December 2, 2022
It doesn’t get much better than charcuterie boards, champagne, Pensacola Beach, and a diamond ring.
You know the feeling you get when your life is on the cusp of change? A giant moment is about to happen. You can sense it. But you can’t quite put you finger on it. I’m wondering if that’s how Hollie felt when she won the Pensacola Picnic Co. giveaway we did a few weeks ago. Little did she know, her girlfriend Leslie reached out to me asking if she could take the opportunity to propose. Of course, I was elated to not only experience their proposal, but help with any planning and allow things to go smoothly for this beautiful couple.
Keeping this a secret was no easy task. When Hollie messaged me about outfits, I would message Leslie and say “Do you want me to tell her anything?!” We had it all planned out. Looking back, I’m surprised Hollie didn’t pick up on anything because I was so nervous during the photoshoot and I know Leslie was as well.
They enjoyed a picnic on a windy day at the beach and played some 2000’s hip-hop on the Bluetooth speaker. I asked if I could take them down to the water for a few photos. This is when Leslie said “Oops, let me take my Chapstick out of my pocket.” She was good to go and had the ring. I didn’t want to jump in too quickly, so we did some walking photos, and my usual shot list. Even though I was trying to play it cool, I kept watching out for Leslie and my heart was racing.
When the time came, I knew we were good to go. I dropped the key word on Leslie- piggy back ride. I knew this is something I would probably never ask of my couples, but it would stand out and give Leslie the “okay, here we go” key words to get ready. So I said “Ok! We’re going to make a GIF! Leslie, I want you to run up behind Hollie and give her a big bear hug. Kind of like you’re going to hop on her back for a piggy back ride!” I locked eyes with Leslie and she said “OK!” This was it.
My associate, Christy and I planned this meticulously, because the winds were STRONG that evening, and we didn’t want Hollie’s hair to be all over her face when the moment happened. We were ready. I pretended to mess with Hollie’s hair and get her outfit in place while I saw Leslie drop down on one knee behind her. (Why am I getting teary-eyed while writing this?) How cool, to witness in this moment the last few moments of their lives as “girlfriends” and Hollie doesn’t have a clue.
As they shared tears and absolute shock come over Hollie’s face it was a core memory for sure. Hollie looked over at us at one point and shouted “You knew about this the WHOLE TIME?!” We cracked up laughing and shared our preparation stories.
Hollie + Leslie, what an honor it was to photograph this moment for you. Best of luck with everything, and thank you for these amazing memories!
A huge shout out to the vendors who contributed to this Giveaway and proposal.
Picnic: Pensacola Picnic Co.
Hair & Makeup: Kristyn G Beauty with Kyndra K Beauty
Charcuterie: Boards by Jas
Photo: Jordan West Photo
Looking to book a Pensacola Beach Picnic Proposal? Reach out to Jordan West here.
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A lifestyle photographer in the Florida panhandle.
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