Storm and Sky’s Colorful Salida Couple’s Session

Photos by Ivy Bencheck

The stars aligned for Storm & Sky. I don’t typically meet my clients at a dance class but Storm and I actually met because we had preformed in the same burlesque group. Storm, at the time worked for the Partnership for Community Action, a safe space that offers education to schools, hospitals, businesses, and the community about how to include and welcome queer and trans folx in their spaces and offer trainings to make your business a certified safe space. The PfCA offers so much more but I highly recommend looking them up and taking the training, I learned so much, thanks to Storm!

We were doing a little tarot reading when Storm was chatting about how much they wanted to do a couples session with Sky after their top surgery. Sky was super nervous and didn’t feel that they’d be photogenic or that it’d be awkward.

I quickly assured them how fun my photoshoots are and that they had nothing to worry about. I was very excited when Storm said that Sky was convinced and that we were on! Sky and Storm are now tour managers for a small traveling theatre! Set design, costume design, and theatrics are second nature to these two and I was so excited to work with them in an artistic space such as RiNo in Denver.

I took a creative leap and edited the sky colors in a variety of the images. Promoting the different bands of the PRIDE flag. My favorite prompt however in their shoot was definitely when I asked the two to face each other grasp your partners hands and sniff their fingers. It got a laugh, and the cutest faces.

Something I learned while prepping for this session was that there isn’t much on the internet of representation of trans and nonbinary couples. I had to use my training from the PfCA to practice being a supportive and safe space for this couple. As a photographer, we pose couples in ways of heteronormativity. This concept doesn’t work with folx who are not feminine nor masculine, and how would I know… unless I ask. So I asked them both, would you prefer to embrace feminine, androgynous, or masculine energy in your images today? Sky said they prefer androgynous energy and Storm said they’d prefer a mix of androgynous and masculine. That question made them feel respected, heard, and safe while it guided me in posing them both. Feminine poses are created by making triangles with the body, while masculine poses are seen by posing the body in more square positions. Androgynous poses however, are made by using both triangles and squares. Go ahead and explore their gallery and see if you can catch the androgynous poses!

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