Shannon Collins

Philadelphia Wedding Photographer

Capturing joy as resistance.

self-portrait headshot of Shannon Collins, a white woman with hair down to her shoulders and blue glasses.

HI, I’M SHANNON. MY PRONOUNS ARE THEY/THEM.

I’ve been photographing weddings in the Philadelphia area for +12 years. When I’m not shooting weddings, editing photos, or watching an obscene amount of Bravo programming, I’m hanging out with my two children and my partner. We also live with a nervous dachshund and a fifteen-year-old chinchilla named Maude. Elopements, intimate weddings (aka microweddings), and LGBTQIA+ weddings make me excited to wake up in the morning.

More about me? I volunteer for The Trevor Project every week as a crisis counselor for their LGBTQIA+ suicide prevention services. My glasses fog up all the time. I look forward to fresh podcasts. I like trying to keep plants alive. I wish Moira Rose was my friend. I wish David Rose was my sweater provider. I apologize too much.  I firmly believe Black Lives Matter. I identify as nonbinary, queer, and disabled and diversify my media feed to reflect these identities and learn more about how I can better serve the wider community, through intersectionality and the amplification of BIPOC voices.

I’m the founder of Youthphoria, a Philadelphia-based project dedicated to photographing trans, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming youth in the Philadelphia area at no cost, while providing an affirming experience that celebrates them along the way.

wedding photography, Philadelphia

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER FOR MY FELLOW AWKWARD AND ANXIOUS PEOPLE.

So many people reach out to me to let me know they’re awkward or shy in front of the camera. If you break out in a rash from nervousness, you are not alone. I’m here to make you more at ease and ideally forget that I’m tucked away behind a bush somewhere while you cuddle your partner(s). I won’t force poses that don’t seem organic to who you are as individuals. Instead, I allow moments to happen naturally, while subtly guiding you — with your permission — into the best light along the way.

I want you to be as comfortable as possible on your wedding day, so we’ll make sure the timeline flows smoothly and you feel prepared. Weddings are incredibly personal, so I feel really privileged that I get to call this my profession. Capturing celebrations while focusing on color, composition, and getting to really know the people whose story I’m telling is what makes me thrive.

It’s okay and absolutely valid if emotions are high and you need to take breaks or want additional support to get through the day. Whether that looks like doing a mindfulness breathing exercise together or asking loved ones for some space for a few minutes, honor what your body and heart are telling you. I’ll be there to get your back (and snacks).

inclusive, wedding photographer, Philadelphia, LGBTQ+, POC

I WELCOME YOU FOR YOU, COMPLETELY.

Planning a photo session should evoke excitement, not fear, but that is not always the case for those who are marginalized. My intentions as an affirming photographer are to reduce the amount of labor that my clients have to engage in. As someone who is disabled, I try to be really mindful when working with clients and putting accessibility to the forefront.

Something I don’t see enough in the wedding and family photography industries is the normalization of polyamorous love. I feel energized when collaborating with queer, trans, and polyamorous folks, and people of all identities. That’s why I try to use language like “marriers” rather than “couple,” in an effort to be more inclusive and intentional.

An oppressed group can’t simply stop being oppressed, we all need to fix it. I connect LGBTQIA+ clients with affirming vendors and by advocating for safer, more diverse, more inclusive, and more accessible industry standards. I want to honor your experience by letting you lead the way in terms of how you identify and how you’d like to be addressed.

As a side note, I’m fully vaccinated and mask up indoors and outdoors when unable to socially distance, due to COVID-19.