Photographers for Orlando is a fundraising collective of photographers from all over the world that are donating sessions, pro bono to LGBTQ members and their allies in exchange for donations to victims of the Pulse Orlando massacre. We support OneOrlando.org and gofundme.com/pulsevictimsfund If you haven't read about it yet, you can check out our website at www.photographersfororlando.org
Through my original Queer Exchange NYC post on Facebook, I connected with Frank and Joel, a newly engaged couple from Manhattan. Frank was one of the first to message me expressing interest and gratitude in my offer to pay-it-forward to members of the LGBTQ community. We exchanged plans to meet up last Saturday, and much to my delight, he and Joel donated to each of the charities that PFO supports.
When we met at a coffee shop near the Highline, the first thing I noticed were the garment bags. It turns out that Frank is a lead visual merchandiser for Neiman Marcus as well as a venue manager for Mens Fashion Week. Already impeccably dressed, I was thrilled to see what options he supplied for our session.
Upon meeting Joel, I was struck by his cool demeanor and put togetherness. Joel is an accomplished musical theater composer in his own right. Together, these two are a powerhouse of creativity.
As we discussed their relationship, I learned that they became engaged abroad in Paris while they traveled for Joel's participation in a concert for Broadway Au Carré. Joel told me that he knew he wanted to propose to Frank in Paris, and brought rings with him. Intuitive, he decided to wait to see if the moment arose. While Joel worked at the event, Frank explored the city. One evening, when they reunited, Frank expressed his excitement over finding Coco Chanel's apartment. Sensing the moment, Joel encouraged Frank to bring him there. Upon their arrival, Joel found himself proposing, dropping to the ground in front of the apartment.
What struck me the most about these two was their ability to be so totally in sync. Whether they were goofing off or posing in the most perfect way, they were on the same page. I know that their life together will be full of beauty, creativity, and most of all, tremendous love.
If you are interested in following either of them, both are active in their fields on social media. You can find Frank and his mens style feed on tumblr at ManYourFashion, Instagram at ManYourStyle and Twitter at Man_Your_Style
To hear his music and more, please visit www.joelbnew.com