Celebrating Pride Month: Spotlight on Three Inspiring Photographers from Around the World

By The Imagen Team

Last updated on 07/08/2024

Cover Photo by Charmi Patel Pena

International Pride Month, celebrated every June, honors the history, culture, and contributions of the LGBTQ community. It’s a time for reflection on the progress made toward equality and the ongoing fight for inclusivity and acceptance. Pride Month represents more than parades and festivities; it embodies the spirit of being proud of oneself, one’s community, background, vision, art, and work. This celebration reminds us of the importance of embracing diversity and self-expression for a healthy, successful life and business.

In this blog post, we shine a spotlight on three proud artists and community members from three different continents. Though they are geographically distant and culturally diverse, they share a common passion for photography and advocacy within their local LGBTQ communities. 

The Impact of Diversity on Creative Arts and Photography

Diversity and inclusivity have always played a pivotal role in the creative arts, bringing unique perspectives and narratives that enrich the artistic landscape. In photography, LGBTQ photographers have introduced new ways of seeing and understanding the world. They challenge norms and highlight the beauty of diverse experiences. Their work often carries powerful messages of resilience, love, and authenticity, making significant contributions to the broader cultural and social dialogue.

Putting a Spotlight on Three LGBTQ Photographers from Three Different Continents

Katie Nelson: Encouraging Freedom in Canada

Celebrating Pride Month In Photography: Katie Nelson
Photo by Katie Nelson

Katie Nelson, based in Stratford, Ontario, is a wedding and lifestyle photographer known for her heartfelt approach. She started her career in maternity and newborn photography in 2018 and soon found her niche in elopements and intimate weddings. Katie’s introverted nature informs her empathetic style, ensuring her clients feel comfortable and enjoy their photo sessions.

Katie explains, “As an introvert, I know how stressful it can be to get in front of a camera — that’s why my approach is always to move at your pace and ease into your session. Photos can feel high-pressure and uncomfortable, so my top priority is finding a way to have fun with it and make the experience enjoyable.”

For Katie, Pride is about celebrating who we are and advocating for inclusive change.

“Pride is celebrating exactly who we are — it’s acknowledging how far we’ve come, welcoming folks of all sexualities and gender expressions with open arms, and advocating for change so everyone can safely access that same freedom”, she shares.

Katie envisions a wedding photography industry where queer couples are represented authentically, with inclusive practices and no fear of discrimination. “Simple things like asking your clients’ pronouns or removing terms like ‘bride and groom’ from your intake forms are the first step towards an industry where we are no longer seen as ‘other’,” she says.

IG: @katienelson.photography

Inta Lankovska: Pioneering Inclusivity in Latvia

Celebrating Pride Month In Photography: Inta Lankovski
Photo by Inta Lankovski

Inta Lankovska, an award-winning wedding photographer from Riga, Latvia, treats each wedding as a personal honor. She values connecting deeply with her couples to tell their unique love stories. Inta explains, “Your love is important to me. I photograph each wedding as if it’s my own, with great responsibility and delight in my heart. It is important for me to get to know each of my couples. What sparks your joy, what music you listen to, what films you go to, whether you are dog or cat people. Our newfound connection allows us to be on the same page on the wedding day as I join you, your nearest and dearest people, to celebrate your love.”

In a country with limited legal protections for LGBTQ couples, Inta’s work is groundbreaking. Her style shoot featuring a gay couple was a bold statement for inclusivity in Latvia. 

“These photos were the first style shoot in Latvia that featured a gay couple which was crazy to think about in 2023. Latvia sadly is still one of the last EU countries that does not have any legal protection for LGBTQ+ couples”, she reflects.

Inta hopes her work will inspire more inclusive content and allyship in Latvia. “Our team wanted to create a vision of what we know will be the future of Latvia. We wanted to create work that would support and create allyship with our LGBTQ+ communities. Visibility is really lacking in our country and we wanted to change that by creating work that would inspire more inclusive content across social media,” she explains.

IG: @inta_photography

Catharina Sant’Ana: Celebrating Love in Brazil

Celebrating Pride Month In Photography: Catharina Sant’Ana
Photo by Catharina Sant’Ana

Catharina Sant’Ana, the visionary behind “Alma Afetiva,” captures LGBTQIAP+ weddings with a commitment to representation and authenticity. Her photography is known for its natural, warm editing style that honors the true essence of her subjects. Catharina says, “I envision a world where all love is honored, where representation inspires everyone. My commitment is to be the shining reference, sensitively guiding us towards a future where the LGBTQIAP+ population finds an authentic mirror of their love stories.”

Catharina’s mission transcends capturing moments; she aims to provide a mirror for LGBTQIAP+ love stories, fostering a sense of belonging and validation.

My mission transcends time. I’m here to capture lives intertwining, to capture the moments that make the heart beat faster. Together, we celebrate the love that breaks barriers, overcomes challenges, and transcends the ordinary”,  she shares.

Catharina hopes her work continues to celebrate the love that breaks barriers and transcends the ordinary. “I honor each story with a click that will echo through the ages, reminding everyone that, in the end, love is the most powerful of magic,” she concludes.

IG: @almaafetiva

Embracing Inclusivity and Self-Expression In Photography & Life 

Inclusivity, variety, and freedom of self-expression are vital for a vibrant, creative world.

The stories of Katie from Canada, Inta from Latvia, and Catharina from Brazil highlight the transformative power of photography in advocating for LGBTQ rights and representation.

 Despite their geographical and cultural differences, these photographers share a passion for inclusivity and authenticity in their work

 At Imagen, we stand by these values through our principles and products, supporting every storyteller in their journey to capture and celebrate love in all its forms. 

 This Pride Month, we celebrate the diversity and creativity that enrich our lives and work, reminding everyone that love, in all its forms, is something to be proud of.

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