Surprise proposals are one of my very favorite moments in the world to photograph! I absolutely love being a part of such an awesome once-in-a-lifetime surprise. It’s even better though when I have some sort of attachment to the couple. In this case, Christine and Emily are both friends of a past couple (Whitney & Alicia) that I’ve worked with several times over the past two years. So when Christine contacted me about capturing her surprise proposal to Emily– I was extra excited! Here’s the thing though.. Emily knows me because she was the maid of honor at their friend’s wedding for which I was the photographer. So in order to help pull it off in the most seamless way possible, Christine came up with a well crafted story which Emily totally fell for.. hook, line and sinker!

She told her that I was going to be shooting maternity photos for their friends at a nearby park. (A likely story because I AM going to be doing their maternity photos, just not for a couple of months!) The story was they were going to need some extra hands to assist on the shoot and needed Emily and Christine to come help out since they live close by. Only there was no “maternity photo shoot”. When Emily turned the corner she would see the beautiful picnic setup Christine had planned for the surprise proposal!

Christine picked this spot at Lake Lawsona in downtown Orlando because the bench at this park was where they had one of their official first dates so she wanted to propose in that same spot. Of course we FaceTimed in advance so I could see the location, but I’m not going to lie– I was a bit nervous when I got there because there wasn’t really a great spot for me to hide like we had originally planned. So I made the last minute decision to stand far away, but still be visible and pretend to be taking photos as Christine & Emily walked up. They wouldn’t be able to see who or what I was photographing from that far away, but it wouldn’t be odd to see me there with a camera in my hand. Then as they got closer and Emily realized what was going on, I was able to swoop in and get all of the proposal goodness on camera! Watching the sheer joy on Emily’s face was priceless and Christine managed to keep it all together despite her nerves. It was perfect!

From the photographer, Elle Baez


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Photographer: Captured by Elle Photo + Video
Location: Lake Lawsona

Submitted via Two Bright Lights