When you’re shooting a surprise marriage proposal “undercover” you sometimes have to put your acting skills to the test. Because, seriously… what better way is there to conceal yourself in a busy Manhattan location than to hide in plain sight by pretending to be a tourist?
And that’s exactly what I did just a few days ago in Central Park. I pretended to be taking photos of the Boathouse and the Fountain by Bethesda Terrace while I waited for my couple to arrive at our agreed-upon location. I had a second camera on my left shoulder, ready for action (Fun Fact: I always have a second camera warmed up and ready to shoot during a proposal in case my main camera decides not to cooperate!). I patiently waited for a text from Joey, who had promised to alert me once he and Steph had reached the area where the Bethesda Fountain is located. We were to confirm we were all there before proceeding with the carefully laid-out plan. “Ok, got you,” was all I had to write back once I spotted them and the rest of the plan was set in motion.
I followed them slowly and inconspicuously towards the Bow Bridge (where Joey was planning to propose), making sure I stayed a few steps behind so that (hopefully) I wouldn’t be seen or heard by Steph. I snapped a few photos from afar, awaiting Joey’s signal. As soon as we reached the bridge, I started feeling a few butterflies in my stomach. I was nervous because I knew I only had a few seconds to capture the moment and I just HAD to get it right. But most of those butterflies I felt were from pure excitement. I was excited for Joey and Steph. Because I knew that, in a few moments, their lives would change forever. And I couldn’t wait to see and capture Steph’s reaction, and hear her say “Yes!”.
Then it happened. On a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon in Central Park… Right there in the middle of the Bow Bridge… Amongst a few tourists and locals… With a photographer pretending to be a tourist… Overlooking a beautiful lake, some Central Park greenery, and a few iconic Manhattan buildings… Joey “popped the question”. And it was magical! And after the beautiful proposal we had an equally beautiful engagement session that not even the cold was going to keep them from enjoying. And I enjoyed every minute of that gorgeous afternoon.
In all the time I’ve been a professional photographer I’ve witnessed a few surprise marriage proposals, and (quite frankly) they all still take my breath away. Every. Single. Time. I get to see my couples and witness a beautiful moment in their lives and freeze that moment forever. And it only takes a moment like this to remind me why I chose to be an engagement and wedding photographer. Because it’s honestly WAY more than just a job. It’s a privilege and an honor. And I’m so thankful that I get to celebrate moments like these with my couples.
I hope you enjoy some of my favorite images from this beautiful NYC surprise marriage proposal and engagement session. Let me know what your favorite images are in the comments below!