Wedding Photographer Shares the Sexist Things Men Do to Her

Wedding photography is indeed a physically and emotionally demanding job, but one woman talks about an aspect of her work that is not frequently discussed: different levels of on-site abuse and sexual harassment.

The photographer’s Instagram post is going viral

Kim Williams, a wedding photographer and videographer based in Brighton, UK, took to Instagram to share some of the negative experiences her job brought her last year. Although it was a difficult topic to open up about and Williams felt her clients would “be ashamed” to find out what had happened, she felt compelled to speak up to start the conversation about treating wedding vendors like her.

In short, she says, regular cases of harassment are common.

In one particularly disturbing episode, Williams was physically assaulted as attendees danced.

“Working at a job that requires you to be around large groups of cis men and alcohol means this sort of thing happens at about 80% of the weddings I shoot,” she wrote in her Instagram post. “I was caught around my neck on the dance floor after two men were bothering me increasingly throughout the day, I ran outside, breathed in a panic attack, and came back to shoot the rest of the night five minutes later with a smile on my face and no one wiser…” What do I do ?”

Besides physical and verbal aggression, being touched without consent, regular requests for her phone number, and inappropriate questions about her personal life, Williams has also been fired from her job as a working professional, particularly when working alongside a male colleague.

Because of the job, wedding photographers feel the need to “smile and bear” when it comes to situations like this, as the feeling is that their work can be irreparably damaged by “making a scene”.

A torrent of support and similar stories

When Williams’ story began to spread around other accounts, men and women opened up on Facebook to talk about their experiences. From inappropriate or condescending comments to physical abuse at the hands of guests. Some even cite experiences with the wedding.

“What really shocked me was the scale of the abuse; ranging from ‘Can I have your number?’ while giving speeches, all the way to physical assault on the dance floor,” writes photographer Sam Ducker. “I’ve heard similar stories from friends before, but never realized How often women encounter these events – almost every wedding.

Stories shared by Williams and other photographers show that supplier experiences often go unnoticed and are often buried to keep the wedding running smoothly for the couple. Although wedding photographers and videographers are passionate about their work, just like Williams, a dream career can turn into a nightmare.

Williams started the hashtag # Bride for other wedding photographers to use to share their stories with the world.

I’ve also shared a series of posts, advising couples on how to make their wedding a safe place to work and ways other men, whether guests or suppliers, can help prevent or resolve difficult situations. I also shared a sample harassment clause that suppliers can modify and include in their contracts.

Williams calls on men to help solve the problem

Williams says that after talking to her friends and non-binary friends, she came to the conclusion that this problem “isn’t our problem to fix.” Instead, she hopes that her openness to the uncomfortable and abusive encounters she’s had will encourage men not to be a spectator.

“File it when you see it,” says Williams. “Ask the women and non-binary people in your life about their experiences with this. Listen. Actively engage. It is not enough to be ‘one of the good guys. If you’re not actively helping to solve the problem, you are part of it.'”

Misogyny is not a feminist issue, Ducker writes. “This is a men’s problem.

“It’s time to start bringing this up, no longer blinking, no longer ignoring inappropriate comments passed on as ‘joke’. It’s no joke, and it was never joking. It’s time to start breaking the silence and stop standing idly by. This peer culture.

As Williams opened up about her personal experiences in such a public forum, many felt that it actually helped give a voice to photographers willing to share similar experiences, recall bad behavior, and instill courage in them. To be sure, changing attitudes and behaviors will take time, but at least it started a discussion that was long overdue.

“I am so excited to post this, and I want to reiterate that I am absolutely blown away by my job,” Williams wrote. “I love every wedding I work at, and the one I’m talking about in the previous paragraph has been one of the most fun weddings of the year, the most amazing clients, and a dream for a day for us to shoot!

“I just want to do my job in it [peace]. “

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