Like any guy planning to propose to his girlfriend, Ryan wanted to make this moment really special. He was going to be surprising his girlfriend Allie with a trip to Key West, feigning a last minute birthday trip as the reason.
When Ryan called me, his original plan involved another location, but the restrictions led us to some alternate ideas, and we came up with Fort Zachary Taylor instead. I have done several undercover proposal photography sessions here before and explained how it could all go down.
Because Fort Zach is so large and we wanted to make sure Ryan would know exactly where to go, I told him I would stop by the park a few days early to do a quick video/photo "walk through", so he could see exactly where to go. Between that, the diagram of the park with my...um...OCD instructions...lol...and some other visual cues I told him to expect (helped by my gracious friends at the park!), the plan was set.
The day of, Monika and I arrived early and scoped out the scene. I walked around and filled in the nearby beachgoers of what we were setting up for (I have found people to be much more lenient of you being in their personal space to get a shot if you chat with them nicely about it beforehand).
Ryan and Allie arrived right on time, and he walked with her down the beach. While he was too nervous to do much meandering as we had talked about, that was perfectly fine, as he led her right to the perfect spot, gave me the subtle - but very necessary! - visual cue we had discussed, and when he dropped to one knee, I was ready. :)
It was really an honor to be able to capture him asking the love of his life to marry him. Having been surprised myself with a surprise trip and subsequent proposal by my own husband, I can remember the moment like it was yesterday. I know how much I would love a photograph of that moment to complement the memories, so I understand how important and meaningful it is.
After she said "yes", we had some time to get some fun beach portraits of the newly engaged couple, before they made their way to dinner. Congratulations again, Ryan and Allie. We wish you all the happiness in the world!