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elle + missa | same-sex sunset session at the beach (with a mattress!)

Let me start off by saying: sometimes you just meet freakin' amazing people. Elle and Missa are those type of people. And, I am so incredibly thankful that I met them on none-other-than Instagram.

I've been trying to set up a few photoshoots in Southern California since I'm new to the area and don't have much work in my portfolio from the SoCal region. I've also been dying to photograph an LGBTQ+ couple. You see, when you don't represent certain groups of people in your portfolio, why would someone within that group reach out to you to photograph them? That was my problem. And, I felt terrible about it. I didn't want people within the LGBTQ+ community to think that I wasn't an inclusive photographer ... but, I needed my work to show that I am an ally!

So, I reached out to Elle via Instagram and explained my situation to her. I was super transparent and just told her that I was hoping to make my portfolio/feed more inclusive. I told her that I hadn't photographed any non-heteronormative couples. I explained that diversity and inclusion are huge values of mine, and I definitely want to portray that. I then asked if her and her girlfriend would be open to being my models for a couple's photoshoot. She responded with, "Omg we would LOVE to! That sounds amazing!!"

I share all of this to say that if it is truly a value of yours, you CAN have a more inclusive portfolio/feed. Reach out to couples and be HONEST and TRANSPARENT with them. And, be completely understanding if they're not interested.

I am so thankful that Elle and Missa were down for my crazy idea of bringing an air mattress to White Point Beach for part of the shoot. It was such an incredible, memorable experience. These two have so much love and admiration for one another, and I felt it literally every second while I was photographing them.


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