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  • Writer's pictureshantelwall

Proposal/Gig Harbor, Wa/Shantel Wall Photography/Donny and Haley

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

Let's talk love stories! My life basically revolves around the idea of love and devotion to others- and when Donny contacted me with his idea for a surprise engagement session with Haley I was already writing their love story in my head. But before I get ahead of myself, let me tell you about the chapters leading up to the photos you can see here.

Donny and Haley started dating way back in high school (who doesn't love a good high school sweetheart?!) and supported one another throughout college. They moved around, fought through finals and grades and midnight study sessions. They worked through tons of difficult days and even more difficult semesters to get to where they are today. The recurring theme throughout was that they continued to fall back on one another and do whatever it took to keep themselves together and on the right path. As they neared the end of the college journey they chose to buy a home together in Charlotte North Carolina to be closer to Haley's residency for her program.

I'm sure this particular move was a big one for them since they are both from Gig Harbor Washington but you absolutely couldn't tell as they laughed and smiled their way through what Haley thought was a "Key to the Future" cellphone session with family. Donny had other plans and Haley didn't even know I was hiding snapping away waiting for the magic happen. Donny handed the key over to Haley, got down on one knee, and asked the question that would set any girls heart aflame! You can see Haley's entire demeanor change during these photos from before the proposal to after, and she starts to absolutely glow with excitement as she realizes how pivotal this session really is!

One of the sweetest things that has come out of modern photography is that we have the opportunity to capture these moments that used to exist only in the memories of those involved. Donny bringing in a photographer ensured that Haley would get to relive this moment from outside her own perspective- that they can immortalize the emotion they felt during that moment and they can revisit them as often as they want. I know this couple is going to have a truly amazing life together- one they have spent years and years already working toward. I know these glasses of champagne will not be the only ones shared across the counter in their new home, and certainly not the only ones shared across the years. Congratulations Donny and Haley!



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