21 July, 2021 Diversity & LGBTQ+ Representation
“Stay close to people who expose you to new things about yourself and the world. It’s helpful to have a variety of friends. If everyone is just like you, you will have a hard time understanding anyone different from you.”
Diversity & LGBTQ+ Representation ultimately saves lives. It is so refreshing to have variety, and that is something I will never take for granted. Most of you know I was raised in a very religious environment where most people in my life looked & presented in a similar fashion, and believed & voted the same with little to no room for differing opinions, discussion or straying from that way of thinking. I try to check myself daily to make sure I am actively making space in my world to truly listen to the stories of those whose experiences differ from my own while inviting others to join in on the process of learning with me and, more importantly, the unlearning.
Here are some photos that my team and I captured on one of the best days of my life. @StephGrantStudios was asked by Google to bring together people within our community, not just so the client could use the images and check off a box of sorts, but also listen, engage & feature their stories. I got to hand pick the individuals I thought would best connect during that production. I don’t take that lightly. I believe that when things flow organically, the images better reflect the emotion of that moment. We tried not to force interactions and instead my team listened and quietly documented the conversations.
I wish I could bottle up the feelings from that day… getting to watch strangers meeting for the first time. The sharing. The hugs. The tears. If we approach each conversation with a genuine interest in that person’s experience, open ourselves up to learning with the intention of being a better human… I believe our world will start to shift for the better.
Check out the full Diversity & LGBTQ+ Representation photoshoot with Google HERE
Check out the importance of LGBTQ+ Representation in the wedding industry HERE