Here, I celebrate and affirm your love no matter what your love looks like. I know the wedding industry was built on a foundation of whiteness, thinness, and cisheteronormativity.I stand to change that. Join me.
Your queer wedding photographer & posing coach.
When Kate and Danika told me about their disco cowboy theme, I knew I had to capture their wedding photography on film. Their Houston celebration was a dreamscape of vintage-inspired clothes, colorful florals, and lights reflecting in the mirror ball. I took the chance to use some experimental film that added to the 70s glam.
Kate and Danika weren’t strangers to the wedding world before their engagement. In fact, they met while working at a wedding. Kate was the DJ, and Danika was the florist. The couple wanted to party an extra hour, so Danika had to wait around for breakdown. She listened to Kate’s set while she waited. When Danika was cleaning up the flowers, Kate knew she had to go and talk to her. Danika didn’t want help, but she did form a crush. The two went on their first date a year later.
Given their experience in weddings, Kate and Danika have great taste and already knew some very cool vendors. It really was a huge compliment that they chose me to be their wedding photographer! Their invitation suite, screen printed by New Orleans artist Kiernan Dunn, set the tone for the whole wedding’s aesthetic. It was colorful and custom with a 70’s flare.
The florals of the invitation design tied seamlessly into the florals of the day. Danika really knows flowers. She worked with friends to put together a bouquet that was lush, vibrant, and a little wild. Like with the invitation suite, the feeling of the flowers comes through beautifully on film. They’re joyful and earthy at the same time.
I first learned photography the old-fashioned way with a film camera and a dark room. I’m very thankful that I did because I think it’s made me very intentional in my work. Doing so much of Kate and Danika’s wedding photography on film was a dream for me. I had to work quickly to get compositions right without breaking the flow of the day, and I thought strategically about settings in different lighting situations. Even though that can be tricky, it’s one of my favorite parts of film photography – letting go of not knowing whether an image is perfect until it’s developed.
Since Danika and Kate had so many artistic details, I used a tinted film stock for their wedding photography on film. Dubble Film uses different processes to create film with clouds of color swirling through. Film stock like this involves a bit of a learning curve. As a photographer, I’ve had to learn what light conditions are best suited for the way the colors affect an image.To be honest, it doesn’t necessarily fit the vibe of every wedding either. For Kate and Danika, though, it was just right. The florals and details look incredible with streaks of saturated greens, oranges, and pinks.
Of course, I love black and white and conventional color wedding photography on film too. Kate and Danika’s Houston wedding embraced Texas vibes. Just look at those bolo ties everywhere! The aesthetic translates so well to film. The Southwest and desert often do! (You can see cool film photography of the desert in my Joshua Tree elopement guide.)
Kate and Danika had mentioned to me that they didn’t have a lot of nice portraits together. We made sure to take some portraits of the two of them at the sculpture garden where they go on a lot of their dates. It was a nice way to get some quiet time while commemorating a place that matters to them.
For the ceremony, we headed to the school where Kate works. (Was your principal this cool? Mine wasn’t.) The simple setting and minimalist colors allowed the emotions to shine through on their wedding photography on film. It was a great example of a ceremony being very impactful without an arch and a bunch of decoration. That can all be great if it’s your thing, but love has lots of aesthetics.
When I asked Danika and Kate what was most important to them on their wedding day, they said, “That it feels like us and that our friends and family have fun. Lots of dancing and loving on each other. We don’t often have opportunities to gather all of our loved ones around us like this and we’re excited to share this with them all.”
I always prioritize what matters to my clients, and Kate and Danika love their community. I wanted their wedding photography on film to reflect that, so I made sure to get photos of their friends’ truly sweet reactions at the ceremony. These guests really embraced the disco cowboy theme of the wedding too! The fringe, boots, and hats were as effective as any decor could be in creating a cohesive look and fun atmosphere.
While the disco cowboy theme was visible at Kate and Danika’s ceremony, they leaned into it heavily at their reception at a Houston wine bar, Light Years Wine. The iridescent photo booth backdrop had a mirror ball and a tumbleweed. Somehow it felt campy and fun instead of corny. More vibrant flowers certainly helped!
Guests enjoyed dinner in the courtyard before heading inside for a dance party. The DJ made sure the dance floor stayed full. Kate and Danika told me they were excited for dancing pictures. Their guests made it easy to oblige! Some direct flash photos added a little variety to their wedding photography on film as it grew dark outside. The grainy black and white of Danika and Kate shows the limits of film without flash but also feels kind of perfect in its own way – an intimate moment of the two of them taking in the celebration happening around them.
Are you interested in having me capture your wedding photography on film? I’m excited to hear about your plans! Reach out to me, and let’s chat.