Washington State Capitol Proposal
I had an amazing afternoon shooting this Washington State Capitol proposal in Olympia, Washington. I love photographing marriage proposals! It’s incredibly personal. I truly consider it a privilege and an honor to document these memories. It’s such a private moment… or it could be incredibly public for all your family and friends to see 😉 Most importantly, I feel like I get to go undercover. It’s the closest I’ll ever get to being a secret agent. I like the challenge of not being seen and being able to capture that shot, that moment when the love of your life gets on one knee and asks you the most important question you’ll ever be asked.
You can also find this shoot featured @HowHeAsked!
Nick had the awesome idea of having his family, along with Kate’s family, holding signs reading, “Kate… will you marry me?” At first he was thinking of proposing in front of a restaurant on the water everyone would have dinner at later. However, once I found out that they both worked at the Capitol building, I suggested he propose to Kate there. I thought the State Capitol would make for better pictures and it would be more personal to them their relationship. So the plan was for them to walk out of a west building and once they reached this sundial, all of the family would stand up and raise their cards. I met up with Nick’s family early to get everyone in position and to solidify the specifics.
Even though Nick and I worked out the details ahead of time, you always have to be prepared for the unexpected. Oddly enough, Nick’s friend came out of the building at the same time as Nick and Kate and he wasn’t in on what was happening. So he plopped himself right in front of me and my cameras! Hidden behind a car, I had to make a break for it to make sure I didn’t miss a thing!
After they caught their breath, received hugs and congratulations from everyone I had them recreate the magic. I did this mainly because the spot where the proposal actually took place was in harsh shadows and direct sun. Sunny days are beautiful, but it makes photography a little trickier especially if you don’t have complete control over the situation, like in photojournalism.
The family said their goodbyes and headed off for the restaurant. I then split off with Kate and Nick to take some engagement pictures, which was a lot of fun because all that awesome energy and nervous butterflies were still flitting around.
I thought we better take a few photos of just the two of them in front of the Capitol building too.
I love the playfulness of the above shot. This is my signature style, “Artistic Lifestyle”, where I take timeless portraits and add movement to them. In this scenario, I quickly set up the shot. I describe and show what I’m envisioning. Then before there’s time to think, I tell Kate and Nick to make it happen. All of this happens quickly and it has to, to keep the couple engaged and the spontaneity present. The couple always sets the tone. They can be as silly or serious as they want and I will expound on that. Kate and Nick are classy and fun, so I wanted to encourage that. It also helps that Kate here has an electric smile.
The rotunda of the capitol building is so beautiful. I could spend hours in there just admiring if I had the time.
Nick and Kate were then welcomed with excitement by their families at the Dockside Bistro on the water. A huge congratulations!