It’s that time again, y’all: we’re in the thick of summer, which means wedding season is in full swing! It’s hard to forget that I have a wedding to plan when there are so many photos surrounding me of everyone else’s. Country weddings, city weddings, barn receptions, rooftop receptions, backyard shindigs – you name it, I’ve seen it. It’s very daunting to see all the different ways that my wedding can go, but at the same time we’re getting an idea of what we want our own happily-ever-after day to look like, which is definitely a positive!
Speaking of photos, I finally got around to doing mine – my engagement photos, that is. If you’ll remember, I got engaged back in the beginning of October, which means my engagement is older than this blog. You may be wondering “How in the hell do you go nine months without taking engagement photos?” The answer: Winter sucks and spring is busy. Winter is my least favorite season, and I would have DIED if I had some of the most important photos in my life done with sad, bare trees in the background. Then when spring came around, I was busy doing this crazy little thing called “graduating.” Finishing out my senior year strongly took precedence over a lot of other things, including getting the photos done. Now there’s no more excuses, and I’m happy to say these pictures were well worth the wait!
Looking for a photographer to take same-sex engagement photos is pretty much like any other part of the gay wedding planning process – you have to go into it knowing that there’s a chance you’ll meet some resistance. Fortunately, photographers are generally creative people, and creative people are more likely to be open-minded and accepting. The best way to avoid negative attitudes is to use the services of people you know, if that’s an option. I was really lucky because as a photographer in high school who went to a creative school, I knew a lot of fellow photographers who would be more than happy to help. This approach had two advantages: I knew they would be accepting, and I was helping out a local business owned by someone I knew!
These wonderful photos were done by none other than the great Yazmin Martinez! She’s a local photographer here in Louisville, KY, whom I had the pleasure of going to school with back in the day. She’s also one of my good friends who welcomed me back into the city when I moved back a couple of weeks ago! Her work stood out to me when I was looking around for a photographer, so I contacted her and was really pleased with her prices and flexibility. It was a perfect match!
Since we don’t have a whole lot of memories together in this city yet, it was hard for my fiancé and I to choose locations that meant a lot to us. However, we already knew of a few locations that we loved aesthetically, and Yazmin’s knowledge of the city helped a ton. We kept it personal by adding some of pieces of our personality into the shoot; for example, we shot some photos at a local restaurant because eating and supporting local businesses are two of our favorite things. One of the most important parts of an engagement shoot is finding a way to put your own personality into the photos, whether it be through a location, a pose, or a prop. Remember, you want photos that are uniquely yours and your partner’s, and that speak to your relationship! We really feel like we managed that with ours, and it’s all thanks to Yazmin!
It’s important to look your best for photos like this, because along with your senior photos and wedding photos, they are snapshots of a time in your life that will likely never happen again. When you look back on these in a few years’ time, you want to have fond memories and feel that you slayed your look from head to toe. Thanks to Barbasol® and Bed Head®, getting ready for my photos was a breeze! I used the Sensitive Skin Thick and Rich shaving cream from Barbasol®, paired with their new Ultra 6 Plus disposable razor to make sure I was clean-shaven and ready for my closeup. When it came to making sure my hair behaved, I turned to the Matte Separation Workable Wax from Bed Head®. We sold Bed Head® products at the store that I used to work at, but we never got the men’s line in, so I was excited to see this! It did a great job of taming my unruly hair and making sure it stayed in place throughout the whole shoot. Trust me: despite what Beyoncé says, I did NOT wake up like this. Without my shaving and hair products, I wouldn’t be able to look at these photos with the joy and pride that I do (after all Photoshop can only do so much for a guy)!
So here’s the bottom-line advice for same-sex couples who are about to take their engagement photos: go with a photographer whom you trust to capture the beauty and uniqueness of your relationship in a non-judgemental way. Support local photographers as a way to help drive their business, and recommend them to your friends. And always look for ways to keep your photos true to your personality!
Disclaimer: Barbasol® and Bed Head® products were provided to me via Influenster as part of their #GentsVoxBox campaign, in exchange for reviews and feedback. However, all opinions and words are my own. This post contains affiliate links. Shop smart!