*Quick disclaimer - The title is purely a movie pun, not indicative of the actual proposal. Which was plenty solid, as you can tell from the photos.
It all started about a week ago, with one of those, "Hey, what are you doing next Saturday?" kinda calls. This fellow whom I shall not name (you're welcome to call him Matt) after a few back and forths, told me he was ready to propose to the lady of his life/dreams. He also wanted photos of the occasion, and asked if I could do it. I, having never shot that moment before, jumped (casually) at the idea. "Yeah, I think I can work you into my schedule..."
The idea was simple. He'd take her on a romantic walk on the beach, drop to a knee, pop the question. Meanwhile, I'd be there, staying incognito, ready to photograph the occasion. Easy peasy. In my head, I immediately thought of every spy movie I'd ever seen, questioning which disguise would be most appropriate. Do I need a giant hat? Am I wearing a moustache? Am I playing frisbee with others on the beach, should I go surfing? Tons of options.
Hours before the actual day, he told me I didn't have to go too far with the sneaking, because she might have an idea that it was happening. Nonetheless, I made it a personal mission to be like the ninja. I got to the location 20 minutes beforehand, to scout out my (camera) attack. I had a 300mm lens (long long zoom) - so my first instinct was to talk a distance away, and since it was evening I put the sun behind me. That way, if either of them looked my direction, the setting sun would make it too hard to see me through the required squinting.
After a while, I then decided an adequate disguise would be just me, sitting down near an adjacent boardwalk, browsing the internet on my phone (like so many other beach goers). After a nerve racking indefinite amount of time, they arrived, and quickly walked away from me, aiming for the waves. I had to get closer.
Moving with cautious intention, I slinked towards the beach. Walking into crowds of people, blending in. "Hey, I'm joining you guys. There's a marriage proposal about to happen, don't give me away". I haven't talked to so many strangers in my life. The couple walked figure 8's all over the beach, every time, forcing me to change groups. At one (least convincing) point, I pretended to be photographing the waves and birds and the sunset, and anything else I could at the time, while trying not to make eye contact with the bride/groom to be.
Long story short, after what felt like forever, he dropped to a knee (about 80 feet away from me) and popped the question. I couldn't hear their conversation, but judging from the body language, it went well.
Looking forward to another chance to become the ninja/secret agent. If you enjoy the photos, please let me know, or schedule an appointment with me.
More importantly, if you have any similar experiences attempting to be lawfully sneaky, please let me know (or comment below). Thanks!
(Click the gallery to make the photos larger)