Hey y’all, Mr. Knight here!
So, last weekend Mrs. Gator and I were at the awesome Baughman Center rehearsing for a Gator Bride Videography wedding the following day (more on that soon). The Baughman Center, if you’ve never seen it, is a beautiful quaint little chapel on the edge of Lake Alice located on the west-side of the University of Florida campus. This place is, without a doubt, the place to get married in Gainesville. We even had some of our engagement photos taken there…
On with the point… At the end of the rehearsal, I noticed a nervous-looking dude and a girl hanging-out around the side door at the North end of the chapel. Initially I thought it was just a few stealthy ninja guests that I hadn’t noticed yet; but, as the chapel emptied and only the three of us were left, I knew something was up. I was just finishing up packing all of our videography gear. The guy over yonder (I’ve always wanted to type that) was on the phone, hiding behind one of the few windowless walls, and the girl was pacing and sorta on the look-out for something. I then noticed a dozen red roses sitting at the edge of the alter and that got me curious. So I asked the girl what was up and she said the guy, Joe, was going to pop-the-question to his girlfriend, Lainey (who is completely unaware, or is supposed to be at least), in a few minutes.
Now… I wouldn’t necessarily say that I’m obsessed with weddings (like Mrs. Gator) but I am in the business of capturing the emotions and sentiment surrounding them. Unfortunately, I knew I wouldn’t have enough time to setup for a video… but… I did have all our camera equipment with me and I love photography too (I’m just not that good, haha). I asked the girl, who I guess was one of the soon-to-be-proposed-to’s best friends, if they had anyone to take pictures of the event (and hinted that I’d be willing to shoot if they didn’t). She said that she and the girl driving Lainey had brought their cameras, on the false pretense that they (the girls) were just gonna take some pictures together before going out to dinner, and had planned on taking photos of it but also hinted that she’d be thrilled to have me take a few shots too. I told her it would be pro-bono so she went and asked Joe about it. When she returned with a smiley-face, I knew it was a go…
I’d never taken photos of people outside my close family and friends before and that made me nervous. What had I gotten myself into? Why do I always throw myself into situations in which I have no idea what I’m doing. I think it’s just my curiosity and my knowing that in order to get better at something, you’ve got to challenge yourself (something I learned playing high school football). In any case, I figured, for a free impromptu proposal shoot of people I’d never met before, there’s really no way this could turn out bad. You really can’t complain about free bad photos.
Joe and I hid behind a wall (which is hard since the Baughman Center is practically made of windows). I noticed how anxious he was so I figured now was as good as a time as any to start shooting.
Joe is on the phone with Lainey’s friend pretending to be the girl in the chapel with him. See that little somethin’-somethin’ in his back pocket?
What a guy… pullin’ out all the stops for this one.
I think she liked the flowers. So far so good… Oh, and check out that Gator wallet… nice.
She said yes. :-)
An appropriate time for a kiss… yes, I agree.
Joe did a fantastic job. He told her how much he loved her, got on one knee, said the magic words, and slid the ring onto his new fiancé’s ring finger.
So, I guess, all-in-all, the photos turned out pretty darn good for being so spontaneous. I know they liked them a lot and that makes me feel really good.
Congratulations to Joe and Lainey and thank you for the opportunity to capture this moment for you.
I shot this proposal on my birthday and it turned out to be one of my favorite birthday presents. I love photography and I love making people feel good. What better thing to do on your birthday than to make a newly engaged couple’s day?