I was so excited when Cody contacted me to ask if I would photograph him as he proposed to his girlfriend Mady at Stinson Vineyards, in Crozet, VA. This type of shoot is so fun because there's an element of sneaking around which adds another dimension to the shoot. Cody and I worked it all out ahead of time. I would wait at the edge of the rows of vines pretending to be very interested in photographing close-ups of grapes on the vine, while Cody and Mady finished up a glass of wine at the tasting room. Then, Cody would suggest a walk down the vines...I would follow and be ready for him to drop to a knee and propose! The day arrived and the vineyard had such epic views of the blue ridge mountains, I knew the photos would be epic! As I pretended to photograph grapes (well, I really did photograph the grapes...), I got a little nervous myself, worrying that Mady would figure out what I was up to...but they walked right by me and I followed them secretly, hoping she wouldn't hear my camera's shutter or turn around since we were the ONLY people in the vines (and that might be a little creepy to see someone following you...), but it all went off absolutely without a hitch. Mady didn't notice I had followed them at all, and when Cody dropped to a knee, it was so beautiful. It was an honor to be there as the only witness to see Mady's surprised and overjoyed expression, and all in the most gorgeous setting... They reveled in the moment and when Mady finally started becoming aware of me, snapping away at that point, it was funny to see her realize that Cody had hired me. At one point, someone who worked at the vineyard called through the vineyard "Congratulations!....I literally heard it through the grapevine!" Ha ha ha! I loved that moment! I could shoot a surprise proposal every day, it is so fun!
My husband actually hired a photographer to be there secretly when he proposed to me in 2009 on Miami Beach at sunset, and I cherish those photos...that's where it all began...and now we are happily married with two beautiful kids! When a guy hires a photographer to be there as he proposes, you know he has really thought carefully about this important moment and that he wants to take care of your memories together, which I think is just so sweet.