I love when people reach out to hire Jonathan Ment Photography (that’s me, folks) as photographer for a proposal. Sometimes I’m hired by the one who’s proposing. Sometimes it’s a family member or friend. In any case, I am in on a sort of secret.
As a photographer for proposals, I know something not everyone present knows…
I always figure the outcome is known, that he or she will say yes, though nothing is ever certain in life – but when someone is hiring a photographer for a proposal they must have a feeling they know what the answer will be.
When I’ve been enlisted to capture the moment, proposals have been part of a romantic weekend away.
Sometimes a sort of ruse or set up is involved to help explain the presence of the guy with the camera. At other times, I’m merely part of the scenery suddenly pointing my lens at the action.
I remember one recent session, where I was waiting for the couple to emerge from a shop in East Durham, where the plan was to pop the question outside the front door. Their families had apparently been visiting the town for years, and it was near to their hearts. I busied myself inside the shop, trying to gauge when they would exit and then outside the shop, photographing a derelict structure across the road.
More recently, another proposal plan was for a somewhat random stop on the side of the road near a body of water near Windham. Ok… We were working on it, when they shifted gears. The couple and some friends would be at the Vineyard in Windham for a wine tasting. When they wandered out onto the deck to take a few photos I would step in and offer to capture the entire group.
How would we explain using my professional camera rather than one of their cell phones? Well… we wouldn’t. We would just count on the whirlwind nature of the moment to obscure that oddity.
When the moment approached, Samantha, the eventual bride to be, was reluctant to have a stranger take photos of the group. “How was I going to get the photos?” she later shared, adding, “I wasn’t going to give a stranger my email address.” We all laughed about it.
Rick, the general manager at the Vineyard, tossed out the notion that I was a friend and there to take photos for him, thus explaining the gear.
None of it mattered.
Angelo, the one popping the question, had a sort of laser focus when the big moment neared.
Before you could said “party of seven meets man in black with a camera hanging out alone at a winery” Angelo was down on one knee with the engagement ring out.
I’m always flexible when it comes to the details of photographing your special day – big or small. In the Catskills, weather is always a factor and sometimes we’re working within a window of time. It could be early. It could be late. It could be Thursday, Friday or Saturday…
Naturally I can’t block out every hour of a three-day window for the cost of a two-hour session, but wherever there’s room, I flex as much as possible!
Well, back to Angelo and Samantha. Naturally she said yes – and with an outpouring of emotion.
Afterwards, I caught a few frames of the two sharing the news with family over the phone while their siblings and friends worked their way through the flights of New York wines ordered earlier.
Will I ever see those great people again? Who’s to say, but for part of an afternoon at least, we were together as friends sharing the once-in-a-lifetime occasion.
Planning to propose to the one you love? Let’s talk about photos!
Thank you for reading,
Jonathan Ment Photography