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Shannon Weds Seema: a beautiful wedding goes viral from LA, USA

By - August 7, 2013
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The year is 2013 and the setting is Los Angeles in USA. Two people who have committed themselves to what can and should be one of the most fulfilling journeys of their life… choosing to embark on the next phases of their individual journeys together.

Sounds like any marriage vow being held in any part of the globe, and statistically although there is much talk about the whole decline in people choosing to be part of the whole ‘institution of marriage‘ there are still millions of people who will tie the knot and will continue to do so.

So when the married couple are from the same sex… does this make the vows any less sacred? Should there even be reason for debating why two people who are in love have decided to formalize their relationship both spiritually and in the eyes of the law, as well as with the blessings of their family and close friends – just because they are two women?

There is a reason these incredible photos – as taken by very talented photographer Steph Grant have attracted the attention of millions worldwide – both across social media and news networks. They represent the shifts in attitudes, lifestyles, global culture… and the very freedoms many of our ancestors fought for and often battled against in order for us to now be in a stage of history where we can and should be able to make choices that are true to ourselves.

We spoke to Steph who told us how surprised she was at the interest her photos have gained, although it is clear that she has taken the photos with great efforts to capture the quite apparent strong bond between two people who just happen to be two women.

The underlying cultural fusions and the vibrancy of the day is also captured beautifully by Steph and we just had to give it the Guavo seal of approval both creatively and in sentiment.

Visual poetry I am sure you will agree… our heartfelt congratulations to Shannon and Seema.

PHOTO CREDITS: Steph Grant

Vin at #thisisguavo Media had contact with Steph quite a while prior to the photos going viral online, and she was understandably a little reserved at earlier stages about attracting any Media coverage. As a result of the interest that quite naturally generated she felt the need to answer some questions to provide a more detailed account of the experience of how ‘going viral online’ can be:

1. Did you expect these images to go viral?

NO. I had no clue they had even spread until I got a text from a friend. By the time I got home from the pool and back to my computer people around the world were sharing and talking about them. No one can ever give permission or give their “blessing” for images/videos to go viral. It just does.

2. Are you trying to use these images to get famous or for personal gain?

No. I am just doing what I love and that is capturing love stories, sharing the images on my blog and promoting love. It’s what I alway do. This question makes me laugh…because if you truly know me you would know that I live a pretty simple life without dollar signs in my eyes.

3. Did you give permission for all of these random sites to share/post your photos?

No, not all of them. It was out of control. I can’t help it that there was a beautiful wedding that I photographed that people happened to love so much that they were excited to share it. When people are passionate about something they spread it…and that’s exactly what happened here. I did however give permission to some media groups after being contacted to do interviews regarding photographing same sex marriages and my response to the images going viral.

4. Do you get your clients consent to post wedding images on your blog?

Yes, of course. As a professional, I run my business using the same procedure for every client and that is with a wedding contract that states under section 5: Use of Images “Client agrees that Steph Grant may display any images taken at the Wedding festivities pursuant to this agreement on her website and blog, and may use any such images, in whole or in part, in connection with any illustrations, publications, websites or other promotional materials created by or on behalf of Steph Grant.” All clients (yes, even friends) MUST sign a contract…I also make sure to remind my clients that I will be posting on my blog/Facebook. I have worked with numerous clients who have asked me before signing a contract to not have their images shared online and those images are nowhere on the internet. I respect my clients but in return I also hope that they respect me and my business and honor their word.

To wrap this up I will leave you with this: my images from this wedding are everywhere on the internet…pixelated screenshots, some horrible representations of my work. When a potential client is looking to hire me they want to view my work. Which is one of the main reasons any photographer has a website/blog. I talk about telling a story with my images and they want to understand that. The only way for them to fully grasp that is to show them my work. The work that I am proud of…that I spend countless hours editing and putting together to share a compelling story. That story… my work, is on my blog.

I will continue to tell stories & promote love and I hope you do too!

XO Steph

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