By Daniela Degrassi
When you hear that you should never mix business with love, the rule seems not to apply to photographers! Husband and wife photography teams are blooming everywhere and it’s clearly a thing among vegans too; we’ve welcomed a few in our Vegan Wedding Directory in the past year. I also had the pleasure to meet with quite a talented pair, during my last visit to Los Angeles. Featured in our California Vegan Wedding Directory, Sarah and Darren, aka The Hendrys have just moved from Scotland after long dreaming of more vegan friendly and sunnier California shores, building up quite an audience in just a few months of their stay in the City of Angels! Possibly the shiest photographers I have ever met, but behind their discreet conduct, hides an immense talent and a huge soul.
Darren and Sarah
How long have you been vegan? Have you made the transition as a couple?
Our journey into veganism began in 2013, so just over 6 years ago now. We lived in a rural area in Scotland where many farm trucks would pass by carrying animals destined for the slaughterhouse, and seeing these was just the norm for us. It was unpleasant to witness, but we obviously had some kind of weird acceptance that it happened. One day, we randomly started up a conversation that us, and many people, put to the back of their minds. It went a little something like this….’How do we justify loving and doting on our bunnies and dogs, but eating other animals at the same time?’. ‘How can we truly call ourselves animal lovers without being hypocrites’? We came to the conclusion that the cognitive dissonance force was strong with us, and that was when we realized something needed to change. From that day forward, we both transitioned to a vegan lifestyle and have never looked back. It has been an eye-opening and exhilarating experience, although we wished we had seen the light sooner.
You recently moved from Scotland to California. What inspired you this major lifestyle change? And do you like it?
We had been visiting California on vacations since 2009 and always had it in our minds to relocate – we just never had the financial backing to go ahead with the very expensive visa process! Fast forward many years and a whole bunch of savings later, we completed the visa process and were approved in a couple of months. Cue, the big move! Apart from loving California as a state in general, some other reasons we adore it is the fact that it’s rather liberal and diverse, with many places to hit up for some tasty vegan food. LA alone has over 60 vegan eateries!
You must work with lots of non vegan couples. Do they usually provide a vegan meal for you during their wedding reception?
The majority of our couples are not vegan, but we’re steadily working on our SEO to target vegans who are getting hitched! Our couples so far have been rather accommodating on the meal front and are always happy to cater for us. This applies more to US clients than UK ones – there we mostly brought our own food along with us as the options were pretty limited and not certainly enough to fuel two hungry photographers who had been playing ninja all day! Who wants a few pieces of lettuce and tomato after working a long shift?!
Do you think vegan couples are mostly unaware that many photography products are not vegan?
Definitely! It’s not a widely known topic that the likes of, say, prints and polaroids are not vegan. (Editor’s Note: on this subject, we shed some light in this article) We try to educate where we can. At the moment, providing prints is not something we offer…unless we were to find a vegan-friendly printer. Our search is still on, so if anyone can provide the solution to this, please holler!
Once you’ve educated vegan couples that photo prints are not vegan, how are you able to provide artwork to them?
We only provide digital photos at this point, well, at least until the above comes into effect!
Are you involved in the vegan community and/or animal activism?
Most definitely. We tend to capture a lot of farm animal vigils and other vegan events. We feel it’s important to raise awareness about what really goes on in factory farming and other industries, and documenting it and sharing it to our friends, family and followers really helps with spreading the message and getting people to think outside the box. Also, at vigils, bearing witness by giving love and respect to animals in their last moments on earth is a very substantial act for us.
What are your hobbies when not working?
We’re partial to a bit of light hiking in secluded areas, purchasing weird items in thrift stores, watching TV shows that most folks have never heard of, indulging in a Little Pine brunch, hanging out at vegan events, drinking our body weight in kombucha, animal activism (particularly photographing vigils and posting the images online to raise awareness), and last, but definitely not least; spending lots of time with our amazing furry companions (we have two rescue bunnies called Lopez and Hopper).
Do you travel for destination weddings?
Many moons ago we used to capture a lot of destination weddings and found ourselves traveling all over Europe and beyond. Now, we’re just sticking to the US and turning out of state weddings into a road trip. This country has plenty to offer in terms of scenery, that’s for sure.
What’s the best way for couples to reach out to you?
Couples can reach out to us via the contact form on our website, by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or give us a call (626-489-8656).
An incurable enthusiast and independent spirit since she could remember (her childhood heroines were Pippi Longstockings and Katharine Hepburn) Daniela Degrassi found her creative outlet as a lifestyle photographer, working mainly in Northern California. Currently splitting her time between SF Bay Area and her native Italy to continue to be her autistic sister’s primary caregiver. Vegan since 2014, she found a perfect way to carry her message of compassion while celebrating her love for the wedding industry launching The Kind Bride in February 2018.