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How to Work With a Deaf Photographer

How to Work with a Deaf wedding photographer, Payton Rademacher Photography

Before we really dive into how to work with a Deaf photographer, I want to emphasize that this is based solely on what it’s like to work with me. There are so many incredible Deaf photographers who will operate completely differently than me. However, I hope that this is a great resource to give you the confidence you need to work with a Deaf photographer (spoiler alert: it’s not all that different from working with a hearing person). So if you’re curious what it’s like to work with me, or have questions about working with a Deaf photographer in general, let’s get into it!!

Working with a Deaf Wedding Photographer

Like I mentioned, each photographer is different – whether hearing or Deaf. So I figured I’d outline what it’s like to work with ME! If you’re new here, HI! I’m Payton, and I am a Minnesota elopement and wedding photographer serving the joyful, adventurous souls. It may not be that obvious that I am actually a Deaf photographer, and odds are that you wouldn’t know if someone is Deaf based on their website or social media alone. Although it’s nothing that I hide, I’m yet to see someone say on their website that they are a ‘hearing photographer’. 😅

Payton Rademacher Photography | Minnesota Elopement Photographer

When I first get an inquiry from a potential client, obviously the first thing I do is a little happy dance (picture Chandler Bing😉). But once I’ve gotten the dance out of the way, I get in contact with the inquirer and let them know that I’m Deaf and provide a bunch of resources. It’s super important to me as a Deaf person (and creative) that I provide resources to ensure that my clients will have a 10/10 experience. Of course, it’s awesome if they happen to know ASL (American Sign Language) – but that’s absolutely not a “requirement”.  

Leading up to the session, I like to encourage my clients to share their Pinterest boards so I can get a better feel for what vibe they are going for. I also make sure to hop on a Zoom call before the session with my interpreter! This may sound a little nerve-wracking to some, but only I can see the interpreter on the call. You will then only hear their voice interpreting for me. I promise that no question or concern will go unanswered.

When it comes time for our session, we will typically communicate through texting, a voice transcription app (Otter.AI is a great resource), and gestures. I also always have my phone handy to ensure communication is a non-issue. As an elopement and wedding photographer, I like to have more of a “fly on the wall” persona when documenting my clients. So my couples get prompts demonstrated via Pinterest or demonstration, and then I like to just observe them. Documenting moments authentically in this manner ensures that I am capturing my couples real, true love. After all, love doesn’t care if you are hearing or not!

How to Work with a Deaf wedding photographer, Payton Rademacher Photography

Deaf Wedding and Elopement Photographer

At the end of the day, if my clients have questions on how to work with a Deaf photographer, I am always an available and eager resource. I know it can be nerve-wracking to have photos taken, let alone working with someone who you might not be familiar communicating with. But together, I do my best to ensure each client walks away from a session feeling comfortable and excited about the magic that was just created.

Ready to learn more about the Payton Rademacher Photography experience? CLICK HERE! And be sure to follow along on the ‘Gram (@paytonrademacherphoto) for behind-the-scenes, special announcements, and North Shore elopement and wedding planning tips.

How to Work with a Deaf wedding photographer, Payton Rademacher Photography
  1. Breezy says:

    Wow, this is SUPER helpful!! Frankly, I’m ashamed that I’ve never considered the challenges that someone may face being Deaf and a photographer. However, I love that you use it as a strength and take a documentary style approach (like we all hope to have these days!!) to sessions/weddings. Love tech can fill in when needed. You are so talented! As a client, this blog really would connect me to you as a person 🤍

  2. Naomi Levit says:

    I love the Chandler Bing Dance! I really appreciate all of the resources you shared; I’m saving these ideas in case they may come in handy with a future client. Awesome post!

  3. Sofie says:

    This is amazing Payton! It is so powerful that you have used your inability to hear to power your documentary style. I think sometimes there is too much noise that it makes it hard to really focus on documenting the couple in their natural state instead of posing them or sometimes even micromanaging. You are an inspiration!

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