Engagement Session: Kelsey + Taylor
Engagement sessions are quickly becoming one of my absolute favorite things to photograph and you already know it’s time for another ADORABLE session. *swoons*
These engagement photos are eeeextra exciting though because Kelsey + Taylor hold a very special place in my heart. While Kelsey and I briefly went to high school together (I was a senior who graduated early when she was a freshman) we didn’t truly cross paths until last October. At that time, a local Kansas City area venue made these amazing people feel less than amazing about their wedding. I’ve told this story before, but I think it’s important to reiterate how imperative it is that every wedding vendor be inclusive, welcoming, and celebratory of the LGBTQ+ community. So because of that alone, I will share this story again.
In early October 2020 it came to light that a Kansas City area wedding venue was not so thrilled about a potential LGBTQ+ wedding inquiry.
We stand VERY firm in our belief that if a vendor is not welcoming, accepting, and celebratory of ALL love, in every form, then that vendor has absolutely no place in the wedding industry.
So, as it were, I was up at 4:30 in the morning and received a message from a friend/DJ notifying me of this venue’s discrimination. As a result, I made a few Instagram stories expressing my frustration about the discrimination and, well… I ended up in tears. Because of this, some incredibly kind people sent me coffee donations via Venmo. While the gesture was beyond kind, I worked at Starbucks then, and was already very well caffeinated! I decided I would donate the $15 that had been gifted to me, and I chose to donate it to The Trevor Project.
Instagram helped me tell the story, and I began talking about a number of issues/solutions regarding the LGBTQ+ community, discrimination, and so forth. I also made mention of my decision to donate the coffee funds and that if anyone else wanted to donate they could do so for the next 24 hours.
Y’all – the love, and kindness I received that day STILL overwhelms me. I am positively floored but what happened next. Over the course of 24 hours, I received HUNDREDS of messages expressing outrage, love, kindness, and support, we were also able to raise $1000 to donate to the Trevor Project to help our LGBTQ+ youth. One-thousands-dollars. I thought we would maybe get up to $200, maybe even $300. But $1000, that was never even a thought.
But it happened. It was real.
The Kansas City area (and way beyond that, too) stepped up and made it clear that they do not tolerate discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. That day reminded me how incredibly powerful love truly is.
We are so proud to be a part of this community.
We are so proud of the power behind this community.
We are so proud to be queer in this community.
These vendors are LGBTQ+ supporting powerhouses. They are allies who do the extra work, and go the extra mile. None of these people are only around to take your money, they also do the work to protect our community, and create a warm, welcoming, loving, and celebratory space for us. I’m proud to recommend these people, knowing that any one you choose, means you would be in good hands.
I didn’t just slap these down and hope for the best. All of these vendors have been vetted for inclusivity, representation, and ongoing work to be a great ally!
So there’s the story. It’s certainly a happy ending, but it never should have happened in the first place. The Lumen Studios is dedicated to LGBTQ+ Inclusivity, and education. I have created multiple resources on how to run a more inclusive business, and create a brand that makes everyone feel welcome. You can see those resources here:
Seriously, these two are just the most amazing couple. We had an absolute blast during their engagement session. We laughed and chatted the whole time. It genuinely felt like I was reconnecting with old friends. We explored all over downtown and grabbed all kinds of fun photos.
Plus – the old hair metal band t-shirts, I mean come on! So good.
I feel like you can genuinely see the joy and happiness these two radiate in their engagement photos. While I’m sad we don’t get to be a part of their wedding, I am so happy I was able to be there for this small part of their story. Because their story is a really, really good one.
I hope you loved this engagement session as much as we do!
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Photos of Tori + Chelsie by:
Caitlyn Cloud Photography |
Hannah Bee Photography |
Liz Erban Photography |
We The Romantics |
Tia Nash Photography |
Amber Garrett Photography |
Nina Sheffield Photography |
Hannah Rita Photography |
Jenni Chung Photography