Words by Coordinator and Photographer, Cara Totman Photography
This styled shoot was a collaborative vision between Danielle McGee of Good Look’n and myself.
We wanted to keep things very simple with minimal vendors and a real couple to keep things honest and humble. Our venue is a barn in rural New Hampshire full of gorgeous antiques. The props we used reflected the notion of noticing the beauty in what’s around you, allowing you to slow down and create intentional moments. Our models were a couple that hired me last year for their wedding, and they were the perfect fit for this quiet and sincere celebration of love and romanticism.
Bridget & Larysa, how did you meet?
We met in middle school! Larysa was in the 7th grade and Bridget in the 8th. We became fast friends, totally taken away with each other’s humor and playfulness.
Ten years into our friendship, something shifted, and we fell deeply in love. It actually happened at the exact same moment for each of us, like in a movie. Walking across a bridge after a Gregory Alan Isakov concert, cracking up, we caught eyes and quickly looked away.
After that, we waited a couple of years before diving in. We were keeping it a secret from each other, afraid of changing our friendship.
Oh my, that is just like in the movies! What about your favorite memory together?
Our favorite memory together would have to be the ten-day Northern California camping trip. It was a reunion after two months of being long distance.
When we first saw each other at the airport, it felt surreal. We traveled from Oakland to hot springs, the Yuba River, Tahoe, Yosemite, then to Santa Cruz. I think all we ate was rice and avocado, skinny-dipped every chance we got, and slept under the stars. It was the most romantic, fun, spontaneous trip.
That sounds like the perfect love bubble getaway! Since then what has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome together?
In 2019, Bridget was diagnosed with bipolar II after years of struggling and misdiagnoses. It was both the most significant challenge and accomplishment after a challenging year leading up to being correctly diagnosed. Self-advocacy is a huge part of mental health, and when one can find the strength to do it, it’s a huge win.
Larysa reached a new depth of love, compassion and space in this process of being a partner to someone with bipolar II. Bridget is now thriving, never feeling better than they do today. Although being more accepted, mental health is still stigmatized, and it is so crucial that we as a global community, recognize and make space for everyone’s story and experience.
Tell us your favorite thing about one another.
L: My favorite thing about Bridget is their kindness, and also their humor. Bridget is a natural comedian and can make anything hilarious literally. It’s as if they blow life into the most mundane things. It’s magical. I am constantly buckling over, cracking up, and I cannot think of a better way to live my life… always laughing. It has been this way for the past fifteen years, since meeting in middle school.
B: My favorite thing about Larysa is her piercing insight. It’s like she has x-ray vision for the essential truth. Makes sense since she’s a Scorpio. I’m always inspired and awakened by how she sees the world. This enables her to be both effective and compassionate in how she navigates her life. I admire that grace. It’s her superpower.
What’s in the future for you both?
We have already experienced so much together, and yet we have a lot to look forward to!
In the near future…
We are enjoying settling into Boston after a decade of traveling the globe and exploring new places. It’s wonderful to find a place that truly feels like home.
Larysa starts her MBA program at Babson College in January 2020. Bridget continues their studies of yoga through the lens of social justice and trauma-informed practice.
We are considering getting our sweet dog June a puppy to love 🙂
Photography Cara Totman Photography