Captured & submitted by Jennifer Nicole Photography & Films
This session was really special for me for soo many reasons. What started out as a maternity session quickly became so much more…
Melissa and I have been good friends since middle school, when her family moved into town 2 houses down from me. A few days later, I made a batch of brownies and headed over to meet her. I can honestly say she and I clicked immediately. In the following years, to say we were inseparable would be an understatement. Her parents and brother became like my own.
I first heard about Christian around the time of my own wedding a little over 5 years ago. I had hoped he would be the one for my sweet friend. The first time I met him was at our going away party when we were leaving Long Island for our move to Orlando. I remember distinctly his smile and how he looked at Melissa in the most sincere way. I could tell he was one of the “good guys.” Every time I saw him after that, I’d joke around and remind him that when he was ready to marry my Melissa, he better call me so I can take the photos, and well, he didn’t let me down!
A few months ago, I got a Facebook from Melissa, which I never even knew was a thing (lol). I answered but I assumed it was a butt dial LOL. To my surprise, Melissa & Christian were on the other end. She asked me when I was back in town if I would take photos of them in their backyard… I was so confused. She then held up a sonogram and said “because I’m pregnant!!!!” I cried and just felt so much joy for them, and obviously said yes to taking their maternity photos haha. That’s when I got the message from Christian. He told me he “had a surprise for Melissa” and asked if we could film it also. so we HAD to pick the perfect spot for her maternity photos knowing it would end in her proposal.
I’ve admired Planting Fields for a while now but I hadn’t had the opportunity to do a session there whenever I was back home. Knowing Melissa’s favorite color is pink and Planting Fields having the most beautiful beautiful pink floral arches, I just knew that had to be the spot and Christian’s thought was the exact same. I have to be honest, I was SO NERVOUS doing these photos. It’s my best friend and these need to be perfect! I was so scared she was going to figure it all out and it messsssssed me up so bad. Most of the session is a blur because I was so nervous, but seeing these photos remind me just how beautiful and deserving she is of all things that are good — aka Christian.
I didn’t sleep the entire week leading up to this session. I would lay awake trying to think of a way to actually execute this in the most perfect way, because that’s what they deserve — perfection. I finally decided that I would have them face away from each other and give a code word for him to get down on one knee then tell them to turn around towards each other. I messed with her throughout the session though, having him kneel to kiss her belly, etc. I just kept thinking “she HAS to know, how am I going to pull this off?!” But to my surprise, she had absolutely no idea and Christian was able to surprise is soon-to-be wife! Her reaction was so sweet, and being a makeup artist herself, her first thought was “my makeup!! we can’t take anymore photos!” We did though, haha.
In September, Melissa and Christian will have their baby girl, and sometime after they will become Husband and Wife and I couldn’t be happier for them!