Photographing a Surprise Proposal

The Preparation

Luke contacted me via Thumbtack a month prior to his proposal. He let me know that they were traveling from out of state and that he was planning on proposing to his girlfriend before they headed out to dinner. He didn't know where or what time so I gave him some ideas and advice on what would be a great time for his proposal. We decided on the date and next we had to come up with the perfect plan so she would not suspect a thing. His cousin suggested the beautiful Papago park. and I agreed that this was a beautiful place. I am very familiar with this park and it is absolutely one of my favorite places to do sessions. Next, we wanted to find the perfect time for their session. I always look at the sunset and sunrise times on my weather app so I figured that during the winter months the sun sets at about 5:20 so I suggested that we meet at about 4:30 or so so I could do a mini photo session after the proposal. The plan was to get his girlfriend to the park and I would be waiting near by.

The day of the Proposal

I headed to the park extra early and made sure I had two camera bodies and plenty of SD cards, and batteries. I wanted to make sure that I did not miss the moment. So if my camera decided to go down I would have a back up. I was waiting at the agreed upon location and then the inevitable happened. There was a large group of people taking holiday photos right in the spot where he was supposed to propose. I am not going to lie, I was pretty nervous. I really wanted to go up to the family and ask nicely if they would move but did I really have a right to do that at a public park? Probably not. I did text him to let him know that there were lots of people in the area. I saw them coming and the photo shoot for the family was still going on. Fortunately, she didn't suspect a thing. It also worked for me as a decoy so she had no idea I was there for what was about to take place. I saw them getting closer and thought okay how are you going to do this and suddenly he just dropped to his knee and popped the question. She was super surprised and excited. I was able to capture it all and it was a while before she even noticed me. I loved her reaction when she finally saw me. It is one of my favorite photos of their session.

The photo session

Once she realized I was there, I approached them and congratulated them both. She was still in shock and emotional. It was such a sweet moment!! I took them over to some of my favorite spots and did a mini photo session of their engagement.It really was a beautiful day and they really seemed to enjoy their session and the moment. I was so happy to be chosen to capture this moment for them. I hope they will cherish their images for many years to come. Below are some of my favorite images from their session.