3 gorgeous bachelorettes and 1 very eligible Bachelor were the perfect recipe for the most dramatic stranger session yet! But first let me tell you where I came up with this concept:
Back in August of last year, I started receiving numerous inquiries from single ladies along with the links to various other photographer's galleries which were entitled "stranger session". These sessions often went viral due to the nature of it being an unscripted, unpredictable, and sometimes steamy romantic. As I scrolled through the images from the other photographer's galleries, I couldn't help but kick myself for not thinking of this first... It was genius and also such a creative fun way to go about a blind date.
Fast forward to where I am photographing a really fun wedding. It's no surprise when it comes to weddings, there's always some matchmaking going on. When you're a photographer, it's like being a fly on the wall to these situations. As I looked around I noticed that there were more eligible bachelors than there were bachelorettes at this wedding, which lead to a little drama... which lead to me laughing and making a remark that it seemed to almost look like an episode of an infamous TV show... that's when it clicked! I knew I had to coordinate and share my version/mash-up of said TV show and a "stranger session." The planning actually began at that wedding where I recruited a brother of the groom to be my Bachelor!
Ben was pegged as the most eligible bachelor by his peers at the wedding. "He's a firefighter" one girl said as she practically swooned. "He's an accomplished engineer, with lofty career goals" said a family member. This all was extremely reassuring for me and also made me feel like I hit the jackpot!
While family and friends will easily sing out praises of who we are, I wanted to hear about Ben from himself. To get to know all of the participants, I had them each write out an autobiography answering a bit about who they are but also what they're looking at most out of a potential love match.
So what did his bio reveal?
"I grew up on a farm in the middle of no where with two younger brothers. We were big sports kids and we played every sport known to man and a few ones we made up." And Sports remained a big part of the families life... "Basketball was my favorite high school sport although I was a better tennis player than basketball player." Tennis was actually only something he tried out because of a girl (crush) who needed someone to practice against.
In college Ben thought Environmentalism was something he would pursue. This lasted roughly a year, "I realized I wanted to do something more technical and transferred to Purdue South Bend to study Mechanical Engineering Technology." As if that degree wasn't enough he also decided to put himself through firefighter school to become a volunteer firefighter in his hometown. " It is a really rewarding experience that I’m thankful to be a part of."
While Ben was definitely busy, he made sure to save time for things that matter most like family and friends. This love of people carried into some of the key aspects he looks for in his future person, " the three most important things to me in a girl are intelligence, similar values, and a good sense of humor."
Meet The Ladies
Spunky, sweet, funny and always extremely honest. Olivia was one of the original ladies who told me if I ever did a stranger session, she wanted to be the girl! She's spontaneous and down to be random, but she's also very balanced in that she has goals and plans in life.
She grew up with family from the "deep south" so according to her she should have a southern accent to match. Adoption is a big part of her and her siblings stories, and it instilled a strong appreciation for family. "Family is obviously extremely Important to me I honestly I see my family almost every other day if not every day because fun fact my dad and I actually work together and my mom and I worked together for about three years as well. My family has helped shape me into the woman I am today and they are honestly my biggest support system so it’s important to me whoever I’m with loves loves loves family as well."
Olivia is ready to be picky with who she lets in her life, but honestly her main desires are truth filled & genuine like her, "When I am looking for a guy I need to know I am not settling. I have a great career, friends, family, and know God so whoever is stepping into my world is there because I want them there and that they are honestly making my life better."
27, Recreational Therapist
Lynsey is the kind of girl who knows how to be a great friend to everyone. She's a beauty, yet extremely down to earth and always for a great time.
Country is her music of choice and when she gets the chance, you'll find her stepping out for some fun line dancing. And while that's a great way to stay in shape, it's not her only hobby.
She's very athletic and grew up playing sports like volleyball, track, and she also cheered. "Volleyball was my main sport growing up, which landed me a scholarship to Vincennes University. After playing for two years there I transferred to Indiana University to follow in my brother's footsteps."
She's also a family gal, and hopes that the man of her dreams will be too! "I have been truly blessed with the people God has put in my life and I wouldn’t be where I am or who I am today without them. Since family is so important to me, it is important that my ideal guy also have a close relationship with his family and will love my family as much as I do. Vacations have always been a big part of our lives, so I'm looking for a man who likes to travel and will enjoy seeing the world with me."
Last but definitely not least we have Bri. She is a gorgeous independent woman who knows her place in this world. A go getter who is able to stand her own in the corporate world, Bri is ready to find love with someone who matches her energy. She also wouldn't mind traveling more and seeing what else the world has to offer, "My ideal guy would be someone is family oriented personable open to traveling and has a strong faith/family values."
Growing up Bri did a lot of different things but gravitated to ballet. She even attended a premiere ballet academy who vetted their students for elite schools such as Juilliard. An accomplished and smart young Bri had an extremely difficult change in goals when she found herself with an injury costing her any hopes of being a professional ballerina, "I broke one of my ankles one day in practice, and that was it." But that wasn't all Bri had to offer the world. "God always has bigger plans."
Now at 24 years old, she is the lead chief of the Nurse/Scribe CTA program for a local hospital. During our shoot, she actually was able to manage juggling work and being apart of the day like it was nothing. She is resilient and an amazingly talented person.
To shoot this concept in an entire day, the ladies all arrived at the studio at 8am and met with our hair and makeup team. We had the amazing honor of having I Do Onsite Hair and Makeup's very owner Malari Russell as one of our MUAs as well as freelance artist Megan Sprague!
After getting ready and looking bright eyed and bushy tailed on this cold Wednesday morning, the ladies were off to meet Ben for the first time ever at Fort Wayne's Bakers Street Train Station. While the location was under temporary maintenance and repairs, it still boasted a beautiful location for the first looks!
Up 1st Olivia
Let the Fun Begin
After the ladies met the Bachelor for the first time, it was back to the studio to cheers to the beginning of an epic day!
&&& of Course the arrival of the 1st "Love Letter."
But Wait? What's The Goal?
Each girl was able to go on 1 date with our Bachelor, from airplanes, to romantic dinners, to arcades, there's a lot more in store for you all to see... all winding down to the special "Second Date Rose" where Ben decides which lucky lady he would like to take out on a second date.
WHO DO YOU THINK HE'LL CHOOSE?