( i propose: a photo shoot )

You belong among the wildflowers
You belong somewhere close to me
Far away from your trouble and worry
You belong somewhere you feel free
You belong somewhere you feel free

It was like Tom Petty was singing to Jenn and Andrew. Like he’d been there, leaning against the car, watching the entire thing unfold with his long hair blowing in the wind.

I couldn’t help but smile as I drove away with this song playing in the background. My head and heart were racing and I was so in love with love at that very minute that I could have kissed the first stranger I saw on the side of the road.

I met Jenn and Andrew at breakfast one sunny morning in the Dominican. They were guests at Jen and Michael’s wedding and though currently living in Ontario, Jenn was originally from Truro. I asked if they’d be my test subjects for lighting conditions around the resort and they happily agreed. Their chemistry was mind-blowing and they barely needed direction.

Andrew knows what he has with Jenn. I could see it from the first moment I watched him looking at her. He stands back and smiles at her, and at himself, for having her. He has an uncanny ability to say just a few of just the right words. When she hears them, she lights up with such beautiful confidence, grace, and happiness that I know Andrew tells her these things everyday. And Jenn believes everything he says.

When Jenn and Andrew came home for the long weekend in May, we got together to shoot another set of images filled with beauty, confidence, love, and happiness. They were so excited- Jenn bought a new dress and had perfect shoes and Andrew, in Andrew’s wonderful way, matched perfectly, complimenting everything Jenn had on, making sure that she was the brightest gem.

These are Jenn’s pictures. Andrew is in them, but he makes them about her. He makes everything about her. He’s always looking at her, smiling at her, being in love with her. She makes these her pictures because of Andrew. Her love for him shines through in every smile, in every pose, in the way she holds onto him like she’ll never let him go.

After shooting around town a bit, I decided to play up Jenn’s beautiful yellow flats. We hopped in the car and drove a little way out of town until we came to a gorgeous green hill that met the sky, covered in millions of dandelions. We brought Andrew’s brand new banjo (it was his birthday, and Jenn gives the best gifts ever) and an old grey wool blanket. My directions were “Just be yourselves, be in love, let me take pictures.”

I asked Andrew if he’d mind going and getting his jacket, just to change up the look a bit.

Well hello, Andrew.

And Jenn, you’re not so bad yourself, you gorgeous, pretty, lovely lady.

I’m not sure of the exact words he used leading up to these next few pictures, but I’ve got a pretty good idea of what Andrew said to Jenn…

Yes, I knew! We planned it in the Dominican. It was an off the cuff question, “Hey, if you ever propose to Jenn, can I be there to take pictures?” I asked Andrew. He pondered for a second and in all seriousness answered, “yes.” We didn’t really talk much more about it until the day I met up with them. Jenn went to the bathroom and we had 30 seconds where he told me the plan, told me the ring was in the jacket, and we winged it from there. Winged it PERFECTLY. As he walked up the hill to ask Jenn to marry him, he turned back and smiled at me, like a little kid, and he was a little lighter on his toes, I watched him try his hardest not to skip up there like a lovesick fool. I cried, of course, thankful once again for living in an age of autofocus cameras.

Keeping my game face on was easy- except for one instance. When Andrew went to the car to get his jacket (with the ring in his pocket) Jenn came and sat beside me on the blanket. While looking through pictures, I mentioned how gorgeous they were, and how much Andrew loved her, as could be clearly seen in every look he gave her. She said to me, “I know. Isn’t he great? I just love him. I wonder when he’s going to ask me.” NO WORD OF A LIE. She asked me that AS HE WAS GOING TO GET THE RING. I kept starring at my camera, trying not to grin, completely ignoring what she just said. Imagine.

Thank you for letting me be a part of one of the most romantic moments of your/my life. Thank you for being absolutely beautiful people and for creating beauty and love wherever you find yourselves. Thanks for being great friends, both to me and to each other.

Your wedding is going to be TO DIE FOR. I can’t wait.
Much love and all of the best things to you two- the schmoopiest lovebirds I know!! xoxoxox

Show Hide 20 comments

Amy Eaton - June 5, 2011 - 1:52 pm

LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Deanna Brewer - June 5, 2011 - 5:11 pm

*is crying* so. very. beautiful.
you need to live closer so i can utilize your amazing skill at every turn! thank you for bringing sunshine to a very gloomy day.
<3

Nicola Murphy-Naugler - June 5, 2011 - 5:23 pm

Priceless! and beautiful… once again you’ve worked your magic! xo

jessica - June 5, 2011 - 5:49 pm

I loved looking at these pictures, they are so lucky to have such nice pictures of this!!!!!! <3

Lynda Munro - June 5, 2011 - 9:55 pm

Absolutely sweet!! Thank you for sharing such lovely moments in time.

Jeanette Murray - June 6, 2011 - 1:40 am

I cannot get over how gorgeous these pictures are, how beautiful these two look together, how in love they obviously are, and the proposal itself. Magnificent!

Adelle Laudan - June 6, 2011 - 2:27 am

Happy sigh… lovely pics.

Deb Young - June 6, 2011 - 8:06 am

Loved both the pictures and the storyline!! Great job Danique!! Congrats Jenn and Andrew!!

Kathy Crouch - June 6, 2011 - 8:37 am

These pictures are lovely and the story that went with them brought tears to my eyes.

Ivonne - June 6, 2011 - 7:27 pm

Cutest pictures ever! I actually have tears in my eyes!

Danielle - June 6, 2011 - 7:53 pm

Wow! Brought me to tears! You captured a moment of pure joy..How touching to have been a part of it!

Amy - June 6, 2011 - 9:50 pm

I love every single one of these pictures, and especially the story that goes with it. Amazing Danique, as always :)

Pam - June 6, 2011 - 10:11 pm

Priceless…simply beautiful, FULL of emotion and love. A true treasure. Wonderful job!

Tamara Sharkey - June 8, 2011 - 7:35 am

These definitely caught my eye. It’s so rare that we Photog’s get to be a part of a moment so special that it becomes one of those moments to never ever forget – for the photographer too! You captured the love in such a storybook and magical way that is absolutely beautiful.

Andrew Young - June 8, 2011 - 10:50 am

Because of Danique I get to relive these moments everyday! I know that everyday will bring me the happiness you saw in my eyes during these photos. Danique, you are more than a photographer, more than an artist. You allow me to keep remembering the most important times in my life and I love you for that. And I agree with everyone when they say Jenn is beautiful, and she is all mine!

Thank you again Danique!

Sandi - June 10, 2011 - 10:35 am

Absolutely amazing. Love brings happiness to my heart and happy tears to my eyes and going through your photo’s and reading the blog it is VERY clear that there is an abundance of love with you and Jen :)

Health and Happiness Always xo

Ashley - June 18, 2011 - 4:38 pm

I like this. The story, the pictures and the love emanating from my screen.

Kirsten - June 20, 2011 - 5:40 am

Danique, no offence to any of your other clients, but this is by far your best session. I’ve been showing these pictures to my coworkers, and have yet to make it through a viewing with out tearing up, and having my voice catch in my throat. The kleenex box is the first thing I grab before saying, “Let me show you something beautiful and magical.” I bow down to your awesomeness!!! These are unbelieveable!

Danique - June 20, 2011 - 7:24 am

Kirsten!! that is SO sweet of you. thank you so much. As I’ve said to a few other people, that day just came together perfectly. They were great ppl with fabulous chemistry, and I’ve worked with them before so there was zero awkwardness. The weather was perfect, the location was perfect and the sky was perfect. Like a perfect storm pretty much :)

Thank you again, you’re such a great motivator. xoxox!

vicki - October 6, 2011 - 12:00 pm

Ok, so now just getting the tears under control!!! Danique I had gone to you FB page just to share a link with you, thinking the company could use your skills. Saw Horseplay on the Beach, and it was lovely. Then something caught my eye “I Propose” . Started reading, then scrolling, and then crying when I saw Jenn’s reaction to Andrew’s proposal. And cried more when you finished the story. Aside from your capture being so romantic and moving, I have to say, I worked with Jenn 10-15 years ago in a coffee shop in Truro. Then she was a young woman who made quite an impression on me, that I have not forgotten. Love her spirit, her outlook on life, her wisdom, her laughter. You have made my day by sharing this very special moment between Jenn and Andrew. It would appear she has found her soul mate. As always your work is exquisite Danique. Can’t wait to see the wedding album!!!

Give Jenn my love if your talking to her. She will remember me from Timmies and my appalosa horse.

Joy Dobson Melanson - April 5, 2013 - 7:28 pm

This is incredible! I feel privileged to even see this.

Michael Isenor - January 24, 2014 - 1:51 pm

Ok … I am remiss in catching up on your Blog. But I am glad I am catching up. As usual, Danique Dear, you NAILED IT! You captured those wonderfully intimate moments everyone says can’t be done. (And for some reason, my eyes watered up at the proposal pictures. Most be allergies) Well done! You are right … Andrew and Jen are a beautiful couple in love!

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