I love (almost) nothing more than when I've gotten to know a family well enough that they call me to photograph not just events but life moments. The Szczepkowski family has been one of those families for me.
I've documented engagements, weddings, surprise parties, cousin reunions, baby showers, bumps, babies and BBQs. I thought I'd seen it all with this crew of crazy, wonderful people.
Then, a few weeks ago, I saw something I never thought I'd see. Craig Szczepkowski revealed that he was in fact a big softy; he wanted--no needed--to put a ring on it, and I was fortunate enough to be there to witness the moment.
Amanda had no idea what was about to happen to her. Craig picked her up after work and told her they were going to dinner at a local favorite, the Spagetti House (where his mom once worked). Unbeknownst to her, he had asked their families to be there to help them celebrate. To be honest, these families are pretty close, so she wasn't too shocked to see some of them, however; upon seeing me (the family photographer) she became confused, allowing him the perfect moment to drop to one knee.
I like to laugh, and Craig is a funny guy, but no one was laughing this time. I've never seen him more sincere and nervous and hopeful and in love with the woman in front of him. He only said the words "Will you..." when she broke down sobbing happy tears.
This family is also a big fan of photobombs. Notice his big sister Sam in the background filming the whole thing, grinning like a fool :D Keep your eyes peeled, Amanda's dad photobombs them later on!
Their love was very palpable in that moment, and the patrons of the restaurant applauded the beautiful moment. Craig, never one to forget his sense of humor, expressed his feelings perfectly.
Lucky for him, his wife-to-be thinks he's funny, too :P I hear that's an important part of a good relationship haha. We all gathered to eat and take in what had just happened. When I photograph proposals, I often stumble upon some of the most touching images as reality sets in for the happy couple.
Not too shabby, Craig. You must have been thinking about this for a while :)
My favorite way to end a proposal session is to steal the happy couple for a few minute for their first portraits as husband-and-wife-to-be. I present to you Amanda and Craig, and their silly, whole-hearted, wild love. Plus, one more photobomb.
Can't wait to see what shenanigans you get up to on your big day! Thanks for letting me see the real you, Amanda and Craig.