If you're a regular blog reader then you'll know I usually photograph and blog around 30 engagement sessions each year. At each shoot I chat with couples about how they got engaged and sometimes they'll show me a blurry little cell phone picture of the two of them taken by a stranger just seconds after the proposal. I've been dying to photograph more proposals but sadly I don't think it's the first thing you think of when you're planning to propose - you're thinking about the ring, what to say, where to do it.
I was chatting on email with one of my favorite 2012 brides (hi Jess!) about some family pictures when she mentioned that one of her close friends Heidi would be getting engaged soon. Jess had been helping her boyfriend Eric with some ring advice (she's a jewelry expert!). I was all "Ooooh, tell him to email me and if the location/date works out I'm totally up for photographing the proposal"
A little while later I got a lovely email from Eric telling me all about his plans to propose to Heidi at Nubble Light (also known as the Cape Neddick Lighthouse) in York, Maine. Through a series of awesome coincidences and timing miracles I was able to photograph it all happening. Enjoy:
For those of you interested in the logistics of how this all went down it was fairly hilarious and involved a fair amount of planning and subterfuge. Initially Eric had planned to propose in Boothbay Harbor where he and Heidi were spending Labor Day weekend, I wasn't going to be able to photograph the proposal as I was heading back down from Maine for a Boston wedding. However Nubble Light is a really meaningful location to Heidi and when Eric emailed me to let me know he'd decided to stop at the lighthouse I realized I'd be driving past York at almost the exact same time.
Eric wasn't familiar with Nubble Light - an insanely busy tourist stop in Maine. I was a little concerned that it would be hard to find each other and for Eric to find a place to propose not surrounded by tourists. As luck would have it my parents were visiting from the UK so we hatched a plan that I would be "photographing" them by the lighthouse and that way we could "reserve a spot".
I made my parents get into position so I could test out my camera settings (it was almost noon so challenging overhead sunlight). My dad was very concerned about the stones on the ground and was worried that Eric wouldn't be able to kneel comfortable so he spent quite some time brushing a clear spot on the rocks! Eric was texting me pictures of him and Heidi and I was texting back pictures of me and my parents. Just after Eric and Heidi arrived, another couple were about to sit down just in front of the proposal spot! I didn't see them as I was watching Eric and Heidi out of the corner of my eye. My mom wasted no time in hissing "Stop!!! Don't walk there! He's about to ask her to marry him AND MY DAUGHTER IS PHOTOGRAPHING IT ALL!!!!"
For your Tuesday evening entertainment here are the messages :) and yes that's my dad practice-proposing to my mom in the bottom right :)
Heidi & Eric - congratulations!!! It was an honor to capture this awesome moment for the two of you!
Spread the news people - I'm all into proposal photography now! Heck - here's an idea. If you (or someone you know) is planning to propose in the New England region in November or December (I'm kind of busy with weddings in September and October), then email me (Leah @ Leah Haydock.com - take out the spaces) with the following information:
1. Your story - how you met, why you know he/she is the one
2. A picture of the two of you (so I can put faces to names)
3. Your rough proposal plans in November or December (if you have any specific location or date in mind or if you're open to suggestions for locations).
I'll pick my favorite story/proposal plan and photograph it as my gift to you! The deadline for submissions is September 30th 2014.