About Me

Basics

Hi there!  My name is Shauna, my pronouns are she/her, and I wear a lot of hats.  Though only metaphorically, I have an unfortunately large head that does not lend itself well to actually wearing hats...

I am super queer, a crazy cat lady, a girlfriend, a fierce board gamer, an LGBTQ+ wedding photographer, a school and student support worker and, most recently, a wedding industry educator.

Things I Love

alphabetized lists, arcades, black, black and white stripes, board games, body positivity, Bullet Journaling, cats, Disney, drag shows, French bulldogs, Las Vegas, mango, musicals, Nintendo, organization, pineapple, pit bulls, pumpkin spice everything, purple, reality TV, rollercoasters, sour beer, Vancouver, The Wizard of Oz

Things I Don't

ableist language, aggressive drivers, being late, camping in the rain, cilantro, clutter, coffee, the colour orange, cooperative board games, diet culture, a disorganized closet, eating sounds, fatphobia, losing at board games, misty rain, morning breath, poor table manners, red wine, sleeping in, small dogs, umbrellas, warm grey, the words "moist" and "crisp"

About My Work

LGBTQ+

I was raised in a Mennonite family where we weren't allowed to watch Will and Grace or the original Queer Eye. Despite this, my earliest celebrity crushes were Lance Bass and Pink.  The first exposure I had to queer people was a sweet lesbian couple who also hung out in the art room at lunch in high school.

My coming out process was complicated. I fell crazy in love with a girl I met at my first job in my first year of university. We shared a mutual love for Winners and psychology.  We worked together, had all the same classes, and lived in the same student housing complex.  She was straight and I was confused.  I ran away and moved to Vancouver.

I ended up working in a gay leather store on Davie Street and living on Commercial Drive and, inevitably, came out shortly after.  This was met with disappointment and a long period of silence from my family.  When I got engaged, several family members pushed for conversion therapy. 

Wedding

I got into portrait photography in 2011 and spent an entire year shooting pregnant women in Stanley Park.  Being a wedding photographer wasn't something I had ever considered until I married my ex-wife in 2012. My first choice wedding photographer refused to shoot my wedding because she didn’t shoot same-sex weddings. Her rejection made a big impact on my planning process and prompted my switch from portrait photography to wedding photography.

It wasn’t until several years into shooting weddings that I started reaching LGBTQ+ couples. I was tired of not seeing myself in my portfolio and spending my weekends at weddings full of heteronormative traditions and invalidating language.

In 2016, I made a concerted effort to improve the queer representation in my work.  Since 2017, I have been shooting almost entirely LGBTQ+ weddings and couples and have shot couples visiting from countries all around the world.

Educator

I knew I wanted to work in education since I was young.  My extended family is full of teachers and principals, but I knew in the fourth grade that I would grow up to be a support worker.  Support work has taught me so much about advocacy and the importance of creating space for someone where they are at. 

In 2018, I finally started to combine my love for the wedding industry with my love for education. I spoke at a round table discussion about LGBTQ+ inclusive language in the wedding industry and at ARC The Experience about heteronormativity and gender-neutral language.  Educating other wedding professionals made me realize that improving the wedding industry for LGBTQ+ couples was a huge driving force in my life.

In 2020, COVD-19 shut schools down and changed the wedding industry as we know it.  I decided to use the time and space to finally launch the education side of my business.

BLOG

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I would love to collaborate with other wedding industry educators! Do you have a blog or podcast? Let's work together to create a more inclusive wedding industry. Reach out to me at hello@shaunadaniellephotography.com

Gender-Neutral Language Cheat Sheet

Frequently Asked Questions

Why am I not booking any LGBTQ+ couples?

There are lots of reasons you may not be booking LGBTQ+ couples in your wedding business. Do you have LGBTQ+ couples represented? Are you using terms like "bride and groom" and other heteronormative language throughout your website and online presence? Are you using gendered or gender-neutral language? Does your website cater to heterosexual couples, or is it inclusive and welcoming?  

What is heteronormativity?

Heteronormativity is, by definition “of, relating to, or based on the attitude that heterosexuality is the only normal and natural expression of sexuality.” Heteronormativity is hugely prevalent in the wedding industry, from the assumption of "bride and groom" to gendered ceremony readings and wedding traditions.  You can learn more about heteronormativity here.

What is gender-neutral language?

Gender-neutral language is language that avoids a bias towards a particular gender. For example, instead of saying "bride and groom", you can say "couple", "newlyweds", "partners", "marriers", or use their names. You can learn more about gender-neutral language here.

Why should I put my pronouns in my social media profile?

Normalizing sharing your pronouns is a good business practice if you are wanting to be inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community in your business. When cisgendered people share their pronouns, it normalizes pronouns and removes the pressure from transgendered and non-binary people to field conversations about pronouns. You can learn more about pronouns here

How can I ask my clients for their pronouns?

Once you have normalized sharing your pronouns in your business (you can share them on your website, in your social media bio, and in your e-mail signature), you can reasonably ask your clients for their pronouns. You can do this on your initial contact form and in your questionnaires.

I'm booking LGBTQ+ clients, but no one wants to be in my portfolio.  What can I do?!

Honouring clients' privacy is extremely important.  Many LGBTQ+ couples choose not to share their weddings publically due to family and work situations.  Remember that word of mouth and referrals are a strong source for future business.  Provide your couples with an amazing experience and they will share that experience with their friends. 

Can't I just put a rainbow badge on my website?

Being truly inclusive goes beyond rainbow badges. If you wish to truly celebrate LGBTQ+ couples in your business, you need to re-examine many areas of your business - your language on your website, the verbiage on your forms and contracts, the assumptions you have been socialized to make, and how you elevate LGBTQ+ couples and their stories. A rainbow badge is only a bandaid for a much larger problem in the wedding industry. 

What is tokenism?

Tokenism is a performative action a business takes to appear diverse. These attempts are misguided as the business is more focused on the optics of diversity than actually addressing diversity-related issues. Tokenism is, ultimately, false advertising because it gives the appearance of equality without actually achieving it. You can learn more about tokenism here.

I know I want to be more inclusive, but I don't know where to start.  Can you help me?

Absolutely!  I am now offering website and business audits to help wedding industry professionals become more LGBTQ+ inclusive. You can find my Work With Me section here.

what folks are saying

Work With Me

5 reasons to work with me

Are you feeling overwhelmed at the thought of revamping your entire business to be more inclusive?  Are you scared of saying the wrong thing or asking dumb questions?  I can help!

Here are 5 reasons we should probably work together...

1. Accountability

If this is something you've been meaning to do in your business for awhile, consider me your accountability partner.  We will dig into your business together and do the thing.  No more excuses, no more procrastinating.

2. A Critical Set of Eyes

It's sometimes hard to see the error in our ways unless we are personally impacted ourselves.  As a queer-identified person, I am very conscious of language that isn't inclusive. 

3. A Safe Space

It's easy to feel apprehensive asking potentially controversial questions in public forums. Working one-on-one creates a safe space for sharing experiences and asking questions.  There are no dumb questions!  

4. I Work in the Industry

I have experience with the nuances of an LGBTQ+ wedding both personally and professionally. I have been in business since 2012 and understand what it means to build a successful wedding business.

5. Support LGBTQ+ Business

If you are wanting to be inclusive, using your business to support LGBTQ+ business is a good place to start!  

website audit

The website audit is a good starting point for anyone wanting to quickly improve their website with one-on-one consulting.

website audit

The website audit involves thoroughly examining all the main pages listed in the primary menu of your website as well as your 5 most recent blog posts.  I will make note of any ways you can improve your website to be more LGBTQ+ inclusive. 

strategy call

After I audit your website, we will meet for a strategy call on Zoom.  This call will last up to one hour and we will cover things like heteronormative and gendered language found throughout your website.  Time permitting, you will also be free to ask any questions you have about LGBTQ+ inclusive business practice.

$400

business audit

The business audit is for anyone wanting to do a deep dive into their business and improve LGBTQ+ inclusivity in their website, their social media presence, and all areas of their client experience.

website audit

The website audit involves thoroughly examining all the main pages listed in the primary menu of your website as well as your 5 most recent blog posts.  I will make note of any ways you can improve your website to be more LGBTQ+ inclusive. 

social media audit

The social media audit involves thoroughly examining your Instagram account.  I will make note of any ways you can improve your bio, the captions of your 9 most recent images, your hashtags, and your story highlights to be more LGBTQ+ inclusive. 

client experience audit

The client experience audit involves thoroughly examining all levels of your client experience.  You will send me your e-mail templates, contracts, and questionnaires and I will make note of any ways you can improve them to be more LGBTQ+ inclusive. 

strategy call

After I audit your website, your social media, and your client experience, we will meet for a strategy call on Zoom.  This call will last up to two hours and we will cover things like heteronormative and gendered language found throughout your website, your social media captions and hashtags, as well as in your e-mail templates, contracts, and questionnaires.  Time permitting, you will also be free to ask any questions you have about LGBTQ+ inclusive business practice.

$700

Join the Community

I'd love for you to join the Beyond Rainbow Badges | LGBTQ+ Inclusive Wedding Industry Education Facebook group.

The group started in September 2020 and we are a small but growing group of wedding industry professionals looking to do our part to change the wedding industry.  I post daily questions, we have conversations about LGBTQ+ inclusive business practice, and I hope to have events for Vancouver-based members in the future.

I would love to have you join the conversation!

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