Occasionally I mention in conversation that I attend more weddings than a lot of folks – makes sense when you consider that I am a wedding photographer. The same goes for proposals – I photograph a good number of them each year.

For many, that special moment when the question is asked and answered, will be the one and only time to experience such an occasion.

In recent years, I’ve been fortunate to be on the inside track and on the scene when someone is proposing and with a little planning, I generally blend into the scenery until the moment arrives – when maybe, maybe my attendance at the scene will be recognized. BUT I wasn’t incognito for Vincent’s proposal to Daniella at the Urban Cowboy Lodge in Big Indian this winter. In fact I ‘guided’ them through the entire event.

Let me explain.

Consulting with clients is naturally part of an event photographer’s job. From the very first wedding I photographed; I helped the couple locate the best location for best light and views based on their planned ceremony time.

Sometimes it’s a simple discussion while booking the event. Sometimes it includes a site visit, especially if I haven’t photographed a venue previously. There are often lots of questions. There are minds to be set at ease. There may be flurries of emails or texts. For a proposal, there’s always a plan.

And then plans change.

“Daniella was reading a flier in the lobby about guided hikes and walks,” Vincent informed me, adding “I told her I booked you for a walk.” (Brilliant Vincent!)

This was going to be different.

We met outside the lodge and I introduced myself. No need to conceal camera equipment. This is perfectly normal. We begin our trek…

When we approach the previously designated spot where he’ll ask her, I ask the two, ‘Mind if I take a few photos of you, I always take pictures of the folks I guide.’

No problem. While she’s looking at the camera, Vincent is looking at me, waiting for his queue. I nod, and ask Daniella ‘what’s happening there?’

She turns to find him kneeling with that beautiful rock in his hand to ask for hers in marriage.

It was beautiful.

A few things I didn’t know about before hand, Vincent had cleverly convinced Daniella to take a little time off from work as he had ‘won’ the trip at work. Welcome deception!

Kudos to Urban Cowboy Lodge’s most welcoming staff who played along, Taylor, Jessica and bartender Rushawn, who poured a toast after the deed was done!

Daniella knew it was coming; “window shopping” had been done, but thought it was coming on a future trip to Hawaii. Vincent was full of surprises and the pure joy on Daniella’s face while we were together makes me think he’ll never stop working at it and she’ll never grow tired of being on the receiving end.

What a beautiful couple!

Folks often propose far from where their weddings will be held and often hire locally for each. Only occasionally do I have the pleasure of photographing the full cycle from proposals to engagement sessions or save the date sessions to weddings – and sometimes even portraits with the children that follow!

BUT I’m available, and I’ve always said, ‘I travel for unique and beautiful opportunities.’ Let’s get together for yours!

Thanks as always for reading!

Jonathan Ment

You can find, follow and like Jonathan Ment Photography on Facebook and at www.catskillsphotographer.com

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