I did a Holiday Mini Session with a small puppy corgi, Spenny, and his human owners. Kristie reached out to me to do a short and sweet, simple photo session with just a girl and her dog, and her boyfriend.
But two weeks before our photo shoot her boyfriend, Matt, secretly emailed me about wanting to propose to his girlfriend at the photo shoot. He told me they're always together, and it was next to impossible to plan something special without appearing suspicious like he was up to something. He wanted that element of surprise! And this photo shoot seemed like the perfect time to do so.
My reaction was something like this:
Hey! That's awesome!
Oh man, what if I mess this up?
I don't think I can do this!
What if I pick a terrible location, and there's people all over the background, and it turns out to be lame?
But! This would make such a great story to tell!
And wouldn't it be awesome if, as a photographer, I was able to capture this moment for them? To remember for the rest of their lives? I know I was happy that I asked my professional photographer friend to photograph my proposal to Leanna.
And, Spenny would be there, part of the moment!
Okay, let's do this!
I told him since there was an open Mini Session slot right after Spenny, I'd let them have the the next slot as an engagement gift. That way, we'd have more time to photograph and celebrate their engagement.
(Sidenote: This would be the THIRD time someone secretly hired me as their dog photographer for a secret mission. The other two were for a secret Christmas present, and the other for a secret house-warming gift that magically appeared one day in a new home. That story will be posted later this month.)
One week before our photo shoot, we had a secret meeting at a super secret spot called Starbucks. There, we hatched out the plan.
I wanted to get to know them better, so I could best know how to serve them. We talked about their relationship, what they like and what they don't like, and we talked about Spenny. We talked about making signs, like "Engaged!" or "She said, 'Yes'!" But we couldn't find a great idea on how the actual proposal would take place, in a way that would come as a huge shock and surprise to Kristie.
When the caffeine finally kicked in, I said, "Okay, how about I tell her to hold Spenny and look at me, and pretend to take pictures of just the two of them. Then I'm going to tell her to keep in looking in one direction, while you sneak up from behind and get down on one knee. Then at the right moment, I'll ask her to turn around, and there you are, on your knee and ring in hand."
And that's where we left it.
Afterwards, he texted me sketches of the plan he was making at work: