A little admission: I have never really had any sort of a bucket list. You know what I’m talking about, the list of items and activities you feel you absolutely, positively need to do before you (*ahem*) shove off this mortal coil. I’ve never had the urge to see an exotic locale (Canada is good enough for me), nor have I desired to parachute from a plane (I hate heights). Nope, for better or worse, I’ve been rather modest about the figurative heights I want to shoot for in my life.
That’s not to say that I don’t have things I would love to do as Allison before I expire, not minding too much if I will never get the chance to do them. I already have presented my femme side in public several times in the past year alone, including marching in a pride parade and performing my poetry. I have also longed to get a professional makeover and pose for the camera afterwards.
Well, back in September 2017, I didn’t get a professional makeover. But I did pose for a professional photographer.
Last September, I learned on Facebook about a “LGBTQ Photo Pop-Up” event here in Madison. The event was set up by Caitlin, who runs her own photography business called Smoketree Photography. As Caitlin communicated on the event’s Facebook entry, the rationale for the event was this: Intentionally or otherwise, a LGBT+ person can be put in an uncomfortable situation when working with photographers who come from a background that can be considered “traditional.” Their subjects and events are usually heteronormal in nature (e.g. man-and-wife weddings, proms, etc.), and their mindset can be heteronormal as well. This can result in photos that don’t reflect how their LGBT+ client see themselves as. Caitlin and her “pop-up” event sought to alleviate any such discomfort and create a safe environment for their subjects.