Touching Same Sex Ceremony at Hotel Maya Long Beach
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Touching Same Sex Ceremony at Hotel Maya Long Beach

At this gay wedding at Hotel Maya in Long Beach, the two grooms are exchanging vows during their same-sex wedding ceremony. 

Of course the one factor that really sets this image apart is the pure emotion seen in this scene. The long stream of tears falling down the cheek of the groom on the right provide a visual impact and storytelling component like few I've ever seen during any exchange of vows at any wedding ceremony in the past. The funny thing is that this groom was terribly embarrassed every time he cried, and he cried all day long. And although he may have been embarrassed, all of the loving people around him thought it was incredibly touching, moving and authentic. It reminded me that showing emotion shows our humanity.

On a technical note, this photograph was incredibly difficult to capture during the ceremony. The couple was located under a pergola and the lighting was spotty. In the end, the only way I could create a strong photograph that was well lit of this gay couple was to walk up the aisle halfway, set my flash to full power, and bang away. In almost every case in professional photography, full power flash pointed straight at a subject is never a good idea. But in this case, by breaking the rules a bit, I was able to create an image that filled heavy shadows, brought out details in the grooms' jackets, and bring forth the streaming tear on the grooms cheek.

Hotel Maya is located in Long Beach, California. Phone: (562) 435-7676. Website:

Location: 700 Queensway Dr, Long Beach, CA 90802.

Keywords: Hotel Maya (12), Long Beach (12). 1/125; f/16.0; ISO 400; 185.0 mm.