Incensed by Minnesota marriage amendment, local wedding photographer renames studio

When the Minnesota state legislature voted to place the marriage amendment on this fall's ballot, “something clicked,” Twin Cities wedding photographer Pat Connolly said a couple weeks ago.

The 3:00 am vote last May took place on the same day Connolly was shooting his first same-sex wedding and felt more than a little ironic.

Rather than just rant on Facebook about the approved amendment, Connolly said he was so incensed he decided to change the very name of his photography studio to “StudioSame,” with the tag line “Capturing Love and Family—For Everyone.

Left: Minneapolis photographer Pat Connolly

Married himself—to a woman—and having grown up in rural Minnesota, the father of a young daughter says he’s wondered why the Marriage Amendment hit him so personally.

“It seemed so contradictory to the Republican party that I grew up with out on the prairie—the party of libertarian ideals, smaller government, and individual rights. They got control of the legislature, and that's the first thing they do? It seemed so unnecessary.”

'My eyes were being opened. To hear people talk about love . . . it’s all the same thing no matter who is getting married.'

Connolly, who shoots 20 to 25 weddings a year as a part-time job, told me that past work in building affordable housing for homeless youth and other vulnerable populations opened his eyes to social disparities, and especially the problems faced by gay teenagers who come out.

“All these things just touched a nerve,” he said.

After photographing two interracial marriages last year, along with two weddings between pairs of African Americans and a pair of same-sex commitment ceremonies, Connolly said, “My eyes were being opened. To hear people talk about love . . . it’s all the same thing no matter who is getting married. Our hearts yearn for our other half the same way.”

Connolly recently opened up a new studio in Northeast Minneapolis. His work was featured this week in Lavender magazine's 2012 Wedding Issue.

And I am pleased to give Pat this plug. For more information, visit StudioSame.com, or call him at (651) 247-0681.