November 23rd, 2011
12:15 PM ET

Nerdmance... it’ll fog up your specs

Engagement photos. They bring to mind images of cozy afternoon picnics, romantic strolls on the beach and couple’s lovingly staring into one another’s eyes. And how can anyone forget wizards, mad tea parties, light sabers, slithering snakes and flesh-eating zombies! Right?

Say farewell to holding hands and frolicking into a picturesque sunset because nothing quite says, “I love you” like killing a zombie and braving the Temple of the Forbidden Eye.

“Engagement shoots are starting to branch out of traditional norms. Couples are discovering that they don’t need to do the standard or typical. They can do something that really brings out their personality,” said Diana Rush of Diana Rush Photography, who most recently finished an Indiana Jones e-session. “If you’re a couple who totally geeks over Star Wars or Star Trek, why not incorporate those elements into an engagement shoot or wedding?

And so if you’re a geek, odds are that cliché and predictable photos with you and your honey posing stiffly against a studio backdrop simply won’t do. Just ask Los Angeles photographer Amanda Rynda who captured couples Ben and Juliana Lee fighting off a zombie– a shoot that quickly infected the web and went viral.

“Juliana and Ben are total nerds! Juliana came to me with the idea saying, "We want to survive a zombie attack and then hug because we're in love." I thought that idea sounded like so much fun,” said Rynda. “They let their guards down and were themselves – quirky and all! And who doesn't love a little honest portrayal of love? Especially when it beats the crap out of some hungry zombie.”

It’s couples like Ben and Juliana who are redefining engagement photos– saving family and friends from having to browse through a set of, though cute, uninspired photographs.

Newly engaged and self-proclaimed nerds Jake Hall and Valerie White share that when it comes to capturing the spirit of their relationship, they’ll be ditching boring for outrageously geeky.

“I met Valerie at Comic Con three years ago and the rest is history. I can’t imagine anything nerdier than falling in love over superheroes,” laughed Hall. “We’re going to run with an epic superhero themed engagement shoot. It’s something special for us, and I think it’s important to show our love as we see it.”

Couples are now more than ever expressing themselves in a no-holds barred way that is creative, deliriously silly and loving all together, according to Rush. Love simply isn’t one-size-fits-all and when it comes time to capturing a pair’s love onto photo, the new trend is embracing, well, you!

“We both live and breathe geek culture and connected over that right away. You have to know how to have fun and have a sense of humor about it,” said White. “As a bride-to-be you can get lost in what tradition and magazines tell you, but it’s important to stay true to who you are as a couple. It’s your love, nobody else’s and that’s what matters.”

Some may think Storm Troopers or Wizards don’t have any place in love, but geeks will tell you otherwise when it comes to the matters of the heart. Their idea of romance might be quirky, but breaking conventional barriers has never been sweeter or more endearing.

“Instead of lighting a unity candle at their wedding, Ben and Juliana made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in front of their family and friends to show their unity. Nerdy? Yes. Adorable sentiment? Also a big yes!,” said Rynda.

Overflowing with whimsical touches and rich details, nerdmances have found inspiration in everything from fairytales, videogames to movies. And the key connection has always been the passion for those interests.

“Nerdy-type couples are a little different than your norm. They invest whatever particular passion they have directly into their relationships. But it should be that way,” said Rush. “The more nerdy couples are actually easier to photograph because they’re really confident with themselves and know exactly who they are. They know what they want and that’s always refreshing for a photog.”

And when it comes to passion, nerds have one of the most unapologetic hearts for what they love, and therein lies the value of a nerdmance. They’ve grown up with their fandoms of choice and just as they intend to with their sweetheart, they want to grow old with them. Or maybe it’s more appropriate to say… live, long and prosper.

It’s been Rush’s experience that nerdy couples retain a sense of wonder unhindered by society’s expectations.

“Love needs that simplicity.  Love is about new beginnings and accepting the heart of person,” said Rush. “When a kid goes to Disneyland, they have magic in their eyes. I think childlike love is the best - it brings freshness into love as well as life. It’s a constant reminder of why your partner is so special and unique.”

So set phasers to love, cause love truly does conquer all. Even zombies.

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Filed under: Fandom
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. hvac units

    Btw, there appears to be spam on your blog. Regardless there is still plenty of excellent knowledge in this article!

    April 14, 2012 at 10:30 am |
  2. Ted Striker

    Nice to see us geeks getting cool articles, but let's be realistic about this. The only reason these articles appear is because geeks have built up a tremendous fortune over the past 3 decades due to the technology boom, so of course advertisers want the business.

    December 16, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
  3. Sun

    My husband and I are huge gamers, our wedding cake had a 40K squad walking through a forest next to a stream on top. Yes, we are nerds!

    November 24, 2011 at 8:35 am |
  4. well

    i was under the impression society largely frowns upon children getting married.

    November 24, 2011 at 8:19 am |
    • Sun

      Wow, we are under the impression that you are a huge loser.

      November 24, 2011 at 8:37 am |
  5. Catherine

    My fiance and I actually met playing WoW and I bet I could get him into costume..hmmm

    November 24, 2011 at 6:56 am |
    • I

      This! Except I have to do some persuading to get him to dress up. :P

      November 29, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  6. Jack Kieser

    My girlfriend and I are planning on doing something like this. We met at A-kon in 2009, and she started falling for me when she showed me her replica Master Sword, which I immediately drooled over; needless to say, our love of Zelda draws us together. We're planning on having customized cosplay for our wedding ceremony (I'll be in a modified, more formal version of Link's standard greens, while she'll be in Zelda's TP dress), so pictures like these will be necessary.

    November 23, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  7. Andrea

    Too funny! I love seeing playful couples but I kinda agree with Think About It. Get a few timeless/traditional ones, just ah... just because. And for all you other nerds that aren't quite that lucky there's always services like Engineer My Love.

    November 23, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  8. Think About It

    I recommend you still get the traditional shots done along with your Nerdmance pics..., I can just hear our future children looking at these and saying "Here it is..., just the evidence I need to have my parents committed,...You guys really are crazy!"

    November 23, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Kristen

      No No NO! Do not give in to what society, tradition and your mother says! Begin as you mean to go on. If you take traditional photos to conform, then you will have a traditional marriage (how's that working out?). And as for raising kids who think you are weird, that is so going to happen anyway. No matter how cool you are now (or nerdy) your kids are going to think you are weird. I just say, "it was the 80s" to excuse my hair and clothes in photos to my kids!

      December 2, 2011 at 11:49 am |
  9. Yey

    This is really great fantastic. Really touching.

    November 23, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  10. SweetonGeeks

    Find your own Nermance at SweetonGeeks.com! We have the best geek/nerd marriage record and every coupling helps us reach our goal of world domination and Wookiee Nookie for everyone.

    November 23, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  11. ps3chick

    I totally want this! That's beyond cool...shows your loved ones your passion and lets you be yourself.

    November 23, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  12. Uncle Owen

    My girlfriend and I are both Wheel of Time fanatics... although I introduced her to the series so I dunno if that counts.

    November 23, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Aunt Beru

      It counts. :)

      November 23, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  13. Leo

    My wife and I met at a Harry Potter convention. We attend sci-fi cons together, and do costuming.

    For our wedding, the invites were written in LOLcat (see icanhascheezburger.com for details), we marched in to music from the Princess Bride, our officiant tucked our wedding script into a Harry Potter book, we had a "Unity Bukkit" instead of a unity candle (we poured beer from our respective cities into a clean tin pail and then shared the mixed beer), and finished off with the words "can has" instead of "I do."

    Nerdmance is the best. :D

    November 23, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  14. Mason

    "Nerdmance",.. haha! Like that a lot. This is awesome.

    November 23, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  15. Allie

    What creative engagement shoots! Terrific article! I'm jealous my photos weren't this awesome...

    November 23, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  16. brian

    these picture are amazing!! great article.. great alternatives instead of boring engagement shots..

    November 23, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  17. Brown

    Omg I love Indiana Jones! I want to do that!

    November 23, 2011 at 1:08 pm |