January 31, 2019
When asked about the challenge of performing in moments scripted for deep emotional connection, Al Pacino, one of the greatest actors of our time, once said,
Ask any photographer who is working with someone for the first time what one of the biggest challenges is, & the answer usually relates to getting clients to relax & embrace the moment so that the photos can reveal a deep, emotional connection.
Luckily, just like Hollywood has Pacino, we have Val & Ryan! After a seemingly rough start involving a trek through the mud, we were suddenly awash in the supernova spirit and energy of two beautiful souls whose genuine adoration of one another seemed other worldly. It was amazing to see a couple so at ease with being authentically silly and playful in a situation that often needs time, mentoring, & no small amount of encouragement to get to the good stuff. Instead, these two jumped into poses and gave us so much to see that 90 minutes felt like 90 seconds!
Val & Ryan met just shy of five years ago at the restaurant where Val works part time in addition to her job at a local children’s hospital. They became fast friends & found themselves spending a lot of time with each other. In fact, Ryan divulged to us that he was head over heels for Val from the very start. So naturally, he invited her to his family’s beach house with the rest of the crew for Memorial Day weekend. It was the perfect way for them to spend some one-on-one time together!
It was on that fateful beach trip that Ryan made his move. He asked Val to take a midnight stroll on the beach, where, just after midnight, Ryan revealed his feelings for her. Not with words, mind you, but with a gentle kiss filled with all the adoration of a man in love.
Ryan’s proposal was every bit as romantic. Since Val’s father sadly passed away when she was in high school, Ryan called her brother to get his permission for Val’s hand in marriage. From there, he enlisted the help of his family to come up with the perfect plan to surprise Val. Once again, they traveled to the family beach house, this time to celebrate the birth of Ryan’s cousin, Steve’s, newborn son. Or so Val thought.
So with that perfect alibi of a reason to have the family all together (not that they need one – anyone who knows the Heaps family knows they are a tight-knit group!), Ryan arranged for the family to get together so Val could do a photo shoot with Baby Andrew. Little did she know that the “photo shoot” was a ruse to get her in front of the camera!
After some convincing, Val agreed to get a few photos of just her and Ryan. While the photographer snapped away, a family member recorded video of Ryan dropping down on one knee at the very same spot where he first kissed Val on the beach, which was, not coincidentally, also Val’s favorite place to go with her dad, She was in utter disbelief, completely convinced this was another of Ryan’s notorious pranks! After processing that this was not just a Heaps high jinks, Val of course accepted!!!
Over the course of four years, four rescue fur-babies, and a lot of life lived in between, these two have become the epitome of devotion, built on a foundation of true friendship.
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