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The Art of Event Photography at Pride Celebrations: Capturing Minneapolis Pride 2023

LGBTQ+ family with disabled child in wheelchair at Target's Pride Event in Minneapolis

Pride celebrations are a time of joy, unity, and vibrant expression for the LGBTQ+ community and its allies. Last year, I had the incredible opportunity to photograph Minneapolis Pride for Target along side my friend Lacey Criswell, a major supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. As a professional photographer with a deep love for event photography, capturing the essence of Pride was both a privilege and a challenge that allowed me to blend my technical skills with my passion for inclusivity and social justice.

The Significance of Capturing

Pride Events

Photographing Pride events is not just about taking pictures; it’s about documenting the spirit of an entire community. Pride parades and festivals are filled with moments of love, acceptance, and unapologetic self-expression. These events offer a unique opportunity to celebrate diversity and foster inclusion. It is also important to remember that the first pride was a riot led by trans women of color at the Stonewall Inn and that the brave actions of our queer ancestors allow us to be out and proud today. As a photographer, my goal is to capture these moments authentically, creating a visual narrative that reflects the energy and spirit of Pride.

Minneapolis professional photographer Alison Malone who creates storytelling fine art photography

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Behind the Lens: Photographing Minneapolis Pride for Target

The day of the event was bustling with excitement. From the vibrant floats and colorful outfits to the enthusiastic crowd, every moment was a burst of energy waiting to be captured. One of the biggest challenges was maneuvering through the crowd to get the best angles without disrupting the celebration. But the reward was worth it—capturing the smiles, tears, and sheer joy of participants was incredibly fulfilling.

 

Capturing Minneapolis Pride was a remarkable experience. The collaboration not only provided me with an excellent platform to showcase my event photography skills and engage with members of my community, but Target’s 2023 installation overall was a major hit at Twin Cities Pride. With their current scaling back of merchandise in stores, I am curious to see their involvement at pride events in the Twin Cities this year. Considering they are headquartered here, I hope to see them uplift and fund local artists and organizations. If corporations have to be involved in Pride, I want them to support the community all year long.

Important Technical & Artistic Tips for Photography Pride Events

Photographing dynamic events like Pride requires a blend of technical precision and artistic vision. Here are some tips that I found invaluable:

 

  1. Be Prepared: Familiarize yourself with the event schedule and layout. Knowing where the key moments will happen allows you to position yourself for the best shots.
  2. Capture the Details: Pride events are rich with colorful details—from rainbow flags to intricate costumes. These details add depth to your photos and tell a more complete story.
  3. Use Natural Light: Pride events are often held outdoors, providing ample natural light. Use it to your advantage to capture vibrant and well-lit images.
  4. Candid Shots: Some of the most powerful photos come from unposed, candid moments. Look for spontaneous expressions of joy, love, and solidarity.
  5. Engage with the Community: Building rapport with participants can lead to more authentic and intimate shots. Don’t be afraid to interact and ask for permission to take close-ups.
  6. Be Aware & Respectful!: Especially if you are an ally, be cognizant of the space you are taking up and be as respectful as possible. Some people may not be out and are therefore uncomfortable having their picture taken. Always ask for consent and engage only with people who are open to being on camera!
  7. PRO TIP- Ask Pronouns!: As part of being inclusive and an ally is asking a person’s pronouns when meeting them. Assumptions based on someone’s surface can lead to misunderstandings and feelings of dysmorphia. Just like we’ve learned never to ask a woman if they are pregnant, we have learned that asking pronouns is a way we can signify allyship and make someone feel safe.

Personal Connection: Why Pride Matters to Me

Pride holds a special place in my heart. As someone who values diversity and inclusion, being part of an event that celebrates these principles is incredibly meaningful. Photographing Pride allows me to contribute to a visual record of progress and celebration within the LGBTQ+ community. As a queer mom with kids who also identify as queer, I hope to serve my community through my life’s purpose– photography. It’s not just about capturing moments but also about amplifying voices and stories that deserve to be seen and heard.

Highlighting LGBTQ+ Stories with Photography & Connection

One of the most rewarding aspects of photographing Pride is meeting and documenting a diverse range of individuals. Each person has a unique story, and through my lens, I aim to honor and celebrate these narratives. From the joyful families to the brave individuals marching for the first time, every story adds a layer of richness to the overall tapestry of Pride. One example is my friend Hannah McKnight. She is such a lovely trans woman, activist, and overall person. Check out her website to learn more about her story and experience as a T-Girl! 

beautiful trans woman and activist Hannah McKnight at Minneapolis Pride 2023

Impact of Pride Photography on Community

Photography at Pride events plays a crucial role in increasing visibility and fostering a sense of belonging. These images serve as a powerful reminder of the progress made and the work still needed to achieve full equality. They provide a sense of solidarity and support, showing that everyone, regardless of their background, is welcome and valued. A lot of queer youth feel alone and vulnerable, so to see examples of a future where they feel joy and acceptance is very important!

TWIN CITIES PRIDE EVENTS FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!

Twin Cities Pride Parade: June 30th 11am-2pm

Twin Cities Pride Festival: June 29th & 30th

corporate event photograph of LGBTQ+ child at the Target Pride Event in Minneapolis taken by Alison Malone

Twin Cities Pride Youth Night! June 28th

Como Park's Family Fun Day June 23rd

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