It was a late Thursday night when I got a call from Simi of Uche Photography. In 2017, I started attending meetups hosted by the Austin chapter of the Rising Tide Society, and through the monthly meetups, I’ve been able to make friends with creative entrepreneurs - people who think and like the same stuff I do! That’s where I met Simi who can be called a Connector, which leads us to Thursday night. Simi called inquiring to see if I would be available to photograph John’s proposal to Allie because she would be unavailable. I immediately said yes! I’ve only shot a proposal once before, and I’ve been wanting to do it again.
I spoke with John the next morning, and we made plans to do a walkthrough of Zilker Park, where he wanted to propose. The plan was for him and Allie to have a picnic on the lawn after work. We discussed the What Ifs (what if it’s raining, what if it’s too noisy, what if there are sections blocked off day-of) and came up with contingency plans. John also brought their pup, Olivia, to meet me. Olivia and I became quick friends. We also discussed how I could stay hidden during the proposal and shoot as a surprise. This would be the difficult part because there is very little coverage at Zilker. I’m talking wide open areas with trees spread out. We both figured if I stayed a good deal behind them and acted like I was looking at the entire scenery rather than just them, then it would work out.
I left John feeling very excited to photograph my second proposal! I only had to wait a few days until the Big Day. John messaged me that Allie got off work early, and they were arriving to Zilker about 15 minutes earlier than originally planned. I booked it from the parking garage I was waiting in to get to my place in time. I saw John and Allie walking to the second choice spot because the first choice had a festival on it. I then watched the stop and chat for a second, and then they went in a completely different direction! They headed across the street to a different greenspace. I followed behind them ever so stealthily and watched them set up under a tree. I found a space a good distance away where I could stay hidden behind a tree. Then I waited. And waited. Not going to lie, it felt like almost an hour until John went to grab the ring, but it was only about 30 minutes. I watched John motion to me that I could get a little closer and grab the ring box in his backpack. I watched him get on one knee and ask Allie to marry him. I watched Allie smile and cry and hug John. I don’t know these two on any sort of personal level besides they both come from the East coast and met in college. However, I was so happy for both of them. That moment marked the start of a new journey for them. This year they will get wrapped up in planning their wedding in Vermont; they’ll get stressed about vendors, and guests, and families. Among all that stress, I hope they can look back on these photos and remember this very moment when they decided to spend the rest of their lives with one another.