Working towards equality and being a better ally in the wedding industry with Allie Rinka of Allie and John Photography

We are so honored to have Allie from Allie and John Photography as a guest blogger today to speak with us about how the wedding industry can be more inclusive, support diversity and be better allies. We reached out to Allie last Monday, to start a conversation with her, to see if she would share with us some of her experiences as a black, female, wedding photographer in the hopes that we could help amplify black voices in our industry. We approached Allie knowing this was our work as white women to do and asked her humbly what her thoughts were to help start a conversation. We did not want to assume her knowledge or emotional labor would be free – and have been so humbled by her willingness to be open and educate freely. We realize Allie is tired and we didn’t want to add to her emotional burden this week – especially with some of the questions we asked. To say we are grateful for her patience, guidance, and sharing her experience is an understatement. Some of what Allie has shared with us is utterly heartbreaking and we cannot begin to thank her enough for being so vulnerable.  With the marches and protest happening all over the country for racial justice and police reform we have been doing some deep work at Calluna Events – as individuals and as a team. For some of our team, our work as an ally has been going on for years, and for some, it’s a relatively new journey. We are committed to continuing this work toward allyship after the moment has passed.

We will be going live on Instagram on Tuesday at 10am to continue this conversation with Allie and continue to learn from her! We look forward to continuing our conversation with Allie and we hope you can join us!


  1. Tell us about you and your business?

My name is Alicia Rinka owner & lead photographer of Allie & John Photography.  We are a team of professionals who love capturing memorable wedding moments.  Our team uses both film and digital formats while maintaining a candid approach to our work. Our portfolio exhibits a fine art style with a modern editorial aesthetic using natural light.

  1. What are some tools you can give white wedding professionals for support black wedding professionals?
  1. What are some ways you think the wedding industry needs to encourage more diversity?


  1. Would you feel comfortable sharing some negative or awkward experiences you’ve had when meeting with vendors or couples, how can white vendors or couples work to ensure these experiences don’t happen? 


  1. Would you feel comfortable sharing some negative or awkward experiences you’ve had at weddings and how can white people work to ensure these experiences don’t happen? 


  1. As a black woman, wedding photographer are there things you do to approach your work that might be different – getting ready for a wedding, working a wedding, working with couples?
  1. Are there things we can change or encourage with our teams or employees to encourage diversity training or inclusivity?
  1. Things we could change in our contracts or websites (wording) to be more inclusive?
  1. How can we include more diversity in our work authentically? For Calluna, we want to work with more interracial, black and multicultural couples as well as the LGBTQ community because it’s a business value of ours to work with a wide array of people. But I know some people want to do it tokenize these communities – so how do we do it authentically. 
  1. Anything else you think would be helpful to share?


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