When Kyle reached out to me, I was excited beyond explanation. First of all, the owner of Hit Maker Films was reaching out to me and asked if I can photograph his 5 year anniversary to his girlfriend; I mean, talk about feeling excited, and unbelievably honored!
The next day we connected on the phone to talk in greater detail and from what I was suspecting, he confirmed that he was planning to propose to Mariel during the shoot. Be it that I have done this before, I had the opportunity to act with poise, you know, a professional with experience… So, I screamed with excitement, and acted like I was the girl being proposed to. After a few minutes of what, where, when, how, and the ring… I finally got centered and was extremely touched that I get to be a part of this special surprise!
The day finally came and it was about 100 degrees outside in Napa. I see Mariel and she is quite the beautiful and sweet lady as I remembered when we first met (our paths crossed once because of photography-check out her work here).
I thought… She has no idea… Don’t think about it Let… Don’t accidentally say anything to ruin the surprise! Act normal Let…
“Hi!!!” I scream at the top of my lungs!
Tone it down Let…. There’s no time for weirdness—game face on- Ok, here we go!
The shoot was going well. Their connection was sweet, effortless, and abandoning… I couldn’t have asked for anything else- they are in love and they made it easy for me…
Thirty minutes have gone by and we decided to drive our way to Castello di Amorosa for the proposal location. They made a quick wardrobe change, and minutes later I hear Mariel knocking on my car door. She looked STUNNING! I asked her where Kyle was and she said he “forgot” something… My heart starts beating faster and then I could have sworn I blacked out a little bit. Not sure if it was from the 100 degree heat, or the fact that I have this HUGE secret and I have to maintain my composure.
For those who know me… When I’m excited.. there is no hiding it. 🙂
Finally, Kyle comes around with his video cam and stated he wanted to record the last few shots because he wanted to “create a video log” of the day. Mariel confirms it and she says, “yes, it’s for my video log.” Knowing that he was already going to do this, I nodded my head not wanting to let out a peep to prevent my mouth from giving ANYTHING away!
We walked towards a secluded area near the side of the castle, I’m pretty sure it was for employees only, but we were up for the adventure. 🙂 Our secret question… “What do you think of the lighting over here Kyle?” I asked. This meant that this is the time for him to get that ring out and get on one knee… However, for some reason he kept bending down then standing up, then bending and then standing… “Yes hold it right there Mariel… stay like that,” while all along I was staring at Kyle, knowing if I stare at him long enough, my ESP powers will come through and he would know that I was asking him—“what the heck are you doing?!” Instead, I asked him again, “Kyle…. Is the lighting over here ok?” He nodded nervously while I kept telling Mariel to look at Mario (my photog friend who came to help) so that he can keep her busy. Then seconds later- he settles his right knee down, and in my head I said.. “this is it!!!”
I asked Mariel to turn towards Kyle, and she still wasn’t sure what was happening… Until he started speaking, and he pulled out the ring… Right then, her mouth drops.
Kyle & Mariel,
Thank you. I am grateful to have been a part of your special moment and am so honored to have captured them for you. You have no idea how your affection for each other inspires me in ways where they are beyond words. I hope you see them in your photographs. Thank you.
Thank you Mario Pring for being my second photographer! As always, you are awesome! 🙂
Thanks for being here.
Thank you Mariel Villaluz and Kyle Henry! It was my pleasure! I had such a great time with you both and your love is soooo sweet. It makes me smile each time I think about you both. Thank you for the opportunity- I can’t thank you enough! xxo