I stumbled upon this fabulous sunflower lace dress on Poshmark and instantly knew I needed to snatch it up for a shoot (it has since been donated to a bride who wanted it for her real-life wedding)! My vision for the shoot was to pack it full of color, queerness, and tender moments for this sweet couple. Lexi & Sarah certainly delivered!
I cut and painted the backdrop myself, pulling inspiration from a slightly muted, funky rainbow palette, and styled it among terracotta-inspired vases full of pastel dyed grasses and baby’s breath. I tied together with the leftover flowers with drapey ribbon into an oversized bouquet for Lexi. I set Sarah up with a thrifted orange suit (which magically fit her like a glove) to go with her yellow Doc Martens.
Their chemistry together made this shoot even dreamier; they would giggle at their inside jokes and cheer each other on from the sidelines as they modeled separately. They posed in three different set-ups to mimic an intimate elopement – a ceremony backdrop, comfy lounge, and a little dinner table, all complete with vintage wicker and wood accents.
Words by couple Lexi & Sarah.
Tell us how your love story began.
We technically met through mutual friends during our sophomore year of college. When Lexi returned from studying abroad in Spain, we spent a lot of time together that summer. We always joke that Sarah was the last person to know she was gay. Lexi said for months before Sarah came out that when Sarah “realized” she was into women, Lexi was going to date her.
What are some of your favorite memories together?
Sarah- When the stay at home order happened, I went home for the rest of the semester, and Lexi stayed in Eau Claire. Just after I got home, we found out that we had feelings for each other. We talked every day and became even closer. I like to think we helped each other through that part of the pandemic. When I finally returned to Eau Claire, I went straight to Lexi’s house. I had not seen them in such a long time. When I arrived it was pouring rain and Lexi met me out on the porch. It was like a cheesy little romantic movie. I was so nervous and so excited. Lexi kissed me and it all finally fell into place.
Lexi- When Sarah came out to me, she told me she liked someone else, so I thought I had struck out. There is an art showcase called the Art Crawl in our city, and I asked her to come with me. I genuinely thought we were going as friends, but as we made our way through this huge warehouse I became painfully aware of how close we were and how badly I wanted to hold her hand. I kissed her for the first time that night. She’s been obsessed with me ever since.
What has been something you’ve had to overcome together?
Our most significant challenge was learning to let go of things that interfered with what made us happy. Prioritizing our happiness did not always make others happy, so we had to learn that making the best choice for ourselves isn’t always easy. We could only do our best; we couldn’t please everyone. Being together helped us realize who was really there for us because true friends and family would support something that makes you feel good about yourself.
Tell us your favorite thing about one another.
My favorite thing about Sarah is how she looks out for me. She is always looking for something to do to make my life more comfortable or make me feel cared about. I often struggle to take care of myself as someone who struggles with depression, and she never makes me feel bad about it. I feel safe with her.
My favorite thing about Lexi is they make me feel brave. Scary things are less scary now that I am with Lexi. I spend a lot of time worrying, and Lexi has a way of making my fears feel valid, but that they don’t have to control me. I believe more in my potential to do big things because Lexi makes me feel like I am more than capable.
What’s in the future for you both?
We graduate from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire in May of 2021, where Lexi is a Graphic Communications and Spanish double major, while Sarah is majoring in Illustration. We’re two art majors graduating in the middle of a pandemic- not a great start.
We’ve both signed on to stay in the area, and we hope to develop our respective portfolios further and start making art for ourselves. Lexi has been thinking about getting into modeling. But the pandemic has put a hold on both of our plans. We really have no idea what we’re doing, but hopefully, we’ll be doing it together!