Recently I began working with Michelle and Marvin, the married power duo who run The Heart Bandits, a proposal planning business. I was asked if I could capture surprise proposals and then provide some portraits afterwards to document the day for the couple. Of course I jumped at the chance! I didn't realize how adrenaline-filled the experience would be.. (please excuse this jumbled attempt to put the experience into words): First there is a total lack of control of weather, setting, timing, angle, etc.. and I'm forced to use a paparazzi style telescope lens, while hiding behind bushes.. all the while trying to focus on taking good photos, not missing the key moments, and most importantly.. not getting seen by the soon to be engaged woman. *Awesome* Fortunately I have come to the conclusion that at the end of the day, none of those little (or big) details matter. The guy and gal are just excited to be starting a new life together as an engaged couple... and are thrilled to have anything that helps capture the special day.
And that's exactly what happened with Isaac and Christine. She may have been wondering why they were eating outside on such a chilly day and he may have been acting crazy nervous all day, but as soon as she said "yes" none of that mattered. Here is how it happened:
The proposal took place at Paisano's, an italian eatery located in Rancho Cucamonga at the Victoria Gardens shopping center.
Michelle, Marvin, the guitarist and I met up well before the couple was scheduled to arrive, to discuss details of the proposal and make any necessary last minute adjustments and preparations. For example, if it started to poor down rain, what was I going to do to cover my camera equipment while still managing to shoot the proposal?
Once we had the plan all set, I set up to get a shot of the couple walking in to the restaurant. Isaac had sent a text to Michelle, describing what he and his girlfriend were wearing so I would know who to look for, and he did a pretty good job because I knew it was them the second I saw them.
The host (who was in on the whole plan, thanks to the coordination efforts of The Heart Bandits) sat the lovely couple outside, where the guitarist had already started to play some music.
The guitarist then engaged the couple, by asking Isaac if there was anything he could play for them. Isaac then requested Jack Johnson's "Better Together".
After he finished playing their song, he went over to the table and handed the couple an envelope.
Which Isaac then handed over to Christine. And in what is one of my favorite pics of the day, we can see Christine reading that note, while Isaac reaches into his pocket for the ring.
And the rest of these probably don't need any explanation. :)
Could the man look any happier?!
And this is what a sneaky proposal photographer never wants to see.. the girl looking straight at the camera. Yes, she saw me. Yes, she saw me before he proposed. And yes, she obviously saw me after the proposal. However, in my defense.. I didn't ruin anything! Its one thing to suspect that your guy is about to pop the question.. but who ever thinks someone is going to be photographing the moment? Atleast that is what I told myself (and the Heart Bandits so they keep hiring me for these jobs. :P)
Besides.. totally worth it to capture Christine's beautiful smile.. and that "oh-my-gosh-I'm-engaged!" glow!
And again.. thanks to the hard work of the Heart Bandits, the restaurant manager had a bottle of champagne on the ready to celebrate the happy occasion!
Isaac and Christine.. I was so honored to be a small part of your special day! Portraits will be coming soon! Meanwhile, hope you are enjoying all of the celebration and excitement of your new engagement! Congrats!!