It all started January 20, 2016 when I received an email from Austin. He was planning on proposing to his girlfriend Chelsea on March 5th, and was wondering if I could capture the moment. I was immediately excited, and quickly replied, "Yes!!" I could tell by the mood of his emails that he had been thinking about proposing for a long time. Chelsea means everything to him, and he wants this thing planned out to the T!! Heck I couldn't wait to meet Chelsea, I felt like we were already good friends, we hadn't even met! He works hard in Texas all week, while she is here finishing school; on weekends they are inseparable.
We went back and forth a few times, working out a date and time in February where he could sneak away to discuss the details of the shoot.
Along with his proposal, there are a few things I have to plan for as a photographer.
- Where are we doing this? (What vision do you have for the photos themselves)?
- What time of day?
- Where are you going to stand?
- How are you going to ask?
- What are your plans afterwards?
So on February 20th, we met, and discussed all of the above. You absolutely have to have a plan for the moment. The proposal itself goes by so fast, that you really really really have to be on top of your game. He sent me photos of him and Chelsea together (awwwww!) and a photo of the location itself with a clear vision of what he was aiming for. Austin was definitely very organized, and knew exactly what he wanted. This helped me out a great deal. (When clients tell me exactly what they want complete with pictures, believe me- it's extremely helpful)! We talked about the direction we wanted him to face, where we thought he should stand, how he was going to start the proposal, and what we were going to do after the surprise had ended.
The day we met was beautiful. I had never been to the Skydance Bridge in Oklahoma before, but I plan on visiting a lot more. At the time of this blog, I've already shot there twice! It's a magical spot!! At this point, we are all extremely excited. Austin is laughing and excitedly talking about the moment, and how happy he'll be when they can just celebrate! We offered to bring a bottle of their favorite wine to celebrate, and we were off to the races, looking forward to March 5th!
March 5th arrives, there is less than a 30% chance of rain. Skies are a bit overcast, but othewise perfect! Shane and I are in our usual stealth positions, pretending to take photos of the bridge with our 70-200's. (LOL). Shane signals to me that they have arrived and are walking towards the bridge. What happened after that, literally had tears running down my face. I didn't even realize I was crying. It was one of the happiest proposals I had ever witnessed. Genuine love? YES. Genuine surprise and excitement? YES. Complete and utter shock. YES. YES. AND MORE YES.
So there you have it. The longest secret proposal EVER. It was TORTURE! I am so glad that I met them both, and I hope to work with them again when it comes to their wedding. What a gorgeous couple.
On a technical side note, I used my Mark III with the 70-200 to capture the proposal from a distance, and after the surprise was finished, I switched to my Fuji X-T1 and 56mm which worked like a dream! Sharp, LIGHT, and just plain awesome.
Anyone else have any surprises coming up? Give me a call. I can keep a secret. :-)