Bookings for the wedding photo service company Sólo Amor will be available starting in June. The owner, a cisgender, heterosexual white male, is encouraging all LGBTQ couples to reach out. Ryan Gandee is a seasoned wedding photographer, hopes to cater to the LGBTQ community, and is especially supportive of same-sex couples who may have experienced trouble finding supportive staff to provide photographic services for their weddings.
“As a straight, white male, planning my wedding with my wife was full of the normal stressors; finding a venue we liked, food tasting, figuring out who to invite, fighting with family over the cost, the normal stuff,” Gandee recalls, “Never once though did we have to consider whether or not a vendor would provide their services to us, and that’s a form of privilege I didn’t even know I had.”
Many members of the LGBTQ community have spoken out for this exact need. In April, couple Clarissa and Teegan Templeton had their nuptials ruined by a homophobic videographer. This man, having previously signed a contract with the newlyweds, decided, during the ceremony, that he could not carry out his job due to religious beliefs.
Sólo Amor is meant to cater to the clients rather than the photographer. Gandee emphasizes that the Charlotte area caters to countless same-sex weddings without providing information on venues or vendors that are LGBTQ-friendly. His company was named Sólo Amor, meaning “Just Love,” as a tribute to the Love Is Love movement.
Acknowledging his own privilege, Gandee has also called other photographers into action. His website asks, “Rather than be yet another photographer operating within the walls of heteronormativity, why not break those walls down?”
Gandee has recently posted on social media that he is looking for couples to participate in a photoshoot for his portfolio. Building up the brand and catering to as many intersectional weddings as possible is Gandee’s goal. To participate in the photoshoot or learn more about Sólo Amor, go to bit.ly/33LFQ3W.
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