Hi, Cassandra! Tell us a little bit about yourself. What made you interested in pursuing LGBTQ wedding photography and what does it mean to you?
As a lifelong fine artist, I didn’t fall in love with photography until post-college. I was a graphic design major who landed a non-creative position in the industry. Upon searching for a creative outlet, and being the hopeless romantic that I am, I discovered wedding photography and was immediately hooked. I poured everything I had into learning the medium so that I could eventually start my own business, which happened a couple of years later in 2012 — also the year I was married.
After planning my wedding years before Marriage Equality passed, I realized the need for wedding photographers who truly understood the struggles and experiences of planning a wedding as an LGBTQ+ couple. So, in 2013, I refocused my business on the LGBTQ+ community, with the mission of providing a safe space for all couples to love openly, and without worry. This decision has been genuinely rewarding, and fulfilling in ways I never expected. Every ‘thank you’ I receive is forever on my heart. I am honored and grateful to share my passion with a community so near and dear to my heart.
How would you describe your style? What differentiates your wedding photography style from others?
My style is romantic, emotional, and fun. I believe that love is best when celebrated joyfully and playfully, with quiet, gentle moments. This is my approach when working with my couples: loads of laughter, a handful of silly moments, and just a bit of tenderness.
I believe what differentiates my wedding photography style is my ability to relate to my couples. Because I strive for real connection and friendships, I am able to draw out real and unscripted moments, facilitating the making of raw and honest photographs.
What inspires your photography?
After three and a half amazing years of working with the LGBTQ+ community, I continue to be inspired by couples who are guided by their love and commitment to one another, even when in the face of adversity. I keep going as a result of the ongoing heartbreaking stories of vendors refusing to work with same-sex couples, and because my couples share with me the positive impact I've had on their wedding days. Merely because Marriage Equality was adopted does not mean the hate and discrimination ended. Therefore, I continue my work for the LGBTQ+ community because they are deserving of the utmost love, care, and goodness.
What are your top 3 tips for wedding photographers?
There’s always so much happening at a wedding. How do you decide which moments to capture? What’s your biggest challenge when shooting a wedding and how do you overcome it?
As photographers, we are observers. Thus, I’m always looking for emotion-filled moments with hugs, tears, laughter, and tenderness. These bits of the day take precedent for me because weddings are joyful, pivotal, and life-changing. They’re truly the accumulation of love, growth, and hope for the future.
Because wedding days are so fast-paced, my biggest challenge is periodically anticipating what’s to come, rather than being fully present for the moment that is happening in front of me. I overcome this by simply taking a breath and remembering to be mindful, allowing the day to naturally and organically unfold.
If you could go back to the beginning of your photography career, what advice would you give yourself?
Auguste Rodin once said, “Patience is also a form of action.” When beginning a new adventure, it’s so easy to get caught up in the intense hustle, hoping and dreaming that everyday will be “the day.” However, we must remember that building a successful business takes time, energy, sweat, tears, and maybe most importantly, patience.
In short, I would say, “Have patience, determined one. You’ll get there.”
Cassandra Zetta is a wedding photographer specializing in LGBTQ+ weddings. After marrying her husband in 2012, she refocused her business on this community, aiming to create a space where all couples can love openly. When not behind the camera, she enjoys spending time with her beloved husband and four fur-kids, dabbling in fine arts, and road trips.