Surprise proposals are always such a joy to capture. I love being able take part in such a special moment, and shooting moments like this for them to look back on is why I do what I do!
Shannon’s sweet sister was actually the first person to contact me about shooting this moment because Garrett was deployed right up until a few days prior to the big day. Shannon's sister and I chatted about what they were looking for, made a couple plans (that included her shipping props to my house to bring to the proposal) and then it was time to work with Garrett to nail down specifics. I’ve done a few of these now, and every time it’s a lot of planning on my end. In this case, Garrett actually had little idea where to go and what to do since neither he nor Shannon were from Charleston and were just going to spending a week together here before he shiped off again. Talk about pressure! I formed a couple different plans and let Garrett decide which one he liked the best. He chose the gazebo in middle of the park at the Battery downtown, and I was thrilled with this plan. Until I arrived early at the park, and found a wedding happening at the gazebo. Best laid plans… I quickly texted Garrett with directions to another spot in the park to walk to and muttered a quick prayer that Shannon didn’t look at his phone. It was stressful. Not to mention I had only ever seen pictures of these two, so I wasn’t even totally sure who I was looking for! But, like any good soldier, he kept me informed of their ETA and I finally saw them turn the corner. They strolled over to the perfect spot and he immediately took a knee.
He spoke and she cried, as the violinist from the wedding that ruined our original plan could be heard playing from the other side of the park. It was simply beautiful.
Afterwards, I introduced myself because I realized that I’ve never met either one of these people and felt like a giant creeper. Her head was spinning as I explained that her sweet sister and soon to be hubby planned a portrait session immediately following his proposal. She was speechless for a little bit, but as soon as she got her bearings started to open up about their incredible courtship and how rare it is that they actually get to see each other. Shannon is pre-med while Garrett is all over the world with the armed forces. They meet a few times a year in various countries and spend every moment they can together.
I loved hearing their story as I walked them around my favorite city, grabbing shots along the way. I’m overwhelmed to be able to do this job that I love, in the city that I love. I get to meet so many interesting people and hear so many beautiful stories. Especially with surprise proposals.
It was truly a joy meeting and working with these two and I wish all the happiness in the world to them as they start the next chapter in their story!