Hi there, I'm Manali! A wedding & portrait photographer & educator serving Charlottesville VA & DC. Click through for all my favorites from recent sessions, adventures and travels, as well as tips & tricks for clients! Grab a cup of coffee, relax, and feel free to connect with me elsewhere as well! Cheers to you!
Manali Photography is a wedding & couples' photography business based out of Charlottesville, VA. When she's not making couples laugh or teaching other photographers how to save time in their biz, you can find her at a vineyard with wine & cheese in hand toasting with friends & family!
This will hands down be my favorite shoot of 2020 and probably my favorite proposal ever because I’m biased and that girl down there is my BEST friend! We’ve known each other since before I was even two years old and to say we grew up together and that her family is like my family would be an understatement!
Sachi & Kunal met their very first year at VT and it didn’t take long for them to start dating. I remember her calling me on the phone and sitting in my first year dorm listening to her on the other end describe Kunal and how kind, adventurous and perfect of a fit he was. Getting to meet him and see him in person for the first time it was very easy to see and KNOW that they would end up together.
Six years later, when Kunal called me on the phone I had a prettyyyy good idea what he was calling me about! He had already asked her parents in March BEFORE COVID had hit and had been trying to figure out how to redo his proposal plan. He asked if I could make it look like I needed their help as models for a styled shoot! I said I was down and that this would be easy to do since Sachi had been begging me to do a styled shoot with Indian models for a while now and they had modeled for me previously!
Kunal and I texted back and forth planning out details of the shoot while I was texting Sachi convincing her that my models hadn’t “panned out” and asking if Kunal would be ok taking pictures! She said that he was game so we started picking out a dress for her, got a custom bouquet made by Eight Tree Street Floral and picked up some champagne for a mini-shoot at the District Wharf. Little did she know this was for HER OWN proposal!!
Just a couple of days before, DC put in place a mask mandate for outdoor public spaces so we switched to Old Town Alexandria waterfront. The day of the shoot we got to the waterfront bright and early. We started out taking some pictures of the two of them and I said the cue words after a little while that I was going to “switch my lens & get a wide shot” for Kunal to get down one knee!
It turned out PERFECTLY!!!!!! I had to try SO HARD not to make a noise when Kunal got down on his knee and she turned around to see him kneeling with a ring in his hand!! I captured everything and the cutest thing was that Sachi started tearing up when she saw both of their families and friends come out of their hiding spot towards them to congratulate them! Although I’ve photographed so many proposals before, this was definitely the most nerve-wracking, yet sweetest one I’ve ever gotten to be a part of.
Sachi & Kunal, congratulations to you both!!! Thank you for being “my models” for the “shoot!!” I’m seriously so so so happy and excited for you both, I couldn’t even put it into words! Now, let the celebrations BEGIN!!
If you enjoyed this post, binge through these as well: