A few months back I got the idea that I wanted to photograph a wedding proposal as it was happening. I immediately texted Erin and told her what I wanted to do, and I think I even explained that I wanted to be ‘all detective like, and hide in the bushes’ while doing it! She told me she would keep her ears out for any opportunities that she may hear of.
As luck would have it, Leah, the videographer we collaborate with on our new video and photo product, had a friend who was about to pop the question to his long time girlfriend. She passed along my phone number to Michael and things happened pretty quickly after that. Michael planned to propose to Sarah within the next couple days but was still hammering out the details. Since it was Memorial Day weekend we were both working around the holiday and trying to factor in the ever changing weather forecast for his outdoor proposal.
I pretty much was ‘on call’ for the big moment and I knew it was going to happen sometime early evening on Saturday. Since Michael was trying to keep this a surprise he was just going with the flow of whatever Sarah wanted to do that evening. Michael and I were exchanging brief text messages when ever he could sneak his phone for a few minutes and with each text I was getting more and more excited as we got closer to ‘go time’!
Finally just as I was getting ready start cooking dinner, I got the ‘we’re headed to the park’ text and knew it was time to go! I grabbed my gear and jumped in my car. I drove down to the Prescott Park area in Portsmouth and said a little prayer out loud that finding parking wouldn’t be too tough. After some ‘creative’ parking 🙂 I raced down to the flower gardens and scoped out the area. I couldn’t believe how empty it was that evening! Usually the fountain area is packed with people, but tonight it was unusually quiet. It was perfect. Michael somehow managed to text me that they were walking my way and I positioned myself to be out of eye sight.
Michael had sent me a picture of himself and Sarah so I would be able to recognize them…and soon enough the couple from that picture appeared. They sauntered around the fountains and chatted for a few minutes while Michael seemed to be working up the courage to ask Sarah one important, life changing question. After a couple minutes they stopped walking and were still, and Michael took Sarah’s hand, and I could tell the moment was beginning to happen. I began shooting and trying to move my vantage point slightly so I could see them better now that they were in their final spot, but also so I could remain out of sight.
The moment was beautiful. I admit I got a little misty eyed watching Sarah’s reaction though my lens. Once the question was asked, the ring was slipped on her finger, and the hugs and kisses were exchanged…it was time to reveal myself. It is SO fun to be the first person to congratulate the happy couple! We took advantage of the last few minutes before sunset for a couple more photos before they headed into downtown Portsmouth for a celebratory dinner.
Thank you to Michael and Sarah for allowing me to share a small part of such a big moment in your lives. I hope you two have a wonderful engagement and life together!