Real Couples // A Just Because Couples Session in Vancouver: Ace + Cicely-Belle

We met at a sexual health clinic over a year ago. I (Cicely) was working there and Ace came in to ask some questions. I looked at her and I think it was love at first sight; she looked incredibly handsome, unique and intriguing... not to mention she was clearly making sensible choices. I immediately wanted to get to know her, and just as I was trying to find the courage to approach her (she looked quite scary and intense), she came into my office. I put my hand out to introduce myself and she looked at it for an awkwardly long time and finally gave a weird limp shake (I will never let her forget that). I tried to show my interest in her by liking and commenting on all her social media posts over the next few weeks (she says I stalked her) until finally she asked me on a date. We tried to be cool and casual cucumbers for all of ten days before we fell ridiculously in love and have been inseparable ever since. 

We love to go on adventures together, whether that's a wild trip to Dinah Shore or just a walk along the beach. We communicate really well and work so well as a team. We've been doing long distance for the past three months, and it has felt really good to trust each other so much. Our relationship just gets stronger and stronger. We are both involved in our local queer community in different ways, and it's incredible we get to do that work together and share the same passions for helping LGBTQ people. We have a lot of the same goals in life and it's so effortless for us to work together for our future. 

I am a freelance writer and facilitator. I write a lot about race, blackness, LGBTQ issues and identities. I also facilitate workshops on LGBTQ allyship and anti-racism. I like to encourage people, whether that's school students or business men, to be aware of how homophobia, transphobia or racism might be at play in their organization and then give them tips and skills to help them combat it.

Ace is a Masters student at UBC where she's studying Public Health. Her research focuses on cervical cancer screening in sexual minority communities. She also works on other similar projects that help LGBTQ folks gain access to good and inclusive health care. Our work is important because there are a lot of systems that fail these communities and we want to do our best to change that.

I saw Kaidra's work on Facebook and it looked amazing! I know that she's photographed people of diverse backgrounds and identities before, so we felt super comfortable working with her. We were just about to move into a new place at the time so we wanted some photos we could decorate our home with. I had to do some convincing to get Ace involved—she's not as narcissistic as I am—but she definitely knows we look hot as a couple so she obliged. We love to get dressed up and have a good time so it was really incredible to have Kaidra document our love in that way.

One of Ace's best features is excellent date selection. We've had the privilege of experiencing many nice restaurants, venues and also award ceremonies together and often like to make sure our outfits match or go well with one another. Ace likes to rock a formal masculine look and has me drooling over her bowtie ensembles. I'm usually quite femme and love to spend a lot of time on my make up. My bold colours often contrast Ace's neutral tones which make for a very aesthetically pleasing couple!

The photos make us feel really happy. We are really proud of how strong our relationship is and I think that emanates from the photos. They are a really awesome reminder of the fantastic summer we had this year and we will treasure them forever.

Words by Cicely-Belle, as told to Amber Marlow.
Photos by Kaidra Mitchell.

 vancouver "just-because" photo shoot ace kissing cicely-belle's cheek on a bridge
 vancouver "just because" photo shoot embrace in sunset light
 vancouver "just because" photo shoot couple smiling at each other
 vancouver "just because" photo shoot walking down boardwalk with arms around each other
 vancouver "just because" photo shoot arms around each other
 vancouver "just because" photo shoot holding hands in front of river
 vancouver "just because" photo shoot pose in park
 vancouver "just because" photo shoot pose on bridge holding hands in front of glass buildings
 vancouver "just because" photo shoot couple laughing
 vancouver "just because" photo shoot embrace
 vancouver "just because" photo shoot couple smiling on bridge in front of boat-filled docks
 vancouver "just because" photo shoot embrace at docks
 vancouver "just because" photo shoot couple smiling in dusk light
 vancouver "just because" photo shoot embrace on park path
 vancouver "just because" photo shoot couple walking in front of park's sculpture
 vancouver "just because" photo shoot laughing on park path
 vancouver "just because" photo shoot walking in park near sculpture
 vancouver "just because" photo shoot pose in park
 vancouver "just because" photo shoot embrace on park path
 vancouver "just because" photo shoot cicely-belle booping ace's nose
 vancouver "just because" photo shoot kiss on park path

 Kaidra Mitchell Capture Your Now

KAIDRA MITCHELL

Kaidra Mitchell of Capture Your Now believes that love—romantic, friendship, family—is the important and powerful thing in our lives, and has the tattoo to prove it! Capture Your Now focuses on capturing genuine emotion and unscripted moments, especially for multicultural weddings, simple weddings, and blended family weddings. A native Californian, Kaidra has lived in 7 countries on 5 continents, and moved to Vancouver, BC after falling in love with a Canadian. Favorite hobbies include volunteering in the community, learning languages to incompletion, being in nature, and reading.