Let's take a closer look at the anatomy of a recent photo shoot.
I was so happy when a prospective client contacted me about secretly photographing his proposal to his girlfriend. I am sucker for romance and he sounded so excited. We talked on the phone and decided to meet at the spot where he wanted to propose, Christopher Columbus Park in Boston. He and his girlfriend, Jess, have a tradition of going out dinner in the North End every year on Valentine's Day. They have been dating for 7 years. He decided to make this the day to propose in a place that was special for both of them.
( The 2 above pictures are of my daughter, without her permission. She will forgive me. I thought they were cute illustrations of the text. She is as goofy, if not more goofy, than I am.)
This is Christopher Columbus Park where Nick and I met to talk about the proposal particulars. I know he was excited, but I venture to say, I was almost as excited.
I wanted to make sure I did a great job at capturing his proposal, so I asked my husband if he would go into Boston with me one night before the actual date to practice the set up and lighting using him as the model. He agreed to help me out. I love this guy. I know he thought it was romantic too. However, he did mention a few times, "Are you sure this is not some creep that wants to get you out there?" Always thinking like a cop.
A the time came closer, the forecast was for a blizzard on Valentine's Day. My husband said, "What are you going to do?"
"What do you mean?" I responded, " I said I would go, and I'll be there."
"What if you get stuck in Boston? he asked.
"I'll figure it out", I replied.
His reply "Book a room and we will do this together. We will go in early and you can practice before. We will make this a night out for us, too."
Did I mention that I love this guy.
When we arrive in Boston on the 14th, it is still to early to go practice because it is still too light out to mimic the lighting of the time of the proposal. So after checking into the hotel we venture out to the Black Rose for a few vittles and grog.
We head back to the hotel room and I am practicing lighting. It doesn't make sense because the lighting is going to be entirely different outside, but it helps me be less nervous because I am practicing. (Obsessed)
Finally, It's dark enough. Let's go. We're on the move again.
The snow is flying. The wind is whipping, but the rehearsal begins. John is freezing, but never complains, which is highly unusual for him. I have to say, it is a beautiful spot with the snow and the lights. It is still too early to wait here. It is about 6:00 and Nick told me to be ready between 7:30 and 8:00.We decide to go hang out in Faneuil Hall to stay warm for a while.
That's John to the right, carrying all my gear.
Here is an ice sculpture we saw along the way.
The National Guard Band was just packing up. I am sad that we missed them. They have gotten some good press lately.
Finally, we head back to the park. More practice while we wait. In the last shot in the above series, I liked the lighting. That was it. I decided to lock in the setting. No more practice. This is what I was going with. Not too bright, not too dark. Good bokeh in the background.
I receive a text. We still have about 30 to 40 minutes to wait for their arrival. We find a warm spot in the Long Wharf Marriot lobby to wait. I am getting nervous. I don't want to mess things up by missing it. Soon I decide to wait outside.
Forty minutes later, I get the text. "Walking up any second now." Oh no! They are coming from a different direction than I thought. I run. I get there just in time. I start shooting and I can't see a thing. My view finder is all fogged up. Panic starts to set in. I keep on shooting anyway. I check my back display, I'M OKAY, THE SHOTS ARE FINE! Thank God, It was a good thing I practiced and locked the setting in.
The champagne was my husband's idea. I don't think Jess even noticed us until she heard the champagne bottle pop. This was such a special moment and a special shoot. I thoroughly enjoyed it! What a wonderful couple! She said yes, by the way! I wish them both happiness and a nice long marriage where they both support each other like my husband supports me.
After 31 years of teaching, I have decided to retire and start a new chapter of my life as a photographer. It has been my passion for about 7 years now.