Photographing a surprise proposal in a hotel room at The Chanler
When Michael contacted me to photograph his proposal at The Chanler hotel in Newport, Rhode Island, I thought it would be straightforward. But his plan was to propose in a hotel room, not on the property. I was initially uncomfortable with this idea, but I became more confident as we discussed it further.
Michael had booked the Martha’s Vineyard Ocean Villa, which had a deck with stunning views of Easton’s Beach and Cliff Walk. We looked at photos of the room on the hotel’s website, and Michael wanted to recreate that backdrop for his proposal.
I was worried about the lighting. If it was a sunny night, the deck and courtyard would be dark, while the beach would be bright. I knew that I couldn’t use HDR photography, so I hoped for an overcast night.
Michael explained that the only way to access the room was through the courtyard. He planned to meet me in the room, collect Anastasia, and walk her through the courtyard. I would then shoot from inside the room as soon as they arrived on the deck.
I was only partially confident that I would get a great shot, but I was optimistic about the surprise plan.
On the day of the proposal, the weather was overcast, perfect for my needs. I texted Michael when I left for the hotel, and he met me in the lobby to take me to the room. The hotel staff would meet Anastasia and bring her to the room.
Michael decorated the deck with rose petals and candles while I hid behind the bed to wait for Anastasia. I heard the courtyard door open, and I knew she was here.
Micheal didn’t delay the proposal, knowing that Anastasia would figure it out when she saw the rose petals. I didn’t have a great view from my hiding spot, but I stood up with my camera when I saw Anastasia face Michael.
I captured the rose petal-lined proposal, including the spectacular view, as we hoped.
A sure sign that a proposal was a surprise is when you hear the words, “My nails!” Anastasia had a nail and hair appointment three days after the proposal.
Well done, Michael!