This shoot was the first surprise proposal that I photographed in the rain. Why? Because the photoshoots usually get rescheduled when the weather is less than optimal. But with Joe and Casey being from out of state and reservations made for lunch, this proposal would happen in the rain.
With a background in sports photography, working in the rain is a breeze for me, but it did present a few challenges:
1) Could Joe persuade Casey to venture out in the rain?
2) How could I hide in plain sight in a deserted vineyard in inclement conditions?
Joe’s sister, Deanna, coordinated the photoshoot with me, which worked well because Deanna and I were texting each other about the progress of lunch and the state of the weather while not alarming Casey.
I arrived at the vineyard 30 minutes after their lunch slot, and it was raining pretty hard. I had advised Deanna to bring an umbrella and encourage Casey and Joe to go for a post-lunch walk: a frolic in the rain.
While sitting in my car looking at a deserted vineyard, I was trying to figure out how to follow them wearing a bright red jacket and not be seen! This surprise photoshoot was not going to be easy, if at all possible.
At the appointed time, I received a text stating that “they had ordered another charcuterie board;” I can’t blame them; who would want to go out in the rain.
I waited patiently and received the text that notified me that they were going out.
“Thunderbirds are go!”
Just before they came out of the door, I opted to leave my backpack and only carry my sports bag to hide my primary camera, which I had taken a couple of shots with to ensure it was ready to go. I walked up to the information sign, which had a map of the vineyard, and I pointed to it with my finger as if I was a tourist looking for directions. Out of my right eye, I could see my couple -the only folks outside but closely followed by Deanna, her husband, and baby: excellent. I sneaked up behind the family group and used them for cover, and just a Casey and Joe ventured down an aisle of vines; I asked Deanne to talk to me in a normal fashion. As we conversed, I watched Joe, and as soon as he began to kneel, I pulled out my camera and captured the surprise proposal.
Casey and Joe had no idea “where I came from.” Job done!
After the proposal, we had a mini-engagement shoot in which all three of us got wet, but it did not dampen the joy.