lgbtq

Jordyn + Ziggy-- An adventure-filled Colorado LGBTQ engagement session

I’m counting down the days until I meet these two in North Carolina for their wedding, which I know is going to be absolutely stunning! This engagement session feels like a lifetime ago but it was so wonderful to fly into Colorado and meet these two as strangers, but then leave as friends! We drove into the beautiful wilderness of Colorado, spent the night out at a ski resort, and celebrated Ziggy’s birthday in the morning! It was such a fun trip and I can’t wait to travel again with these two and all their friends and family in just a few weeks! See you there lovebirds!

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Flowers for All--Intimate, Gender Fluid Portraits with homegrown blooms

 
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I moved to Portland in the dead of winter with zero photographer or artists community. Amidst learning how to function in snow and cold weather I felt stuck and lost creatively (as I always do at that time of year), and felt intimidated to have to start over here, to build an entirely new client base, and to also find my work “people”. And I don’t just mean trying to find vendor connections, but the desire to find other creative folks that were either also Queer or at the very minimum, badass allys. Making friends as an adult is hard. It feels like dating almost. It’s scary and vulnerable and breaking into a social scene can feel impossible at times. A friend of my partner’s connected me with Arielle of Small Yard Flowers, and I was immediately blown away by her kindness and generosity. She told me about a flower-filled, gender-fluid, spring shoot that she was envisioning and asked me if I would be interested in being a part of it. Talk about a dream! She already had 2 other photographers on board and we all met to talk about the shoot and ways to make it a creative push for all of us.

I’m so grateful to have worked alongside Micky Bones Photography, Marissa Solini Photography and to let myself unfold creatively in a way I haven’t let myself do in a while. I played with film and digital, and experimented with shooting dark and moody and also bright and colorful. Studio work is not my comfort zone, so it was inspiring to push myself and create images that I’m so very proud of.

A huge thanks to all the models involved, to Ringed Portland for providing such beautiful jewelry, and of course, to Small Yard Flowers for not only growing all the stunning flowers, but for providing the space and the vision for me to express myself and photograph in a way that I want to do so much more of.

I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

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Studio XIII Stripped Session-Jace

Jace is a queer chef living in Long Beach and this session celebrated his newly healed chest after top surgery last winter. I first met Jace when he hired me to do a surprise engagement and proposal shoot for his partner, and I instantly fell in love with his kind heart. I’m so glad to see him representing and advocating for more QTPOC visibility in the media, which is something that is so needed. Jace, thank you for sharing yourself with me, for opening your home (and your heart) with me, and for your strength and vulnerability. I am so grateful for you.

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Studio XIII Stripped sessions are intimate portraiture sessions designed for LGBTQ folks and allies. For more info or to schedule yours, read this blog post.

Molly + Noelle Love Story (engagement) Session

We spent the late afternoon and early evening, climbing down the cliffs of Malibu and reveling in the gorgeous coastline until sunset. I’m so excited to photograph their wedding in September, Molly and Noelle I just adore you!

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Studio XIII Stripped---Intimate portraiture for LGBTQ folx

I’ve been asked a few times if I do “Boudoir Photography” and my immediate response is somewhere between yes and no. I’ve ended up creating some beautiful portraits with clients but I struggled with how to market the kind of work I was producing because it didn’t really ever feel like boudoir.

One of the first sessions that I can remember doing was for a friend after she lost her mom, and wanted to feel seen and feel beautiful again. We filled my bathtub in my home full of flowers and chatted and created some really stunning photos.

In the last 2 years I’ve documented a close friend through his transition and use of testosterone. We photographed not only photos to show the changes that a body goes through, but also the intimacy and sacredness of a T shot routine.

I realized that I wanted to offer something in-between what I would call a creative portrait session and “boudoir”. The photos that I want to offer to create for folks are intimate portraits that can only be pulled from a place of pure vulnerability and trust, but without the need or goal of “sexy photos” (unless thats what you want and I’m so down for that!). Don’t get me wrong, I love boudoir photography and I know so many amazing other photographers who do it beautifully, but if you look at a lot of tips online for boudoir photography, it’s a lot of “poses” and angles for how to shrink bodies into “flattering” forms. And to me, part of what makes the LGBTQ community so resilient is that we constantly defy the norms that society tries to hold in place for us.

So here we are. Welcome to Studio XIII Stripped. Where you strip down (literally or figuratively), and bear your soul, your heart, your skin to celebrate the resilience and beauty of being purely human.

Whether your’re celebrating the body you’re in, documenting scars, wading through grief, or gifting yourself the ultimate “love myself” appreciation gift, I’m here for all of it. I want to take the time to hear your story, to reflect back to you the incredible person that you are, through a collection of images that feel like you.

So how does this all work?

When you book your session we are going to chat about the goal and the purpose of the photos we are going to create. By knowing this, I can help guide you through conceptualizing a shoot that is completely tailored to you. It could be as simple as being naked in the woods or as complex as bringing in stylists or florists and renting a studio. This is about you, and I want to make it completely yours. We’ll create a collaborative Pinterest board, or you can check out my inspiration board that will be ever growing for ideas. On the day of the shoot we will take time to make sure you’re at your most comfortable—- some folks have set the energy of the room using incense or candles, others just want a drink and a killer playlist. We’ll take time at the very beginning to sit down and talk, check in, and open up to each other. I’m here to make this be a super fun, empowering and special experience for you.

The nitty gritty: These intimate portraiture shoots are $500 for 1-2 hours, with at least 30 high resolution images delivered via online gallery. For these shoots I offer sliding scale for queer folks. And as always, kick ass allies are always welcome to book a shoot.

Below are some self portraits I took yesterday, along with a few of the beautiful images I’ve created in the last few years. Because of their vulnerable content, not all images I’ve shot I’m able to share. But these ones really grab at my heart.

So let’s strip down and get to the raw truths and depths of ourselves. You in?

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Natalie and Kelsey Intimate San Francisco Wedding

This beautiful, touching, and so very special intimate wedding was the last wedding that I photographed of 2018 and I couldn’t have thought of a better way to end the year. Two days after Christmas, these two and their immediate family gathered at San Francisco City Hall for a sweet and simple ceremony, and then boarded a shuttle to North Beach where we walked around and took some portraits before a stunning dinner at Park Tavern. The emotions in the air were palpable, and Kelsey and Natalie couldn’t have been more surrounded by love. Congratulations and may you have many more wonderful family celebrations and joyous adventures in your future together.

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2018 in Review

2018 was a big year—- both professionally and personally. I photographed weddings in Mexico, NYC, and all around California, I was published in some big publications (including print magazines!) and made it to Huff Post’s 35 Best Wedding Photos of the Year! I met a lot of amazing and talented photographer friends, I taught a selfie class at a nude beach, and I photographed KEHLANI! (Freaking swoon!) I traveled to Italy and Greece with my partner, we spent the summer playing in the river and camping as much as we could, and in the fall we drove out to the middle of no where to have a 2 lady burning man and she asked me to be her wife! I said goodbye to my home in Oakland and moved to Portland all while shooting more weddings and more family sessions than ever before.

As I look back, I’m so grateful for all of the beautiful humans who allowed me to photograph them… I can’t say it enough that it means everything to me to be able to photograph love— and especially queer love in this way.

2019 is going to be a real year of transition for me and my business as we settle into a new home and a new state…. I feel like I kind of get to start over in a way, and I’m trying to figure out my place in Portland…. who I am and who I want to be here. And maybe along the way I’ll fall in love with myself all over again. I chose “connection” as my word of the year for 2019 and my hope is to rekindle or foster stronger connections in my life—-from family to friends to clients and even my connections to my art and to myself. I think it’s going to be a really interesting and challenging year, and though I’m sure I’ll bumble through it as I always do, I hope to do so with an ounce of grace and a lot of vulnerability. I’m so glad you’re here. Thank you for your support, for your kind words—- I cherish it all so deeply.

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Proud Business Project--Kipper Clothiers

Business Name: Kipper Clothiers

Website and Social Media:  www.kipperclothiers.biz  Instagram: @kipperclothiers @stylishtransition

Location:  78 Gough St. San Francisco, CA 94102

Tell me about your business: Kipper Clothiers is an LGBTQ suiting company that specializes in menswear for women and trans folks. We have been working since 2013 to make high-end custom suiting that fits impeccably and shows off clients personal styles.

How does your queer identity play a role in your work? Through co-founding Kipper Clothiers, I have had the privilege of centering my own queerness in my work. My identity as a trans man is essential to the work that I do and making clients feel at home with me.

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What makes you most proud as a business owner? That I offer a unique service to queer folks that you can’t find anywhere else. My work focuses on providing clients with a safe, supportive environment where their true style can shine through.

What makes you most proud as a member of the LGBTQ community? Our resilience and active resistance through these tough moments in history.

What does community mean to you? Growing up in San Francisco, I’ve had a strong sense of being a part of the LGBTQ community since childhood. Community means knowing you are in a safe space to explore who you really are without judgment or fear.

What has been one of your biggest challenges getting to where you are? Valuing myself and the work that I do. A lot of entrepreneurship is knowing where to put your time and efforts and knowing that you won’t be able to do it all. Figuring out self-care while trying to run a business was something that takes time to learn, but is essential to the process.

What is one piece of advice you would give to an up and coming queer entrepreneur? Reach out for help from other, more seasoned queer entrepreneurs. There is no need to reinvent the wheel when someone else can mentor you. One of the things I love the most is discussing business ideas with queer folks. Nothing is more empowering than creating your own business.

The Proud Business Project is a photography project highlighting LGBTQ business owners and entrepreneurs in the Bay Area who honor their identity in their business to serve their community in a bigger way. Do you know a proud business owner? Email jamiethrower@gmail.com with the subject "Proud Business Project".

Proud Business Project-- A Monique Affair

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Business Name: A Monique Affair

Website : www.amoniqueaffair.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/amoniqueaffair

Twitterwww.twitter.com/amoniqueaffair

Facebookwww.facebook.com/amoniqueaffair

Location: 1624 Franklin Street, Suite 500 Oakland Ca

Tell me about your businessA Monique Affair is a wedding planning, design and production company, specializing in LGBTQ weddings since 1999.

What makes you most proud as a business owner? What makes me proud is that I believed in LGBTQ weddings way before it was a buzz to do them! People were telling me that I was limiting myself by defining such a niche market. But I realized how much our community wanted to support my business and the weddings that I was working on were really special. Now, when other creatives are running around trying to do photoshoots that show inclusivity, I don’t have to, I have real weddings and have been in the community for a very long time. It’s not a trend for me to jump on, I’ve believed in my community before it was the “hip” thing to do. I’m proud that I’m an industry leader in LGBTQ weddings.

 

 

What is one piece of advice you would give to an up and coming queer entrepreneur.
To believe your biggest fan first, and follow your passion regardless to what folks say! If you have passion for it and you are authentic and real, that’s what your ideal client will see and they WILL come.

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The Proud Business Project is a photography project highlighting LGBTQ business owners and entrepreneurs in the Bay Area who honor their identity in their business to serve their community in a bigger way. Do you know a proud business owner? Email jamiethrower@gmail.com with the subject "Proud Business Project".