It was exactly 15 minutes before sunset, as I stood there waiting on the shoreline in front of a giant beach house with a turquoise roof and bright red shutters. I was following the special instructions of Phil who had told me where I needed to be ahead of time. The clouds covered most of the sky, but you could see the sun set peaking out a couple of inches above the horizon. I was starting to get nervous as I watched couples come and go, but none of them being the ones I was waiting for. It was far from silent as the sound of ever crashing waves and every now and then, the call of seagulls filled the air. Finally, I looked back towards the shoreline to see a woman in a faded sea green dress walking towards me with her husband who was holding a baby in his arms. “This is it” I thought to myself. The moment we had been planning for weeks now was just minutes away as they walked towards the beach. I casually pretended to take pictures of the scenery until they reached the shoreline, when I quickly changed my focus to Phil and his unsuspecting girlfriend. With their baby girl still in his arms, Phil grabbed the ring box out of his pocket and began to kneel down onto the ground. With shoes in her hands and overflowing joy in her heart, Vicky instantly dropped down beside the man who was now asking for her hand in marriage. She hugged Phil, and minutes passed as the three of them stayed knelt there, kept in a loving embrace on the sandy shoreline. Eventually they stood up and handed the baby over to Vicky’s mom and shared tear-filled kisses and basked in the joy and excitement of such a life-changing moment.
After a couple of minutes of celebrating, the two returned and the sweet details leading up to the proposal were revealed. Phil had contacted me a couple of weeks before and asked me to photograph his proposal to Vicky on Anna Maria Island. I didn’t know until that day though, that they had traveled all the way from MANCHESTER, ENGLAND ! How amazing is that !?! Phil flew all the way from England… to one of the most gorgeous beaches in Florida AND hired me to secretly photograph the whole thing! It’s safe to say that Vicky was one happy lady… even though all she could keep saying was “I’m going to kill him” with the biggest grin on her face haha. It really was so very sweet. Vicky looked absolutely radiant, not just because she is beautiful, but because the love and joy she felt shone through her eyes in the most beautiful way. I could only hope to photograph more people like that. We went on to spend the last 10 min of sunset getting photos of them together with their children, alone as a newly engaged couple, and of course, some beautiful shots of the ring!
Phil and Vicky, I can’t tell you how incredibly grateful I am to have been part of such an incredibly special and beautiful moment. Thank you for letting me be a small part of something so great. I wish you all the love and happiness in the world and can’t wait until I see you guys again on Anna Maria Island- in October 2019 when you say I DO ♥