I had a completely different story written for today, but as I was finishing up these proposal photos I couldn't not share the story. Some of you have heard it, some may not - either way, proposals are slowly and slyly working its way to the top of the list as my favorite thing to shoot. The sheer surprise and excitement on the girl's face when she sees her man on one knee is completely priceless. This time was no exception, either.
You'll quite often see a petite little blonde in many of my photos, simply because she's my best friend and is fully willing to go wherever I suggest for an adventure, even if it may seem like the weirdest locations just to get a photo I envision. For this particular day, I naturally gave her a photo idea I wanted to do, thinking I would have to talk her into asking her man to join us. To my surprise, however, she suggested he come along because she's always wanted photos of them together from one of these little excursions. She thought it would be fun, meaning my job got way too easy way too fast.
A few weeks after this initial set up and upon suspecting a proposal, (of course because who wouldn't when you already went ring shopping, you're going to a beautiful location, and a camera is in the mix) I did my best to convince her she was not walking away with a ring after this shoot. It was to be a fun afternoon with no motive, no preconceived plans, no wedding in the making. Thinking I did an awful job, her man and I concocted a plan to avert her attention from thinking a ring was coming out of his pocket at any moment.
On this particular day my husband came along with us. Getting dressed at the house he looked good head to toe, until he put on a leather jacket that matched absolutely nothing he was wearing. If I'm being real, it's easy to say I questioned him hard. Out of obligation as his wife to make sure he chooses the right thing to wear (I mean come on women, right?), I attempted to change his mind on his harrowing fashion sense. He stuck to his guns and walked right out of the house, not having a care in the world that his wife was going to laugh at him all day. It wasn't until we were in the backseat of the car that I understood his choice.
This jacket happened to be the only thing he owned warm enough for the brisk fall cold that had a pocket on the inside. A pocket large enough to hold the box that holds the tiniest precious metal a man can buy.
We went through 40 minutes of laughs, spins, and leaf fights in the park, all while my husband clung to a ring box sitting inside his jacket, hoping it wouldn't move or be seen.
The funny thing to me about this day is that in the weeks prior, as much as Carley thought the proposal might be happening during this shoot, all prior convincing otherwise by many left her with no inclination that today was a big day for her.
Literally, no clue.
After arriving at our final location for a "quick portrait shot", I stole Carley away to do an individual portrait so her man could get the ring from my husband. I tell her a specific spot to stand in, a certain way to look, thinking she HAS to know by now what's coming.
I tell her I have one more photo for her to do, put her in position, and tell her not to turn around. My husband is convinced this is the moment she's going to not listen to me, turn around, and see her man holding a massive ring box without being on a knee. To my husband's surprise, however, she's commenting on the beauty of the trees.
I kid you not. She's staring up at the trees saying how amazing they are while her man is behind her on a knee, waiting anxiously for her to turn around.
It was a quite entertaining split second there from my perspective.
But then came my favorite moment: the moment she turns around and shock exudes from her face, alongside a shriek and a "what?!".
The best surprises come when you're not expecting them, right?
Thankful for these sweet friends of mine, I'm way too overjoyed that they're getting married next year.