Ontario, CANADA :: Tama Lynn & Amanda :: Spark Of My Heart // Real LGBTQ Engagement

:: Spark Of My Heart::

Photographed & Submitted by :: {MRSter Approved} Oren & Jones Photography

Local to Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada, these two lovely ladies met online and fell in love in 2007. There was an instant spark, and they’ve have been absolutely inseparable ever since.

With a love for family, friends, and baseball, there’s never a dull moment.

In May of 2015, Tama Lynn, in front of family and friends, played a short video she had put together about their relationship. Chronicling their first date, family vacations, their dog Lacey and cat Sebastian. She then got down on one knee and presented Amanda with a ring. A ring she had specially made out of Ammonite; a rare Canadian gem which radiates a brilliant rainbow.

She was thrilled when she heard Amanda say ‘yes!’

DISTINCTIONS

Same Sex Engagement. Fireworks. Niagara Falls.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: {MRSter ApprovedOren & Jones Photography

LOCATION

Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Chicago, ILLINOIS :: Cherian & Asha :: Worth The Wait // Real Engagement

:: Worth The Wait ::

Photographed & Submitted by :: Bokéh Studios

Cherian had planned an epic proposal for his girlfriend, Asha, however, she wasn’t going to get just one… She got an elaborate day full of engagement hoaxes that included a dance team, card tricks, Build-A-Bear, an acapella team, drumline and more!

Asha was very patient throughout each (fake) event, but Cherian officially proposed to his girlfriend of four years near the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, where she was finally able to scream, “YES!”

DISTINCTIONS

Engagement Hoaxes. Fun-filled. Worth The Wait.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: Bokéh Studios

LOCATION

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Querétaro, México :: When Love Is Pure, Magic Happens // Real LGBTQ Engagement

:: When Love Is Pure, Magic Happens ::

Photographed by :: Marcos Valdés Fotógrafo

These two ladies had an engagement session that was nothing short of magical! The shoot took place in Querétaro, México, in a perfect spot that allowed the photographer to capture some beautiful images of these two beautiful ladies.

The session began in the woods, where they were completely surrounded by tall trees; the perfect landscape for some natural and intimate photographs. It was then time to incorporate another element of nature to the session; water.

They finished up their engagement session by a small lake just outside of the woods. You can feel the love that these two have for each other, it is captured in each and every image. As Marcos says himself:

“When love is pure, magic happens.”

He certainly captured one magical engagement session.

DISTINCTIONS

Nature. Love Is Love. Same-Sex Engagement Session.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: Marcos Valdés Fotógrafo

LOCATION

Querétaro, México

Top Five Friday :: Top 5 Tips to Rock Your Couples Boudoir Session

 :: Top 5 Tips to Rock Your Couples Boudoir Session ::

MRSter is excited to present this post from Kinzie Ferguson, of {MRSter Approved} The Empowerment Photographer. Kinzie is a truly amazing photographer who has an awesome ability to help people connect in ways that reflect their love and commitment in stunningly gorgeous fashion. Her comments follow:

As the Empowerment Photographer, I create space for couples to connect (or reconnect) in intimate, powerful, couples boudoir sessions. It’s a time to focus on your partner, to unplug from the rest of the world, to cozy up, love each other really hard, and add some kindle to the fire that you’re building together.

Doing a couples boudoir session is so much fun, but if you’ve never done one before, there can be a lot of unknowns. Here are my top five tips for making sure you can get the most out of your session, and end up with photos that you love!

1 :: Find a photographer you trust (and like!). Your photographer should help you feel safe and confident the entire time. When I photograph my couples, I make sure they know exactly what to do with their bodies and their facial expressions at all times. You should never have to wonder if you’re “doing it right” or if you look good.

Don’t worry, though! Your session won’t look stiff and posed — when you know exactly what to do with your body, it allows you and your partner to interact naturally, resulting in genuine, connected images!

2 :: Talk about the session with your partner. Figure out what their fears may be in being photographed; ask them what they’re most excited about, and what they’re hoping to get out of the photo shoot. It could be that you’re approaching this experience from very different perspectives, and knowing what’s going on in your partner’s brain can make the experience even more intimate.

3 :: Wear what makes you comfortable. Don’t try to squeeze into something that is too small, and don’t go out and buy something you would never want to wear in your own home. Dig into your closet, ask your partner what they love seeing you in. Use this as an excuse to go shopping if you want to, but make sure you only invest in items that make you look and feel great!

4 :: Take time before your session to do something wonderful together. Write each other love notes and bring them to your session. Go out to lunch and don’t look at your phones the entire time. In fact, turn your phones OFF for the entire day of your session. Take a long bath, go get massages, do yoga! Have sex! Indulge in the time you have leading up to your session, which will not only put your minds in the right brain space, but will also help you be open to the powerful effects of your session.

5 :: Don’t be afraid to laugh! I’m all about finding the sexy in your images, but it’s also so important that the energy of your relationship can also come through. Let’s face it – being photographed while semi-naked can get a little ridiculous, and when it strikes you in the middle of your session just how silly it all feels? LAUGH! Giggle. Grab your partner and hug them! Posing rules are made to be broken. It’s in those moments that we find the true joy and connection that you and your partner share.

Now, I know it’s not possible for every single person reading this to book a session with me tomorrow (but if you want to, come visit me in Kansas City, MO!! I’ll greet you with open arms, awesome dance moves, and probably a plate full of nachos). I do encourage you to look for a photographer you love and trust enough to do a couples boudoir session with. This is an intimate experience, and you should be thrilled to have your photographer guiding you through this sexy, empowering time!

And in the meantime, carve out some time with your partner, snuggle into their side, find what makes them special, and love on them really hard. They are worth it, and so are you.

Top Five Friday :: Why You Should Consider an Underwater Engagement Session

:: Why You Should Consider an Underwater Engagement Session ::

Guess what? We have a MRSter approved photographer who does underwater photography, even engagement sessions! We thought this would make a fascinating ‘Top Five’ feature. So as a result, we are presenting the “Top Five Reasons Why You Should Consider an Underwater Engagement Session,” featuring photographer extraordinaire Alyssa, of {MRSter Approved} Alyssa Campbell Photography.

1 :: Anyone can have an underwater engagement session. You don’t have to have special skills to be photographed underwater except being able to swim, being able to open your eyes underwater, and being able to hold your breath for brief, intermittent periods of time. Alyssa says, The most important thing in my experience, is that people feel relatively comfortable underwater. If having your head underwater makes you feel panicked, then an underwater session isn’t for you. I’ve found most people who are interested in underwater sessions naturally are “water people”. You definitely do not have to be a professional swimmer/freediver, etc however! I can’t hold my breath that long, so we are generally only under the water for maybe 30 seconds at a time.”

2 :: An underwater engagement session is a truly unique and awesome experience and underscores the specialness of your love for one another. Per Alyssa, “Water has this interesting, almost magical quality of making things look so beautiful and graceful. People often tell me that they are amazed at how graceful and beautiful they look when they see the finished photos. This is due in part to good photography and coaching, but mostly, that’s just the effect that water has! My style is also based heavily on natural emotions and interactions between couples. I have a psychology degree, so I draw on that in observing couple’s natural interactions and personalities, and bring that into the shoot in order to make the shoot reflective of each couple’s unique personalities and relationships.

3 :: Your photographer is highly experienced and will let you know what to do every step of the way. Alyssa states, “ I’ve been doing underwater portraits for at least 5 years, and professionally for about 3 years. I have been a photographer for over 6 years and a scuba diver for half my life. I draw on all of those skills for my sessions.”

4 :: As far as where to shoot, Alyssa tells me: “I currently have a “home pool” in Mesa, AZ where I do most of my sessions, however I am happy to come to clients’ homes if their pools are suited for a session, or travel – especially to places such as Hawaii! 😉 Water clarity is the most important factor for the shoot success. If someone wants portraits somewhere that the water clarity might not be as ideal, there are lots of other options to still get some underwater portraits. For example, let’s say that a particular beach in California is especially meaningful to a couple and they want some beach portraits, then some underwater portraits. Oftentimes on beaches, sand gets stirred up by the waves, making the water clarity pretty bad until you swim out pretty far, at which point that makes most people a bit nervous and uncomfortable because of the water depth. Not to mention it’s a lot more physically taxing. So, in that case, I would do regular portraits on the beach, then move into the water and have the couple be half submerged. It still gives the look and feel of underwater in a location that is meaningful to them and mitigates the issues of water clarity. You could also do this same idea for example at a river, as long as it was shallow and posed no safety concerns. Safety is where working with a professional UNDERWATER photographer – not someone who wants to try it for the first time – is essential. Any time that I am in a place where my clients can’t touch, I have an assistant for safety.”

5 :: Underwater engagement sessions give you an empowering sense of freedom and an ability to express yourself like no other venue. Alyssa agrees. “It’s such a unique way to express your personality and get something different from ANYTHING else out there. That’s the number one reason people come to me – they want their engagement photos to look different. Underwater photography is a very small niche with only a few photographers doing it currently. The possibilities are endless. You can have a simple session with just you and your partner, or you can bring a theme which opens up a lot of potential fun ideas to explore. You can also do a half underwater, half more traditional land shoot as well.”

Well, I have to say that this blogger is impressed. Kinda wish I had known about this a long time ago! Thanks Alyssa, for opening up a new world of photographic possibilities for our readers. How would you feel about an underwater photo shoot?

Snohomish, WA :: A Bohemian Glam Wedding // Styled Shoot

:: A Bohemian Glam Wedding ::

Submitted & Photographed by :: GSquared Weddings

The Lookout Lodge is an amazing wooded venue nestled deep in Snohomish, in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. We chose to play off of the surroundings and create something different from the normal rustic country inspired wedding. The theme for this styled shoot was ‘A Bohemian Glam Wedding’.

We especially love the rich tones, unusual bouquet, and the fact that it rained, on and off, throughout the shoot. The vendors involved executed the vision impeccably.

DISTINCTIONS

Styled Shoot. Bohemian Bride. Country Glam.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: GSquared Weddings
Venue :: The Lookout Lodge
Apparel {Bride} :: Estelle’s Bridal Suite
Floral :: Flowers by Karen
Shoot Coordinator :: Thrifty Beginnings
Decor Rental :: Sweet Buffet Lady
Hair :: Olive & Opal
Make-Up :: Shear Heaven Bridal Makeup & Hair NW
Chalk Artist :: Champagne & Chalk
Handlettering/Etching :: Craft Works Design
Cake :: Sweet Nothings Custom Cakes

LOCATION

Snohomish, Washington, USA.

COLORS

    

Houston, TEXAS :: Phil & Diego :: Our City, Our Story // Real LGBTQ Couples Session

:: Our City, Our Story  ::

Photographed & Submitted by :: Tracy Barbour Photography

This is Phil and Diego. They are one of the most delightful couples I have every met. They live life to the fullest and recently moved in together. They love to host parties for all their friends and are super involved in community events together. They both had never had professional photos done, much less together as a couple. We had a blast for their mini couple session in Houston, the city that they both love so much and are such a big part of. I created a special slideshow after the session and at the reveal of their images, there were tears of joy. These two are an epic city love story in the making.

DISTINCTIONS

City Love Story. Mini Couples Session. Same-Sex Couple.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: Tracy Barbour Photography

LOCATION

Houston, Texas, USA

Gilbert, ARIZONA :: Jamy & Marvin :: Wine, Food, Friends... And LOVE! // Real LGBTQ Engagement

:: Wine, Food, Friends… And LOVE! ::

Photographed & Submitted by :: {MRSter Approved} Elizabeth Douglas Photography

Meet Jamy {of MRSter Approved Eternal Event Design} and Marvin, a couple of the best guys you will ever meet. Funloving. Silly (and serious). Lovers of good wine, food, friends, and love.

Fourteen years ago in January, these two met at a bar in Chicago, and let’s just say the rest is history. Life has brought them from where they began in Chicago, out to the valley of the sun, where they’ve continued with their love of all that is good (wine, food, and friends). These two know how to put on a party, let me tell you!

Funny thing is, they’re not much for having their photos taken, so we had to come up with a fun way of capturing them. Thankfully, their engagement session was done as their friend and not their photographer, or we probably wouldn’t have been able to capture some of these shots (those of you who are photographers would understand!). So, we took a “walk” one cloudy day through old town Gilbert, and finished things off, with what else, a glass of wine?

Many thanks to the person who had their ADORABLE bike locked up, as this was our million dollar shot of the session! I might have to invest in one of these for future sessions!

I can’t even begin to tell you how honored I was when they asked me to be their wedding photographer! This was going to be my first Mr. & Mr. event, and I was THRILLED! I am looking forward to showing off their wedding images in a future submission, as they won the “2015 Best Wedding Under $50,000” presented by the International Special Event Society, Arizona Chapter. You’re gonna FLIP when you see what they managed to pull off!

DISTINCTIONS

MRSter Approved. LGBTQ Engagement. Time For Wine.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: {MRSter Approved} Elizabeth Douglas Photography

LOCATION

Gilbert, Arizona, USA.

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: How To Tell Your Friends & Family That You Eloped

:: How To Tell Your Friends & Family That You Eloped ::

The marriage ceremony is an important and obviously significant ritual of life. If you and your spouse decided to skip the big fanfare and elope, that is entirely your decision, albeit a sensitive one. Be prepared for some mixed reactions when you let friends and family know…

Start by telling your parents, or whoever the parent figures are in your lives (MRSter understands that sometimes LGBT couples don’t have accepting parents – sad to say). If at all possible, see them in person to share your exciting news and maybe even tell them they are the first to know. Then, tell the rest of your family and your friends. Don’t apologize. You are sharing happy news – don’t forget that! You could offer an explanation as to why you made the decision to elope if you choose. Perhaps the thought of having all that attention at a traditional wedding made you want to run for the hills. Or, maybe your reasoning was financially based. Or maybe you two just didn’t want to wait. Or maybe you feel that no explanation is necessary, other than that you love each other and decided to elope.

You will probably find that some people will be very happy for you, while others will be upset or annoyed that you did not include them in your big day. People may be miffed at you because they may have their own expectations of your wedding or their role in it, but remember their “miffeness” usually comes from a place of love. Hooray for the happy ones and boo to the miffed ones… They’ll get over it, or not, but that’s their problem which hopefully will resolve on its own.

You might consider sending out a marriage announcement built around a cute photo of the two of you. While you’re here on our webpage, please consult our FABuLIST for our FABULOUS MRSter approved photographers that would love to do a couples session with you!  It’s a good idea to wait before posting your news on a social media site. Allow ample time to share your news with the people you are close to before making a general public announcement.

Finally and only if you really, really, want to, have a reception afterward. You can make this a small and intimate affair or a big shindig. Maybe you can tie it in with a holiday that’s already happening, or make it as simple as a family picnic. Maybe some of your friends or family would even like to throw a nice reception for you.

The marriage of two people is a beautiful thing. MRSter wishes you much joy and lasting love.