Kirsten + Stephen

What does it mean to be truly connected? To yourself. And to others.

These are some questions that I have been diving into in my personal life. I’m one of those people that believes everything is connected. Everything. I desire my life to be fully connected to myself, others, and this earth. I want to see an integration of my values into every aspect of my life.

There are many things that have kept me from truly doing this: The pressure to have job security and provide, the façade of social media, and the fear of being truly known and fully alive.

So I’m starting a project: a personal project, life project, work project, etc. The goal is to be honest with myself with where I haven’t been connected, and take steps towards full connection.  I’m going to call it (big surprise) the Connection Project.

This post will be the start of the marriage between my personal goals of connection and my professional work. I want each shoot I do to go way deeper than just a photo op. And I couldn’t have picked a better shoot to begin with.

Kirsten and Stephen are coming up on their 1 year anniversary of marriage, and their union is so beautiful and powerful. They love each other strongly and they live their lives in such a way that empowers and uplifts everyone around them. They are also my dearest friends!
Since their anniversary is near, I asked them both to answer some questions about connection in their marriage.

What are some ways you stay connected to each other in your marriage? What does connection mean to you? 

Kirsten: For me, connection is when there’s deep understanding and empathy. It’s when I don’t have to explain how my day was, he just knows and has a glass of wine already poured for me. It’s when I know his heart, and he knows mine. 

Staying connected to each other comes down to one of the most basic ways of connecting to another person: talking, laughing, and sharing stories of one another’s day. What impacted you today for the good or not so good?  How are you feeling? Those kinds of things that get us to share emotions together – the laughter, the tears, and everything in between. 

it’s when I know his heart, and he knows mine.


Stephen: Connection is the act of always choosing Kirsten. Every day. Choosing to love her. Choosing to serve her. Choosing to listen and share the events of the day with her. Connection looks like staying close to each other and learning how the other person like for you to stay close to them, and vice versa. 

I think one way we did that was by getting close and looking into each others eyes for 2 minutes. Looking into the eyes of your love and seeing your face. It was a great way to let the stress of the day go and feel known by her. 

connection is the act of always choosing Kirsten.


I totally agree with the answers they gave and learned so much! Connection is a choice. It involves initiative and a conscious effort. It is also a balanced exchange of love and communication flowing between two people. Such good insight to take into every aspect of life, not just marriage.

But I think these two could be marriage counselors! haha. Thank you Kirsten + Stephen for sharing your thoughts and your friendship with me!

Here are some more photos of this sexy power couple:


Posted by:Crystal Anne Downs

I am a professional photographer and unprofessional sociologist pursuing creative outlets that lead to beauty, social justice, and peace in this world.

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