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andrew heeley photography

Photography

Sheffield, UK

Nationwide, International

Andrew (he/him)

LGBTQ+ Owned Wedding Supplier
Woman owned wedding supplier
5+ years experience as a wedding supplier
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What do you offer?

I capture the unfiltered joy of your big day with a touch of Northern creativity. Think less posh poses, more epic candid shots that capture the real you - because who wants to be traditional anyway?


Why do you want to work with the LGBTQ+ community?

Working with the LGBTQ+ community isn't just a box I'm looking to tick or a trendy market I want to tap into. As a gay man born in the 80s, I grew up thinking that marriage was something that wasn't going to happen for me, and seeing civil partnerships arrive and progress to recognised marriages seemed like a huge step on a long journey. For my own (first) marriage, I struggled with finding LGBTQ+ friendly suppliers, particularly photographers who understood how to work with the resistance I felt being asked to be affectionate in public. But aside, from the obvious reason of being a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, I understand how the cookie-cutter approach to weddings just doesn't cut it for all of us. Our love stories, our struggles, our triumphs - they're anything but one-size-fits-most. So I want to bring my understanding of that and my friendly approach to working with and getting to know my couples to the community.


Allyship

In my photography business, I create a space where every love story, irrespective of who it involves, is celebrated with the same enthusiasm and respect. It's bout listening, understanding, and portraying each couple's unique journey through photos.


I actively engage with LGBTQ+ creators, hence discovering the Rebel Love Directory, on social media and contribute my perspective to discussions. Outside of my photography business, I'm an ally at one of the UK's largest higher education providers, working as part of their network to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ staff and students. This led me to participate in pride (not just attend) and drove me to challenge my understanding of trans issues, where, I hold my hands up, I feel I still have a lot to learn.


Early on in creating my business I actively sought out reviews of my website, forms, and language to do my best to remove hetero-normativeness (is that a word?) and embrace diversity. My forms, questionnaires, contracts and emails are gender neutral, and I actively ask for couples pronouns and use them.


Having minimal LGBTQ+ content in my portfolio a few years ago, I sought out styled shoots where diversity is championed (led by LGBTQ+ people) and worked with marketing expertise to improve my 'about me' section to bring out elements of me that I feel are important to the LGBTQ+ community. I've now got a few LGBTQ+ weddings under my belt and am weaving in real wedding content, showing representation, and building my blog to help create a sense of inclusion.


I've recently begun mentoring other photographers. This has led to me doing things like portfolio and website reviews, looking at workflows, or discussing the pros/cons of different portfolio building approaches. I bring my experience and allyship to those discussions, and actively work with the photography community to educate on how working with LGBTQ+ couples can sometimes mean an adjusted approach to photography.


I know that it's all too easy to drift back into the 'bride and groom' norm when creating blogs, social media content, and website updates, especially when the majority of my couples fit those boxes, but I try to challenge myself and review what I've written to ensure it's inclusive, and feel that I am open to constructive criticism on all my work.

don't forget to let me know that you found me on Rebel Love Directory!



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