Can I just start by saying that proposals are probably my most favorite thing to capture? I get all caught up in the emotion of it and the images make for a great story to tell!! Joshua messaged me a few weeks ago about how he was planning to propose to his girlfriend soon and was looking for a photographer to capture the special moment. I reached out and we chatted a bit about his vision. I knew right away that this was going to be epic! He planned on proposing at a vineyard just outside Portland, OR and I was able to help him narrow down which one would be the best out of his choices.
The plan consisted of Joshua taking Lindsey out to a wine tasting at Willamette Valley Vineyards, and after the tasting they would take a walk outside and he would propose somewhere on the grounds. He wanted to see the vineyard in person before deciding on an exact spot, so we planned for him to text me once he got there and had a chance to look around. Sure enough, on my drive out there I got a text with "the spot."
When I arrived at Willamette Valley Vineyards in Turner OR on Sunday October 18th I was greeted by the front hostess, and all I had to say was "Hi, I'm a photographer and.." "OH!" She said quickly, "they are right in that room over there!!" It was clear that the entire staff was in on the proposal -- and they even had a bottle of champagne ready to go for afterwards. I showed her the picture that Josh sent me, and she brought me to that area. There were a couple of tables, but no real place to hide. Instead of trying to be sneaky, I had the hostess bring me an empty wine glass and 'to go' bag from the gift shop. I set up at a table, stuck my camera in the bag, and hid right in plain sight. I took a minute to move the chairs out of the way and texted Josh, it was go time.
Sure enough the two of them walked right past me to admire the view from the front of the circle. I pretended to mind my own business and scroll Instagram. I could sense that the moment was coming, so I causally stood up and made to look like I was searching through the gift shop bag. As soon as he dropped to one knee, the camera came out, and I started shooting!
To say Lindsey was surprised would be an understatement. She had NO idea that this was happening today. Her and Joshua had collaborated on the ring together, and Josh had the jeweler e-mail Lindsey to say the ring wouldn't be ready for several more weeks. (He really thought of everything!)
Shocked, crying, and laughing she said "Yes!" and Josh pointed over at me. (Hi Lindsey!)
It was incredible.
Immediately following the proposal, Lindsey took a minute to catch her breath, and of course call Mom :)
I love capturing moments like this -- they say a picture is worth a thousand words and I always feel like I'm hired to tell a story.
Once Lindsey had some time to collect herself we ventured out on the grounds. Despite the threat of rain all day we had a beautiful (and dry) evening, it all played out perfectly. We got to walk through the grape vines and at one point I yelled out "look at your fiance, you're engaged!" which resulted in another round of happy, shocked, crying.
After a few pictures we ventured back inside where the staff came over and popped a bottle of champagne for the happy couple. Willamette Valley Vineyards went above and beyond for this proposal, so 'soon to be' couples take note -- if you're needing the perfect spot, look no further!
As the set sun, we headed back out into the gorgeous grounds for a more intimate session. We brought the champagne with us, and I just followed the light catching wonderful views as I saw them. I like to hang back, tell the couple to pretend like I'm not there, and allow them to enjoy in this moment together. I don't do a lot of posing in moments like this, and it was actually Lindseys' idea to hop on Joshuas lap because it "just felt right", and I love that.
Congratulations again Lindsey and Joshua! I had SO MUCH fun capturing this moment for you. I know it is a crazy time to be planning a wedding, I wish you all the best in the next few months as you navigate this season in life! Cheers to many happy years together!