Editor Spotlight: Dancing With Her's Co-Founders Tara Baker & Arlia Hassel

June 06, 2018

Photo Credit: Fox & Kin

Next up in our Editor Spotlight series is one of our favorite publications, Dancing with Her. Co-founders Tara and Arlia are two women, madly in love, that wanted to create a publication that inspired women just like themselves! When looking into the beginnings of their publication, it's important to learn their love story first. It was around four years ago when they were sitting on a beach together at sunset that they decided to elope. Hours later, Arlia was undergoing life-saving brain surgery after a bicycle accident that left her with a traumatic brain injury. Arlia can't remember that conversation and their elopement was put on the back burner as they focused on health and recovery. Two years later, Tara knew that the time had come to ask Arlia to marry her (again) yet a time that should have been incredibly exciting became a time where the newly engaged couple were first faced with the largely heteronormative wedding industry. They felt uninspired in a time that should have been celebratory. And so, with a combined background in Sociology and Jewelry Engineering, they decided to jump in the deep end and create a publication they wish already existed. A modern representation of love just like their own--and we can't be more thrilled that they did. Read through our interview with the duo below for more on this inspiring publication!

Tell us a little bit about your publication.

Dancing With Her is a publication that celebrates LGBTQ+ women in love. From stories of love, engagements and weddings, Dancing With Her shares a modern representation of love and commitment. Dancing With Her is both a digital publication and print magazine and while we are based on the sunny Gold Coast in Australia, we share stories of love from around the world to women across more than 45+ countries.

How did you get into publishing?

We really did 'fall' into it. When Arlia & I became an engaged couple in 2016 we went searching for relatable wedding inspiration, yet found that the wedding industry around the globe was largely heteronormative. We knew that representation of LGBTQ+ women within wedding media was important and so, we made the right contacts, spoke to people in publishing around the world and made it happen.

What types of submissions are you looking for? Do you have a particular style?

We love diverse, modern representations of LGBTQ+ women in love. We really stray away from traditional, dated and stereotypical weddings and curate a publication that inspires women who are otherwise unrepresented.

Photo Credit: Erica Miller Photography

What is your favorite feature that you have sourced through TBL in that last year?

Aimee & Sara's mountaintop elopement, captured by Erica Miller Photography, was one that is as romantic as is it incredible. The two women took a helicopter to a private space among the mountains, in dreary weather, and spoke of their commitment to one another.

What advice would you give to a new submitter?

Do your research. Look into the publications that you're submitting to and make sure that both the submission is suited to their publication and that your values as a photographer are in line with that of the particular blog or magazine rather than hitting submit to every publication. It should be a relationship that is mutually beneficial. We'd also suggest adding as much information as possible to the submission. We know our audience loves the love stories and wedding planning tales as much as the photography edits. The follow up to collect all the information can be lengthy, sometimes not possible, and that can affect the chances of having your work published.

What are some of your favorite current trends?

We love that our community really tends to shy away from tradition and trends and celebrates their wedding day that is a true representation of who they are as a couple. We've got one couple who are planning to have a live graffiti mural painted during their warehouse inspired reception. That being said, we (not so secretly) love that elopements and smaller weddings seem to be more popular than ever before. There is something so incredibly romantic about two people making that commitment in such an intimate ceremony.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

We are so excited to be in the industry at a time where so much change is happening. You'll see us leading the charge to make a wedding industry that is more inclusive of all sexuality, gender, body and culturally diverse couples. Next stop for us, on the world stage speaking more about all of this for Forbes. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to share.


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