Tell us the inspiration behind the shoot.
2020 was challenging for the LGBTQ+ community on two levels: the pandemic messed up their wedding plans, and the previous administration kept either attacking their rights or showing indifference to their issues. So we decided to organize this styled shoot on Election Day to show that love can win even in difficult times, no matter what those obstacles are. Our own little protest, if you will. We wanted to celebrate love in all its forms and transform our pandemic and election anxiety into something positive and meaningful.
Why was creating this shoot important to the team?
We’re all from Brooklyn and believe in equal rights for everyone. So when we planned this, we really wanted to 1/ showcase our neighborhood in the most authentic way, and 2/ be as inclusive as possible. Our graphic designer introduced us to Naomi and Klaire, and right away, it was a match! Their vibe matched ours, and it was the perfect opportunity to both feature quirky urban vibes and represent the LGBTQ+ community.
What are the styled inspiration’s key styling elements, and who brought them to life?
Our wedding planner Marian (@marianfrancesweddings), and our florist Lauren (@yellowbowflorals) are the ones who brought this styled shoot to life. Marian found the venue, the restaurant Tuffet in Williamsburg, which had a super cute patio with greenery and string lights. A perfect place to organize a backyard wedding, which has become a big trend during the pandemic. Lauren created florals inspired by warm autumn tones that blended the boho-chic and urban vibe into a fine art, fresh look. Our graphic designer Sarah (@chowdesigns) created personalized signage for the couple’s signature drinks and guestbook that were a forever wedding keepsake. And our photographer Lucie (@luciebphoto) made sure to capture not only pretty but unique photos of our couple, representing them for who they really are: quirky, fun, free-spirited with a bit of a rebellious heart.
Words by Naomi & Klaire
What is your favorite memory together?
N: One of my favorite memories is when we were walking together to a rave in Brooklyn on a scorching summer day. It started drizzling, and we had an umbrella with us but decided to just dance in the rain and sunshine together while sharing AirPods the whole way there. That day sticks out to me because it felt like pure bliss – it really is the simple things in life!
K: My favorite memory is from one of our first trips together. Since we started dating long-distance, it was also only the third time we hung out in person. We went to Austin, TX, over New Year’s Eve and Naomi brought a karaoke microphone because she knew I loved karaoke and we pre-gamed by doing one on one karaoke in our Airbnb. Just the two of us. I remember thinking that there weren’t very many people in the world that would do that with me, and it was so fun and cute.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome together?
K: I think our biggest challenge was starting the relationship long-distance. It was tough because we both like to spend a lot of time together. After about eight months or so, I moved to NYC to be with Naomi. I was expecting there to be a bit of a rocky adjustment period and was nervous about it, but the transition was so easy. We just fit in each other’s everyday lives so easily.
N: I agree that our biggest challenge was starting our relationship long-distance. Those few months were tough, but our individual lives have merged so effortlessly since KJ moved here that I almost don’t remember how hard being in a long-distance relationship felt at the time.
If you could give your younger selves a pep talk for the future, what would you say?
N: Honestly, I am still giving myself the same pep talk that I would give my younger self. As a queer person, we are continually growing into ourselves, whether we’re ten years old or twenty-five years old. I am constantly reminding myself that I am exactly the person I was meant to be, regardless of what people or the world tell me I am. The more you open yourself and your heart to others, the more love, and kindness you will have in your life.
K: I would say to my younger self that it is important to surround yourself with people who magnify your light. Not people who bring you down.
Tell us your favorite thing about one another.
K: My favorite thing about Naomi is how much fun we have together. We can leave the house in the morning and be gone all day, bopping around from place to place with no plan in mind. She’s also the most supportive person I’ve ever met. She really helped me come into myself more. When we met, I went by a different name and was just starting to try out they/them pronouns. Her support has helped me explore my gender identity, and she continues to support me every day.
N: My favorite thing about KJ is their magnitude. They walk into a room and have the ability to draw anyone in and make them feel safe. They are so comfortable with who they are as a person that being in their presence makes you feel like you can be completely and totally yourself with them.