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Photographer captures mystery beach proposal on Gulf Coast


Photographer Heather Swanner had just shot her last session on a beach in Seaside, Florida, when she noticed something sweet was happening: A man had just dropped to one knee and was proposing to his girlfriend.

Writing about the May 30 incident on her Facebook page, Swanner of Birmingham, Alabama, said she shot a few photos of what was unfolding, then noticed the couple's family was hiding in the bushes with their own cameras, so she stopped shooting and moved on.

"Now, as I am going through the proofs, I wish I'd gotten their contact info so that I could send them the pictures. If you happen to know this couple (they got engaged in Seaside, FL last Friday night), please pass my info along to them so that I can send them their pictures!" she wrote.

It's a good thing she did that. It appears that, in their desire to not ruin the surprise, the couple's family members were hiding too far away and, therefore, weren't able to get very good photos.

Swanner's June 2 post was just what they needed - and it quickly spread, receiving 589 likes and 386 shares - as of late Sunday night.

With that kind of interest, word soon got to the family of the newly engaged couple, Lindsey Crouch and Tae Cho of Knoxville, Tennessee.

Crouch, 23, was ecstatic.

In a Wednesday post to Swanner on Facebook, she wrote: "I can't believe you captured this!! My family was hiding but was too far away to get good pictures!!!!!! I am literally in tears seeing the most beautiful and special moment of my life caught so beautifully on camera!!!!!!!! Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!! I am so blessed!!!!!!!"

Crouch's mother, Kay, also chimed in on Facebook with her thanks to Swanner.

"Heather, I am the mom of the bride, the one hiding in the sand dunes! I had thought to get your contact info as I saw you shooting the proposal, but in the excitement forgot to ask you. . . YAY! for social media and kind-hearted photographers who are always prepared! These are the best pictures of their special moment as we were too far away, trying to be inconspicuous! So thankful for you!" she wrote.

In an interview with AL.com, Crouch said she was shocked when she learned about the existence of the photos.

"I started crying and immediately emailed Heather who sent me all the pictures she captured," she said.

Swanner was able to post good news to her Facebook page.

"I found my mystery couple!" she wrote Wednesday. "Thank you all so, so much for your help with this! The power of social media never ceases to amaze me."