February 2, 2024

Education

5 Ways to Make Your Photography Website More Inclusive

LGBT supportive wedding photographer in Phoenix Ashley Durham Photography
Created by Ali Coşkunfrom the Noun Project

5 ways to make your wedding business website inclusive

This week I had an eye-opening situation with someone, and it really lit a fire under me to start a discussion about the topic of inclusion. It bothered me to the point that I emailed my Photography Friends newsletter about it, and I even made a post about it on Instagram and Facebook. Of course, then I realized shoot, I should probably just write a blog about this so I can really dive deep into how to make photography websites more inclusive. Heck – not even just photography websites, but all wedding industry websites!

Here’s the story of what happened … 

My best friend’s little brother is getting married this summer and he reached out to me to help him find a photographer for his wedding. I can’t be there for it, since I’m already booked for the day, but he mentioned that he had spent several days searching the internet for an LGBT-friendly wedding photographer in his area and could not find a single website that clearly said “we support you” or showcase any LGBT imagery. It absolutely broke my heart and blew my mind that in this day and age, wedding photographers (and others in the industry) are not actively working toward representing an entire group of people on their websites.

I couldn’t imagine going through website after website trying to find someone to pay my hard-earned money for, for a service everyone else can easily find, but find absolutely no one. I am not a member of the LGBT community, but I am absolutely an ally and support their love and ability to marry their partners.

LGBT supportive wedding photographer in Phoenix Ashley Durham Photography

After finding a handful of photographers to refer to my friend for his wedding, I immediately jumped on my own website and made some changes, and I want to share 5 ways to make your photography website more inclusive to the LGBT community. And not just to the LGBT community, but to other minority groups as well. I want you to make it stupid easy for a couple to easily see themselves working with you!

5 Ways to Make Your Photography Website More Inclusive

1.) Showcase a wider variety of diverse imagery on your website.

I cannot tell you how many wedding websites I have perused through over the years, and mostly all I find are beautiful, thin, caucasian, hetero couples. It’s the same thing, over and over. And for a couple that doesn’t fit that mold and aesthetic, it can be a bit disheartening to not see someone who looks like themselves on your website. Remember how incredible it was for little girls to see the new Ariel movie this past year, and actually see someone “who looks like them” on the screen? Apply that same idea to your website.

2.)  Change your verbiage, both in-person and on your website, to be more inclusive.

This is something I’ve been doing for years, especially after serving so many LGBT clients while living and working in Palm Springs. Examples of changing your verbiage would be using terms like “wedding party” instead of “bridal party,” not automatically using bride and groom in all of your text or even on your inquiry form. Using gender-neutral language and avoiding any assumptions about couples is much more inclusive! I even added an option to add preferred pronouns to my contact form, and have found that to be appreciated by inquiring clients.

3.) Showcase LGBT clients on your blog.

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know how much I love to blog and I try to blog each and every session and wedding. Don’t exclude LGBT content from your blog; in fact, highlight it. I will tag blogs as “LGBT” in the backend of my WordPress, so that I can actually show prospective clients previous weddings and sessions that they can actually relate to and feel like I could be their photographer, too.

4.) Create an entire page on your website devoted to LGBT weddings, especially for photographers.

After this revelation with my friend, I actually sat down and made an entirely new page for my website devoted to being an LGBT ally wedding photographer in Phoenix. Not only does this showcase inclusivity, but, it also really helps with SEO purposes for couples trying to find an ally in their area who will love and support them on their wedding day.

5.) Put together a list of other trusted LGBT-inclusive vendors in your area that you can refer your clients to.

As someone brand new Phoenix, this is something I am still working on. But, it’s an incredible idea to put together a list of inclusive and experienced venues, planners, florists, photographers, videographers, even bakeries! If I can help relieve any stress or burden on my couples, you better believe I’m going to do it. And, the cool thing? If I’m unavailable when a couple reaches out to me, I’ll have a list of trusted vendors I can still send to, who I know will take care of them.

how to make a website more inclusive

Ashley Durham is a longtime creative business owner devoted to helping small businesses thrive with as little stress as possible. Follow along on Instagram for behind the scenes, tips, education and my latest work.

To learn more about what Ashley has shared, check out the Photographer’s Resource Guide

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