I’ve lost count of the number of engagement shoots I’ve photographed, but last weekend I drove up to the Langdale Chase Hotel to shoot my first ever wedding proposal shoot: I was going to be on hand, camera at the ready, when Adam surprised Sam with his proposal and my job was to capture that moment for them for ever.
Adam had contacted me beforehand and asked me if I’d be willing to drive up to the Lake District to ensure that he had some beautiful photographs of the biggest moment of his and Sam’s life together so far. It took me all of, oh, 10 seconds to agree: what a brilliant commission!
There were then a lot of telephone calls with Adam and we’d planned exactly how I could be at the hotel at the right time and near enough to him and Sam to be able to capture the moment of the proposal without being so obvious in advance that my presence and my camera would give away the surprise. Happily, we worked out that I didn’t need to be hiding up a tree or wearing a snorkel and mask in the lake, as Adam had decided that he would propose after lunch, down by the jetty.
So, exactly as planned, I got into position in the hotel bar (and politely asked a party of lady hikers whether they would mind changing tables so that I had a clear line of sight to Adam and Sam’s table, which, of course, they were happy to do) to take some ‘before the proposal’ documentary wedding portraits. Everything was in place for the surprise proposal.
But, as every professional wedding photographer will tell you, sometimes, no matter how much you plan a photo shoot, things never quite turn out the way you expect them to…
I guess it was the way Adam walked in, strolled up to me and invited me to join him and Sam for lunch that alerted me to the fact that the plan had changed. He couldn’t wait and had proposed the night before and Sam had accepted his proposal, so I was officially 12 hours too late to record that moment! So the proposal shoot became an engagement shoot: I didn’t have to hide behind trees or bushes or in the water and we took a stroll and created some great portraits of the newly-engaged couple.
Congratulations to Adam and Sam, and a big thank you to Adam for asking me to photograph one of the most memorable events of his life …even though I didn’t!