“CrossFit” and “romance” are not always things that go together, but Florida couple Iliana Buenrostro and Joe Marttila managed to merge the two for their non-traditional, yet totally beautiful, engagement photos.
“The idea was my fiancée’s,” Marttila, 33, tells PEOPLE. “[I thought], ‘Maybe we won’t like them later?’ But at the end it’s like, it’s who we are, it’s what we do, it’s what we love, it’s what we spend our time doing together, so why not? And so we did.”
Marttila had been doing CrossFit before he met Buenrostro, 28, when they were both working at SeaWorld Orlando, but soon they were doing the intense workouts together.
“It’s definitely our biggest hobby that we do together,” says Marttila. “Not that our relationship is built around CrossFit, but it definitely was a good way to strengthen it … It’s something that we’re both passionate about.”
Buenrostro searched Pinterest for ideas for creative poses, and her research seems to have paid off.
“These photos exceeded all of our expectations,” says Marttila. “I didn’t know what would become of it, but it was well beyond what we had ever dreamt for.”
“We love to cater each of our engagement sessions around the individual couple and make it unique to them,” adds photographer Cricket Whitman. “When I was talking to Joe about where they want to do the session he said ‘I know its kind crazy but…’ I loved the idea so much we spent half the session doing those photos!”
The groom-to-be’s favorite shot is a black and white photo depicting the couple holding hands and kissing – while climbing a rope.
“For me, it’s the perfect shot,” he says, adding that, surprisingly, “that one wasn’t one of the more difficult ones.”
Though it did require a little coaching.
“Ili had to learn how to not fall down the rope and how to hang there for a little bit, so I had to give her a quick little tutorial on how to lock her feet in, but she picks up on stuff so quickly that it didn’t take long,” says Marttila.
While the photos certainly showcase the couple’s impressive athletic ability, it’s not the technicality required or the complicated poses that Marttila loves most about them.
“We’re just being us,” he says. “We’re laughing, [and] it’s like the camera’s not even there half the time. That’s just kind of who we are.”