As many of you know, June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month in the United States, and as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, there is nothing I love more than healthy, thriving, queer love. Let’s take a journey through my latest session in Downtown Colorado Springs featuring queer and gender-nonconforming couple, Shane and Thorn Ashwind.
I met Shane (fae/faer pronouns – link for reference) several years ago at a local kink and BDSM club as part of an open modeling and photography portfolio-building event. Shane was a model at the event, as was I, and when I came into my own in the photography scene, I often thought of feym and wanted to ask Shane to model for me.
Shane has a very unique, eclectic style, and I thought fae and faer partner would be perfect models for an artsy couples session in Colorado Springs. When I posted an open modeling call on Facebook, fae jumped at the opportunity, and we settled on a shoot time, date, and location. I could not wait to meet Shane’s partner, Thorn Ashwind (they/them pronouns), and create lasting memories with them in front of my lens.
Shane, Thorn, and I wandered around Downtown COS on a balmy Saturday evening in mid-June, stalking the streets for the best lighting and angles to bring their love story to life. We scoured alleyways, parking lots, staircases, and more to find the perfect location for telling their story. Our journey took us a quarter-mile from where we met up and led us to some amazing ‘secret spots’ in the downtown area.
In less than an hour together, Shane, Thorn, and I shot close to 900 photos. Their love was infectious, and several times I caught myself telling the couple how disgustingly in love they were, and how sweet I found it. We could not have asked for better lighting or weather conditions – even with a sun-sprinkle midway through our session!
As a hopeless, queer, romantic myself, nothing does my heart better than seeing happy, healthy, thriving LGBTQ couples. I don’t take for granted the rights we’ve earned since the riot at Stonewall and the AIDS crisis of the 80s. I also don’t take for granted the right to marry the partner of my choice, thanks to hard-won marriage equality. I stand on the shoulders of all the great queer activists and artists that came before me as I create. I am the embodiment of their hopes and dreams for the future, and I strive to live up to those dreams every day.
As a lifetime Colorado resident, I’m so proud of the strides we’ve made over the last 30 years to move away from the moniker of ‘the Hate State‘ after the passing of Colorado Amendment 2 in 1992. In fact, Colorado elected its first openly gay Governor, Jared Polis, in 2019. While we still have a long way to go, the quality of life for LGBTQ people has improved in recent years. We have a thriving LGBTQ community with safe places to see and be seen. We have youth services for queer and questioning middle and high school students. We have our very own Pride Fest in July. Colorado Springs, for all its fundamentalist roots, has really shown up for its LGBTQ population, and I could not be happier to live somewhere where I feel seen, recognized, and valued as a member of this glorious community.
This Pride month, I want to do something special for the community. I will be offering HIGHLY discounted specials for LGBTQ and non-conforming couples from now (6/16) until the last day of June (6/30). Not a couple? Not a problem! I want to shoot you in all your Proud glory. Follow this link to book your spot.