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Marissa Decker Photography

Panic: the word that comes to mind when recalling my first session. I locked eyes with my couple and had about 8 seconds of silent panic. They were waiting for direction and my mind went blank. All I could think was that if there were awards for The Most Awkward in Front of a Camera, I would receive Gold, Silver and Bronze. Bottom line: I had no business in directing them.

I noticed their hands beginning to sweat. They kept checking their shirt and fixing each other's hair. The nerves were taking over. So I thought: what helps me get through an awkward situation? I talk. With that said, I dove into a long college saga. To summarize it for you: it was the moment I realized I lost all my spoons and had to eat peanut butter out of the jar with a fork.

Following up (and to make my story less out of the blue) I asked them some questions about their first dinner date. The moment she answered he instinctively relaxed and put his arm around her. I clicked my shutter, and as a result our session began.

When I realized MY PEANUT BUTTER DINNER produced more of a natural image then specifically telling her how to hold his hand, I decided to stop posing my couples.

Instead of saying "Put your arms around his neck and lean in really close," I'll say: Go on, go canoodle by the tree.

Like clockwork, there is a split second of confusion, followed by an immediate chuckle. Finally, they take my weird word, and define it themselves. Thanks to this, my sessions become less of a Pinterest posing guide and more of about my couples and their own memories.

Over the years, I honed my natural style. My aim for each session is to make my couples feel as if we are three friends going on a really weird, but super comfortable date.

Regardless if my session is in OhioNew YorkScotland or even the wedding I shot in Romania, everything is candid. Basically my couples can to kiss when they feel like it, hold hands when they want, or even run around in a circle if they desire. To summarize, we walk, chat, laugh and I capture away.

Case in point: Annie and Kyle's session defines this to a tee. I traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio, because Annie decided to surprise Kyle with a scavenger hunt! Every single clue had something to do with their relationship. It ended up being a beautiful, care-free hour! We hopped in grocery carts, skipped across bridges, drank beer and even sat on the porch of their new house! It was a perfect and hilariously unique evening: just like them!

If you want to read more about my candid style visit my website, or connect on Instagram! Come say hiiii - this peanut butter loving Hufflepuff cannot wait to meet ya!! // xo Mariss

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