I first heard from Gabe last week when I was on my way out the door for a wedding. He was coming into town from Odessa to visit family and wanted to propose to his girlfriend while he was here. He didn't know the area and had no idea where to go or how to set it up. I spent some time on the phone with him, showed him some galleries of sessions taken at various scenic spots around the area. He told me his ideas and I brainstormed with him to help him find the spot.
I have to admit I was a little nervous. Sometimes people call me with no intent of booking me, they just want to pick my brain about locations and off-the-beaten-path spots. And sometimes I'm okay with that, but not when I'm heading out to a wedding. I suggested he take a look at the places I told him about online and in my galleries and told him to call me back the next day. For all I knew it may have been the last time I heard from him.
But it wasn't! He called me back a couple of days later and told me he'd decided on The Faust Street Bridge based on the photos that I had in my gallery and the satellite photos from Google Earth.
He had decided on the spot that he liked in the photos and I told him how to get to that spot. He said he would suggest a walk after dinner. They would park at one side of the bridge and walk to the other. Then he would lead her around under the bridge to a rock by the water. There he would show her a slideshow of photos of the two of them on his cell phone. At the end of the slideshow he would get down on one knee and propose.
My role was to be hanging out down by the water pretending to take photos of nature and my lovely daughter who I brought along to help me.
I arrived a few minutes before they were to show up. He was texting me his wardrobe and what his girlfriend was wearing since I'd never seen them before. I sent my daughter to the top of the bridge to watch for them while I set up down below. I was shocked to arrive at this familiar spot and find it so overgrown with weeds and bushes. We'd had a lot of rain lately and my favorite spot was overgrown. So I set to work pulling weeds and clearing brush. Within a few minutes my daughter came down to tell me they were on their way. I quickly pulled as many weeds as I could and then they were upon us. My daughter posed, I snapped her. She posed and I snapped about 10 feet away from the lovely couple as she watched the slideshow. I managed to turn my camera on them a few times without her noticing.
When the slideshow was over, she wiped the tears from her eyes and turned to him. He got down on one knee and said the words she'd been waiting to hear for years.
She said yes, of course, and her hands trembled as he placed the ring on her finger.
A boat full of people floating nearby burst into applause and Gabe celebrated for a moment with them.
Then I introduced myself to Katrina -- who I felt like I knew after listening to Gabe talk about her. She was shocked that I was there for her. She thought I was just there to photograph my daughter. "That was the idea," I told her. Then we started a little impromptu engagement session. The kisses and snuggles were genuine then. There was no faking it for the camera today.
Congratulations Gabe and Katrina. It was so much fun being there for you two! Happy wedding planning. And if you're looking for a wedding photographer. I know someone.....
Lisa On Location Photography