Maya’s reaction to John’s proposal at DIA can’t be beat!
When a 806 area code came through on my phone, I thought it was another spam call. I picked up hesitantly. “Hello?” and then I sat quietly. “Hello, my name is John. I am hoping to propose to my girlfriend. Are you free this weekend?”
“Wow,” I thought to myself. We need to get going. John, originally from Connecticut and living in Grand Rapids, would often meet Maya in Detroit, about half way from her current home in Toronto. I explained that we should meet right away to devise a plan. When I asked him if he had a specific location in mind for the proposal, he said “I will leave it up to you!”
John and I first met at Belle Isle, where I have photographed other proposals. He was warm to the idea, but I could tell he wasn’t sold on it. I felt like a real estate agent, showing him various spots in Detroit, trying to get an idea or feel of what he was going for. After showing him the east side of the Detroit Institute of Art, which is more commonly photographed, I began to understand that architecture wasn’t his ideal backdrop. Instead, he wanted a touch of nature. There isn’t much nature in Detroit, but with the right lens and perspective, I knew I could give him what he wanted.
I suggested we walk to the Woodward side of the DIA and showed him how I could isolate the trees in the distance to be his backdrop while still giving him and Maya the privacy he wanted. I took a test shot, showed him the results, and a smile crossed his face. John extended his hand to seal the deal. “Proposal at DIA!” he exclaimed.
The next day, I showed up near closing time, ready for John’s proposal at DIA. Acting like I was waiting for a client, I stood, leaning against the white marble wall at the end of the drive. Coming around the corner, I saw John and Maya begin the gentle uphill walk to the top of the driveway. John paused, stopped Maya, and began to talk to her. It was just a few moments later that he pulled off his proposal at DIA.