Linda McQueen Photography
Capturing Black Love has built my business. Capturing Black Love has helped me to become a phenomenal wedding photographer. Capturing that iconic moment has strengthened my belief in humanity and reminded me that Love Trumps Hate.
In 2010 my husband and I embarked on a journey to become wedding photographers. Our own love story inspired us to capture love in its most beautiful forms. We shot ten weddings that year and I fell in love with capturing love. As a self-taught wedding photographer, I was very ambitious and worked tirelessly to hone my craft. By 2015, I was shooting seventy weddings a year and corresponding extensively with prospective clients via email. I could sense the brides’ enthusiasm and could tell they were excited to meet with me. They loved my work and my ability to capture stolen moments. They were always eager to set a date and time to meet me to discuss their big day.
I’ve been a professional wedding photographer for a little over ten years now and, although I’ve flown from Paris to Barbados and many countries in between to capture love, more often than not I still have had trouble booking clients that don’t look like me. I remember the early years when I was just starting out. I would meet with couples to discuss their wedding photography needs and many times being a black wedding photographer became the elephant in the room. I would then be questioned about how I was able to start my business, afford my studio, and obtain my equipment. Unfortunately, I would spend a great deal of time trying to prove that I was a legitimate business owner. While my business has continued to thrive over the years, I’ve found the lack of diversity within the wedding industry discouraging. African American wedding photographers capture some of the most breathtaking moments, but are underrepresented within the wedding industry and often times overlooked.
I remember one incident in particular where I met with a bride and her fiancé for an hour. I felt good about the meeting and thought for sure that they were going to book me. I was surprised when they left without signing. The bride called me a few days later to request a second meeting. We met at my office and she brought her father along. I remember greeting her father and attempting to shake his hand. I could tell he didn’t want to shake my hand. The bride’s father questioned me extensively for an hour and asked me where I lived and other highly personal questions. I spoke with the bride the next day and she apologized for her father’s behavior. She confided in me that her father had bad experiences with Black people in the past and consequently was skeptical about hiring Black people. I thanked her for her honesty and let her know that I did not think we would be a good fit.
Through the years of working in this industry, the greatest lesson I have learned is that not all couples are going to judge you for the quality of your work. Therefore you have to find your clientele. I decided to focus on capturing Black Love. My African American clients have accepted me and entrusted me to capture their big day. They have judged me based on my body of work. They have respected me and treated me with dignity. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it were not for my African American clients. Capturing Black Love has built my business. Capturing Black Love has helped me to become a phenomenal wedding photographer. Capturing Black Love gave me the courage to take out my camera and memorialize Kerry Anne and Michael Gordon’s love, set amidst the backdrop of a Black Lives Matter protest in Philadelphia. Capturing that iconic moment has strengthened my belief in humanity and reminded me that Love Trumps Hate.
Follow @lindamcqueenphotography to see all of her beautiful work.
Linda McQueen Photography