I got an email from this guy named Collin back in August, asking if I could photograph the moment he planned to propose to his girlfriend, Maddie. I kind of exploded with excitement because this kind of thing, documenting something so big, so special and important, something that goes down in a family’s history book…that’s what I live for. Collin was going all out for his girl, Maddie, and I loved that. I’m an all-outer, too. So we started planning. Sending coordinates, choosing locations over face time, mapping out the proposal day, scheming. I remember the day Mike asked me to be his wife so clearly, I will never forget it. I was only photographing the event but man, I probably wanted Maddie to have an unforgettable day almost as much as Collin did.
I’m sure she will tell the full story over on her blog, so I’ll try to keep mine short. Maddie went to sleep in her home in Los Angeles Wednesday night with no bags packed and no knowledge of her early wake up call the next day for a flight to Seattle and, eventually, a proposal. Collin and I already discussed we would have minimal communication throughout the day, as to not give Maddie any ideas. I had never met Collin or Maddie in real life before this day, but I noticed them, the guy in tan and the girl in the blue shirt and brown pants, as soon as they stepped out of their car at Discovery Park. I slouched down in my driver’s seat as they passed my window, but as soon as they were out of sight, I got out and followed. I took creepy stalker photos of them as they walked to “the spot”, hoping that Collin’s memory of the maps I sent would serve him well, since he’d never been to Discovery Park before. I signaled to Mike, who was hiding behind a nearby tree, already taking photos as the couple sat down. We waited nervously, doing our best to stay out of sight while also documenting the conversation that was unfolding between Maddie and Collin. It was one of those ridiculous days in Seattle, where clouds are nowhere to be found and it still smells like summer. I doubt the two of them noticed since they only had eyes and ears for each other, but there was an owl in a nearby tree hooting quietly the whole time they sat at that bench. The sun was dipping behind the Olympics so beautifully as Collin got down on one knee.
The day after the proposal, we planned to take engagement photos at Deception Pass. Everything was going according to plan until we hit traffic on I-5 North, and quickly realized neither us or Collin & Maddie would get to the Pass with enough decent daylight to take photos. I knew the forecast for the next morning called for heavy rain, but it was our only option, so we planned on it. Mike and I camped in the state park that night and it rained the whole time. I was pretty concerned…we’re used to shooting in the rain, but this precious couple from L.A. was not used to being photographed in the rain. Instead, we woke up the next morning to a gorgeous PNW foggy morning with the sun rising into a blue sky. Thanks, God. It was perfect.