Pulling Off a Surprise Proposal

This might have been the scariest shoot I've done. If Patrick (the groom) and I didn't plan the logistics well, his proposal might not have been a surprise, or I could've missed it altogether if I wasn't paying close attention. Or if bride-to-be Chelsea caught sight of me taking photos of her and Patrick, she would definitely get suspicious. So I had to bring my high tech long-zoom lens and keep my distance. I felt like a spy.

In order to make sure everything went smoothly, Patrick and I met at the Jefferson Memorial a couple hours beforehand to discuss how to go about everything. The trickiest part was scouting out a secluded enough area to propose (he didn't want to make a huge scene)..on a weekend, at noon, at one of DC's most popular monuments. Luckily the backside of the monument was not only more quiet, but had way better lighting for a photo shoot.

Jump to a couple hours later and Patrick sends me the text I've been waiting for: "Just parked. I'm wearing a blue shirt and she's wearing a tan coat". From what felt like a football field away I spotted them in the crowd of people walking up to visit the monument. I had to make sure to keep my eyes on them the entire time until they got to our spot at the back side of the monument. As they passed me I put on my best acting face and pretended to be a tourist just walking around. I then continued to follow them and yes, stalk them, taking pictures as I went. It was thrilling.

When Patrick got on one knee everything felt silent and slow-motion to me..nothing else mattered in the world than capturing this brief, perfect moment. The conditions couldn't have been better -- the lighting, no one walking into the picture, and her saying yes, of course. Such a happy day.