This one was a real climb. No, seriously! This is the story of how I hiked up a 1.5 mountain trail to capture this proposal.
I don't typically take shoots that are quite this last minute - it was late on a Thursday night when I received a message from a guy looking to capture his proposal to his girlfriend on Saturday near Kent Falls State Park. There's a hiking trail nearby that crosses the border between Connecticut and Wingdale, New York near the Housatonic River. The kicker: My very unathletic self was supposed to hike a mile and a half up a steep and winding mountain trail. Luckily for me, my boyfriend quickly obliged to join and make a day of it in Kent.
Also luckily for me, this would make it easier to camouflage myself; I wouldn't need to do any crafty hiding like I normally would, as there were other hikers on the trail, and my boyfriend and I would simply look like more inconspicuous hikers. Even the camera wouldn't look suspicious, as the top of the mountain was a very scenic view that overlooked the valley into New York.
The fact that I was told they would be bringing their corgi mix only helped to motivate me. So off we went, driving across Connecticut and arriving just about fifteen minutes before them to give ourselves a headstart. I'm not going to say it was easy! I'm by no means athletic in the slightest and was never in any sports in school, so I huffed and puffed my way up the mountain. Fortunately it was a cooler day, and there were lots of species of mushrooms and fungi on the way up to keep me entertained. We even conversed with a family along the trail about what we were doing there, and said they might even see the couple pass by them!
When we reached the top there was no one around, save for a single older man sitting on a rock nearby. Finally a young man and woman emerged through the trees and I immediately recognized the couple from their photos. The man briefly nodded at me and they continued over to the ledge with their dog in tow.
I made my over slowly, pretending to photograph various leaves and trees in case she glanced at me, but I never let them out of my sight. And then he did it! And it all went perfectly - the only thing inhibiting me being the somewhat harsh sunlight and the single man, who was briefly alarmed that I appeared to be secretly taking photos of a couple I didn't know. He laughed when he realized he had just missed their proposal and that I had, in fact, been hired to stalk them!
I loved that little Willow even looked back at me right at the perfect moment. Afterward, we officially greeted each other and continued to take a couple more formal shots. The family I previously mentioned finally reached the top of the mountain and applauded the newly engaged couple. And that's about where our story ends!
If you're looking for surprise proposal or engagement photography, contact me here! I'm local to New Haven, but I also photograph around Fairfield, Hartford, Litchfield, Tolland, Middlesex, and even up around New London or down near Stamford and New York.