Nicole is one of my very best friends. We’ve known each other for years. She is the type of friend you know you can always trust and count on no matter what. Unfortunately, we don’t get together as often as we’d like but every time we talk it’s just like old times :) One very normal afternoon, I get a call from Nicole. She was really excited explaining that her cousin, Brandon wanted to propose to his girlfriend. She was checking to see if I was interested and wanted to get some info to relay to Brandon. OF COURSE I was interested! Who wouldn’t want to be a part of something that special?! We were both squealing with excitement! Soon after, I get another phone call, this time it’s Brandon. Brandon is such a sweetheart, he told me all of his ideas and he basically had everything all planned out. All we had to figure out was exactly, HOW we could do this without April realizing what was going on.
Here’s what we thought up. I sent a very delightful (fake) email to Brandon and April that went something along the lines of… Thank you so much for taking the time to enter in my “Spring into Love” contest! I am happy to announce that you and your lady were picked for 1 free couples session, etc, etc… First of all, I’ve never had or advertised any type of contest. Second of all, I just knew she would think this was the weirdest email ever. But hey, this is what we came up with. I was so worried she would check my Facebook page or blog and see that there was no contest to begin with. Well, it somehow worked. I treated it as though it was just like any other session. The only difference, Brandon and I had already secretly coordinated dates and a location. Needless to say, our plans worked together smoothly.
The drive to Keswick Vineyards was just breathtaking… gorgeous mountain views, beautiful pastures of cows & horses, farms, plantations, you name it. I was so excited on the way and so nervous I would give it away. I literally could NOT stop smiling. I was thinking to myself, what if she asks about the contest, what if she can tell I’m lying, what if this whole plan fails and she already has it all figured out?! What if! Well, I had already conjured up my answers if she did ask those questions and I decided no matter how excited I was, to just play it really cool. Yeah, easier said than done. Those who know me, KNOW how easily excited I am. As I pull up, I squealed inside… it was SO close! And as they drove up, I got so nervous. I barely knew what to say, I felt so completely un-natural and awkward like this was my very first time shooting. I took a deep breath and we got started.
Brandon and I had already decided we would have to do some secret signal so we would both be ready and aware when he was going to do it. My line was “Oh my goodness, this is such a perfect spot… this light is wonderful” something along the lines of that. But the key words were, “this is the perfect spot.” I talk about the light wayyyy too much during the session so I didn’t want to throw Brandon off. And when he was ready (after my signal) he would smooth the back of his hair. During our session, I could tell Brandon was nervous and I felt like they could tell I was nervous. I waited until the end of our session before I gave him the signal. I had scoped out the venue and wanted to save the best for last. As we walked up to “the spot” I checked, double checked and triple checked my settings. I placed the two of them in front of the fountain and said, “Oh my goodness, this is such a perfect spot… this light is wonderful!!” I stared at Brandon, I was ready, waiting, and so excited! Nothing. I said it again, feeling like a complete dummy. I was thinking to myself, April just has to know… I just ruined it, why did I say it again?! Well, I directed them to do a certain pose and asked April to look at Brandon and I asked Brandon to look at me. He did, and I motioned to him that I was ready. He gave me a blank stare. Poor thing, I knew he was so nervous. I gave him a little bit of time and continued to direct them. I knew he knew I was ready and he was just waiting for the right moment. About a minute later, Brandon gets down on one knee and asks April the big question!! I just died, right there. That was one of the most incredible, romantic, exciting, awesome moments of my entire career! It is moments like these that keep my love of photography alive. I am so inspired by love. I’m a softy, all mushy gushy inside and THIS is what I live for.
Thank you so much Brandon for this opportunity. I feel so incredibly honored to have been there and captured this moment. I am SO, SO, SO excited for you two!!!!!