Cleveland couple goes viral with Obama-inspired engagement pictures

Posted at 2:02 PM, Jul 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-19 14:02:08-04

For most couples planning a wedding, engagement photos pay tribute to their relationship.

One Cleveland couple used their engagement photos to pay tribute to one of the most iconic couples of the past decade — Barack and Michelle Obama. 

The photos pay tribute to several famous Obama moments, including the couple's September 2016 Essence magazine cover, an embrace before the 2009 National Newspaper Publisher Association reception and a private moment captured by cameras before the 2015 World Expo when Michelle snuggled up against Barack in the reception room of the White House. 

Cassi and Adam, who are getting married in December, had the idea for the photos and asked their wedding planners, Cleveland-based company Covesa Kelly Events, for assistance. 

Adam had the idea to recreate one classic Obama photo, but Covesa Gragg, owner of Covesa Kelly Events, brought up the idea of doing a series of iconic Obama moments. 

Photo courtesy of Natasha Herbert

“The couple didn’t do this for exposure," said Gragg. “They genuinely admire the Obamas and felt their love was an example of what they want out of their marriage. We just wanted to capture that love.”

Exposure may not have been their goal, but the photos have since received more than 300,000 likes and have been featured in national media like Essence, People and Huffington Post. 

Terri Ford, communications coordinator for Covesa Kelly Events, said that this photo shoot was new territory for everyone involved. 

Gragg has been recognized for her work throughout the city, but never at the level of publicity these photos have received. 

According to Ford, articles about the photos have been published worldwide - including in Indonesia, India and Lithuania. 

Photographer Natasha Herbert, who said this is her most famous photo shoot to date, took the photos at the Cleveland Restoration Society. 

Photo courtesy of Natasha Herbert

"I've had other photos go viral on Instagram and things like that, but nothing to this magnitude, nothing that's gotten attention like these photos have," Herbert said. "It's been very rewarding. I loved doing them."