Jim contacted me a couple of weeks ago to plan a surprise proposal to his girlfriend of 3 1/2 years, Madison. When they discussed what they wanted for their dream proposal, Madison said her only request is that she wants it to be a complete surprise and for there to be a photographer.
His original plan was to propose to her on the night of her surprise birthday party that he had already planned. Jim had invited all of her friends and family, so everyone would already be there and no one would suspect anything. Unfortunately, we were already planning to be out of town that weekend and would not be able to photograph the proposal. I suggested that if he decided to postpone it a week, I would be available that Friday. He thought about it for a day or so and said he wanted to wait a week!
We came up with the perfect plan. It’s not uncommon for me to post model calls on Facebook and Instagram. We decided I would post a model call requesting a young couple to model for me at an adorable spot in Montgomery on Friday, July 23 at 6:00pm. I posted it on Monday and had a flood of people interested! I had to pretend it was real, so I let each of them know that I would make a decision by Wednesday and contact them if they were selected. The one person we needed to respond to the model call actually didn’t, which is surprising because she usually does respond to my model calls! I texted her Wednesday to tell her about the model call and that I had a bunch of people respond, but none of them had the “look” I was going for. I asked if she and her boyfriend would be available for Friday. She said she did see it and wanted to respond, but thought that I wanted a college-aged couple and she thought she was too old. I assured her she would be perfect for it and we made plans to meet Friday night! Madison said she actually lived just down the street from the park I wanted to photograph and I pretended I had no clue.
Jim and I planned the whole thing via phone because he wanted to make sure every detail was perfect and that Madison wouldn’t suspect a thing. We figured out the model call, what to do if Madison didn’t respond to the model call, where we would meet, how I would direct them into the pose he wanted before he got down on one knee, how I would get the ring from him before the session, and even how I would slip it to him during the session. Like I said, Jim wanted it to be perfect and he thought through every possible detail!
The day was finally here! Right when I got in the car to drive to Montgomery, Jim called me to review the plan again. He sent me his address so I could drive by and pick up the ring. When I arrived, I rolled down the window and he gave me the ring. Madison was almost there, so I drove off as quickly as possible!
While I waited for them to arrive at Cloverdale Road Park, I found the perfect spot for Jim to propose. I hid the ring box in my back pocket and made sure my camera bag was covering it when they arrived. Once Jim and Madison got out of the car, I greeted Madison and introduced myself to Jim. We really sold it by suddenly remembering we had met at a wedding a few years ago. Madison reminded us that we were also at the same wedding last year.
We walked down the beautiful brick road to the perfect spot. I took a few photos like I would for any regular session. Then, I asked them to turn their backs to me and put their arms around each other. While I moved Madison’s arm, I also slipped the ring into Jim’s left hand. I told them to walk a few steps down the road, then turn around and walk back to me. When they turned, Jim said, “Madison, I love you,” as he pulled her close and kissed her. Then he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. She was completely shocked! Madison said, “Jim! Oh my gosh!” and hugged him as tightly as she could. They hugged for a few minutes after Madison said, “yes!” Watching them made me tear up because I was so happy for them!
We walked to another part of the park where Jim and Madison regularly spent time together. After getting a few photos with Madison’s new bling, Jim drove home a couple of blocks away to pick up their dog, Rigby. Rigby was so excited to be at the park with Jim and Madison! She even licked Madison’s hand when Madison showed her the ring!
Jim and Madison, thank you so much for trusting me to photograph such an important moment for you! I am honored that you chose me to be your photographer and that you got your dream proposal! I can’t wait to see how you grow closer together as you plan your wedding and as you start your marriage. What a blessing that you get to spend the rest of your lives together! Congratulations, Jim and Madison!
P.S. Check out their behind the scenes reel here!