This weekend I had the honor of photographing a surprise proposal. I was contacted only a few days prior to the event by Natalia to photograph her proposing to her girlfriend of one year, Krystle. I could tell she was nervous while talking to her on the phone. She explained that she would be reserving an intimate wine cellar room at Aqua Bar & Grille in Tampa.
Upon arriving I was engulfed by neon blue and green lights that lined the bar area and was surprised by large waterfront windows which filled the restaurant with ambient light. Once we got paperwork out of the way, Natalia walked me to the room she would be proposing within. Rows of wine bottles surrounded a single table, while more neon lighting lit the room with cool hues of blue and green. A waterfall behind the wine wall to the right added texture and movement to the already romantic ambiance of this modern space.
As she placed flower petals on the table and floor and roses and baby's breath in the blue glass vase, Natalia began to tell me how nervous she was. Then she showed me the ring. I could tell that, although her friend described her as 'laid back', this was something she had been preparing for quite some time.
The ring was simple and elegant; A symbol of her love for Krystle. She joked about how she was planning to place a Ring Pop in the box instead of proposing with the real ring and I could tell that this couple had the ability to make each other laugh.. even when their hands were shaking and the future was unclear. Natalia hoped out loud that Krystle would say, 'Yes'. I assured her that everything would be perfect as I took test shots, set up my softbox and helped her with the final touches.
'Here she comes!', someone said loudly. Everyone scrambled around to either get out of the way or get in position. Krystle was blind folded and being led by her friend. As she was led into the wine room I could feel everyone hold their breath, waiting for the moment to begin. As the blind fold was removed she instantly looked around to see their friends and family, a musician playing their song and a photographer snapping away. They spoke quietly for a few minutes, smiling and looking nervously at each other. Finally the ring was placed on Krystle's finger and everyone could breathe as they jumped up and hugged each other out of relief, excitement and pure joy.
After hugs, congratulations and a champagne toast it appeared that the newly engaged couple's nerves were starting to subside. It was real and all of Natalia's hopes had smoothly flowed into reality.
I can honestly say that as a photographer, I absorb the love, gratitude, joy and comfort that each and every client I meet exudes. It inspires me to be a better person creatively and personally as I work to capture every detail of the amazing moments I am humbled to be invited to experience. Thank you both for trusting me with such a special and intimate experience and I wish you nothing but the best!