This job has afforded me the opportunity to not only be a part of some incredible moments, but help plan and have a front row seat (sometimes as the only spectator) to document once in a lifetime memories. In this case, I got to be a small part of planning a proposal for a very dear friend of mine!
I have been doing photos of Amanda and her dog Huck for a few years now, and we have attended Top Hand Cowboy Church together for a while! She has shared her story with me, and I have been praying (alongside her and many of the women in our church) for her to meet Mr. Right. So, when she brought Todd to the Easter service this year, he had a whole church family to meet and try to impress. As soon as we met him, I knew she had found the man we had all been praying for.
At one of our church events, I was very tempted to pull him aside and tell him that whenever he was ready to pop the question that he needed to call me so I could document it for them....but I didn't want to scare him off, so I opted against it. Just a few months later, I got the call from our pastor's wife that he was going to propose and that we were invited to a small celebration for them following the proposal! DANGIT I should have said something!
I was beyond excited, and immediately called Todd to get in on the details and see if he wanted me to capture this moment. He told me that he did want a photographer to capture it, but was afraid that I would give it away if she saw me. My heart dropped because I knew he was right.
What do you mean I can't photograph this moment? What is the point of being a photographer if I can't take photos of my own friend's biggest moments in life?
So, I got to thinking. When proposing there are really two ways you can do it (at least, if you involved a professional photographer). Option 1 is the hide in the bushes method where I capture it secretly and then hop out to do the rest of the photos after (for this I considered buying a wig and a disguise and renting a car), or Option 2 which is to schedule a normal photo session and *SURPRISE*, he pops the question during the shoot! The second can work particularly well because then she is already dolled up for a photo session, but we thought she might still catch on...so we came up with an alternate option.
I asked her after church one day if they would be willing to do me a favor and be "models" for a new location that I was scouting. We tried to keep the location a secret just in case she declined (in which case we would proceed to option 1 with a disguise and hiding). I told her I had a big wedding coming up and really wanted to be comfortable with the location (little did she know, I was actually talking about her wedding). She took the bait!
So now I just had to coordinate with Todd on how/when during the session he was going to do it. I told him how I would pose them, and at what pose would be "go time". Todd told me exactly what he had in mind, and we set all the details up. Fortunately, the whole thing went off without a hitch and without her suspecting a thing...even though we just happened to be doing the photos at her favorite place, the Rock Church.
We started with some traditional couples poses...just to get comfortable.
Then for the setup! I told Todd I was going to do him in front and her in the back first to get some artsy, selective focus type images, and help us get in position without seeming suspicious.
Then we switched. This was the cue! If you look close, you can see him messing with the ring box.
I told her to keep looking off in the distance while I switched angles. If I was going to name an image, this next one would be called "the moment before..."
This is when Todd took control and said,
"Amanda....do you know why we're out here?"
If you are wondering...she said YES. More accurately, she said "Thank you Jesus".
Is it just me, or does Amanda look like Cinderella with her cowboy prince charming?
And the ring shot, of course!! He picked a stunning ring, almost as beautiful as his bride-to-be!
Then for a few more of her floating on cloud nine.
A little dancing, and a little kissing. Lots of shots we will recreate on their wedding day!
I know you can't tell from most of the photos, but God sure did bless us with beautiful skies for this session. I believe He was smiling down on Amanda and Todd in this moment. It was the answer to so many prayers!
If you love this session, be sure to stay tuned, because in just a few months there will be WEDDING photos to go with it.
Special thank you to Todd who allowed me the absolute privilege of witnessing a prayer answered, and a dream coming true before my very eyes.
Now, we are all counting down for the wedding day! Until then...