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A Sandcastle for Sandy | Hotel del Coronado Proposal Photography

Back when social distancing and the Coronavirus were not even blips are our collective radar, James called me to set up a stealth proposal session for Valentine’s Day.

He and Sandy were planning a trip San Diego to get away from the hustle and bustle for a relaxing getaway. Unbeknownst to Sandy, James had a special surprise in mind.

More than anything, James wanted to capture an incredibly romantic moment in the history of their relationship — one neither of them would ever forget. At the hotel concierge’s suggestion, he contacted Bill Pavlacka, Coronado’s legendary Sandcastle Man, to send this proposal into absolute WOW territory.

James, Bill, and I went back and forth, exchanging maps of the beach, and deciding on the perfect location for the castle. When I arrived at the designated spot on Valentine’s Day, Bill was there to keep an eye on his creation.

The Sandcastle Man Hotel del Coronado

The castle was the subject of quite a bit of attention from passersby, and when Bill put me in charge of it so that he could check on another castle, I made sure to let the young men who stopped to admire it know, “This is how it’s done, guys.” 😂

San Diego Proposal Photographer

Right on schedule, James showed up with Sandy. She was surprised and delighted by the castle, and by James’s sweet proposal.

San Diego Proposal Photographer
San Diego Proposal Photographer

Bill and I congratulated the happy couple, and Bill offered to write Sandy’s answer in the sand.

The Sandcastle Man San Diego Coronado
The Sandcastle Man San Diego Coronado
The Sandcastle Man San Diego Coronado

From there, we set off to enjoy golden hour on the beach, making some beautiful sunset portraits that James and Sandy plan to use for their engagement photos, to frame for display, and to create save-the-dates and wedding invitations. They chose a few favorites for me to post, while keeping others private for their wedding guests to enjoy.

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Photographers in San DiegoThe Sandcastle Man San Diego Coronado
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Photographer in San Diego | Proposal on the Beach
Photographer in San Diego | Proposal on the Beach

For James and Sandy, a favorite memory of the evening was sitting in the sand as the sun went down, enjoying one another’s company and watching the waves crash on the shore.

Photography in San Diego

James said his favorite shot was this image with the castle and hotel in the background.

Beach Photoshoot San Diego
Proposal Portraits San Diego

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