Nate and Sara had a beautiful U of M proposal at the stately Law Quad.
If you haven’t noticed over the years of my blogging, planning and photographing proposals is my favorite photography gig. It is such a momentous, personal, memorable, and intimate moment in a couple’s lives. Rarely are friends and family there to witness the proposal, so to be invited into such a special moment really is a gift.
Months ago, Nate emailed me asking to help him plan his proposal. The plan was in place and we were ready to go. Then Covid hit. We planned and revised the proposal no less than three times as Executive Orders and stay-at-home restrictions changed. I felt so bad for Nate (and every bride for that matter); it is nerve wracking to get your hopes up for an event only to have your hopes let down.
Finally, about three weeks ago, we decided to push forward with a new plan. He would have a U of M proposal at the beautiful Law Quad. Sara once mentioned that she would love to have her wedding photos taken there (and she will in November 2021!) Nate thought it would be a great location to propose and I couldn’t disagree. We scouted the location, decided on a plan, and waited anxiously for the day to come.
Normally, I do a little Instagram teaser before I photograph a proposal and even sometimes photograph a very small hint for my followers to guess the location. Not this time. Sara has been a longtime fan and follower of my work. I didn’t not want to ruin a beautiful surprise.
With 15 minutes to go, I texted Nate the simple message “all set.” I was in position and incognito, hiding behind a pillared archway on the north side of the Law Quad with a hat, aviators, and a full face mask covering me. I caught a glimpse of Nate and Sara walking in and clung to the wall like my life depended on it. The Law Quad was completely empty, making my random presence pretty obvious if I were to be seen. As Nate brought Sara into position and distracted her with a little gift, I knew I was safe to start shooting their U of M proposal.
I was really worried as I hustled around the Law Quad that my presence would be felt. Luckily, Sara was locked in on Nate as he proposed.
Finally, I was spotted and the reality of what was happening was starting to all come together.
There are always two decisive moments in a proposal that make for a fun photograph: the moment where the new fiance realizes they are being photographed and them moment of relief when their partner realizes they pulled off the proposal. Both of these moments did not disappoint.
It is so important for couples to take a few moments after the proposal to just be together. The emotions in these moments are so strong, I never want my presence felt. Here, I stepped far back and let Sara and Nate just be. The result was a very serene and peaceful image.
Once they were ready, it was time to photograph their engagement session. Needless to say, Sara was all smiles after her U of M proposal.