it better—since we believe that equality matters.
I also asked Dana and Karly a few questions about how photographers, in their opinion, can become more inclusive with their craft and what photographers and everyone else still need to do to increase our LGBTQ awareness and tolerance.
I’m really happy that Dana and Karly found the time to answer my questions. They also provided great sources of knowledge that can help us to become better photographers and human beings.
Why did you decide to become a part of the “Changing the Lens” workshop?
Karly: Dana and I met and fell in love in Brantford. I navigated coming out in Brantford, and so hearing about the queerphobic business in the media really hurt. When Honey & Lux reached out about modelling for Changing the Lens, I was thrilled to be able to run through flowers hand in hand with my partner, and be celebrated for it.
Dana: After hearing about the really sad and frankly pretty pathetic actions of that wedding photographer out that way Karly and I felt like this was a good opportunity to really give folks insight to being queer while also breaking away from the heteronormativity that is usually involved in weddings and photography.
What do photographers still need to learn about LGBTQ community, in order to make their businesses more inclusive?
Karly: I think photographers need to listen to queer and trans folks who share what we need, because hetero and cis folks can never understand what it is like for us.
We often feel unsafe being romantic in public due to experiences of harassment.
We, as two bi women, are also are often hypersexualized and so being careful not to compliment us for being sexy while we kiss is important.
Dana: I think it’s all about listening to your models. Make it a conversation more than it is about staging. Most of the time folks are happier if you ask something respectfully rather than making an assumption about how they’d prefer to be portrayed in photo.
What do you think we, as a whole, still need to do to increase our LGBTQ awareness and tolerance?
Karly: Photographers, and everyone, have a lot of reading and listening to do to learn exactly what to do and not do. I recommend consuming queer content (social media, books, podcasts etc.) to be informed on what life is like for queer and trans folks. This also includes educating yourself on race, disability, gender, etc., because there are many forms of discrimination that queer and trans folks face, we are all unique and have many dimensions.
Dana: I think we need to break away from the idea that there’s an archetype for any relationship or any love. Once we’ve managed to do that i think we will all be surprised by how much more open and inclusive we can all be.
What wakes you up from the bed every day during the pandemic?
Karly: During the pandemic, the highlight of my week is doing a free food distribution program to university students through my work. I also am very excited for the growing season, I am a huge fan of plants of all kinds!
Dana: My plants and a good playlist are enough to get me up and at them during these trying times. Oh and a good London Fog.
Karly and Dana thank you so much for taking your time and sharing your experience and knowledge with me. It means a lot!
I believe that all love is equal! To me, photography is a way to narrate unique love stories that make this world a little bit better place to live.
If you want to learn more about about the LGBTQ community, I highly recommend the following sources:
“Take me with you”, Andrea Gibson
“Gender Outlaw”, Kate Bornstein
Follow me on Instagram for more images!
This beautiful session at Feeder Flower Farm, Ontario was photographed by Monika from Everglow Photography. Voted as Best Wedding Photographer in Toronto, Canada.
International Wedding Photographer for Adventurous Couples.