Azeem & Safia
surprise acadia beach proposal & picnic
I was immediately impressed upon speaking with Azeem, who was preparing a surprise proposal for his partner Safia late this August. Here was a guy who knew exactly what he wanted, and he wanted to make it as special as he could. He had it all planned out, from the "our friends are having a beach party!" alibi, to booking the fabulous Pic Your Nic to set up a beautiful intimate picnic on the beach, and then a family dinner with both families present to make the announcement and celebrate!
We spent several hours the day before dropping by a few different location options before deciding on Acadia Beach, just past Spanish Banks along the UBC peninsula (which, for the record, is technically part of the clothing-optional Wreck Beach. Just.... a heads up.... luckily our number of passersby of all levels of being clothed were pretty minimal haha!). He wanted to get the proposal part of things done right at the start, so we found a little beachy spot along the path toward the picnic set-up for him to pop the question.
The next day, the plan went off without a hitch! Azeem gave me a heads up call from the parking lot pretending I was one of the awaiting friends, and I positioned myself along the path, feigning being a tourist-y nature-photography-enthusiast capturing the local scenery, but catching a few sneaky shots with my telephoto lens of them coming along the path in the process! As they drew closer, I went on ahead, stopping again just past the planned spot and focused on a nearby frolicking seagull as Azeem lead Safia down onto the beach. At that point, my job was easy, as she was obviously too absorbed by her guy dropping down on one knee and whipping out a ring to notice me! She had a picture-perfect reaction, a literal drop-what-your-holding-in-shock moment!
Of course, she said yes! After letting them have a moment to process and celebrate, Azeem pointed me out, to Safia's shock! She truly had not an inkling. I told them to pretend I wasn't there for a while, wanting to just capture their candid reactions and energy as he lead her down to the picnic, another big surprise. They settled down and tucked into the lovely charcuterie feast and locally-made beachy kombucha.
Eventually, we got down to some proper engagement photos, staying close to our set-up but still getting a lot of gorgeous options (those glowy photos in the stream?? Ummmm heck yes! Those cold feet were totally worth it!) before returning to polish off the picnic. We headed back up the path, stopping to get some forest-y walking shots and then again towards the head of the path where I lead them to a patch of long wheat-like grass that was catching the early evening light in the most dreamy and romantic way. As they looked out on the ocean, a pair of seals came along to show off by splashing around together. Magic!
Wishing this beautiful couple all the luck in their preparations for their marriage, and for their future together!
Special thanks to Sarah at Pic Your Nic for the gorgeous picnic setup!