Planning a Proposal

This proposal has been 9 years in the making.

Junior high was where it all began.

Tooting their own horns brought Miranda and Collin together.

You see, they both played the trumpet all throughout junior high and high school.

Patiently, they were friends all through junior high,

started dating in high school and even attended different colleges!

(Yes, folks, long distance relationships really can work with the right couple!) Both were very busy in college and still kept their connection.

Collin was sneaky.

It was no secret that Collin was going to propose to Miranda. I mean, they

have been dating nine years! An engagement seemed to be a logical step.

The challenge was to arrange a proposal and throw Miranda off guard so she wouldn't

know when the proposal would take place.

Collin arranged a few decoy outings to keep Miranda guessing as to when he would propose, if ever.

The beautiful Huntington Gardens in San Marino, CA was on the agenda as a place to visit.

The two enjoyed a walk there a few weeks before the proposal but there was no proposal.

The Plan

Many people don't realize this, but it takes a lot of planning and communication

to pull off a successful proposal. Communication with your photographer is critical.

We met a few days before the proposal to walk the grounds, check out the peacocks and fountains, and

scope out the perfect proposal spot! We decided on a plan and then had a plan b in case the first plan

didn't work. There are so many things that can make your proposal challenging (weather, too many people, an event that closes your ideal spot, etc...)

The Upper Waterfall at the LA Arboretum Was the Spot

After scouting the area, Collin decided that the upper waterfall, with its beautifully landscaped rocks, ducks, trees and pond would be the perfect place for his proposal!

There is also a lower larger waterfall at the Arboretum. It is beautiful! But, be aware that it is very loud and crowded at the

lower waterfall and may be a challenging spot to hear someone profess their love. We opted to take pictures at the larger waterfall after the proposal.

The upper waterfall can also be crowded.

Luckily, no one was at the upper waterfall the day of this proposal.

Collin waited at the bottom of the staircase until there weren't any people and then ascended the staircase to the upper waterfall.

The ducks even decided to make an appearance on the pond for this beautiful event.

The proposal went off perfectly!

After the Proposal

Immediately following a proposal, and the answer being "Yes!", there is always such a beautiful energy in the air.

I love doing a ,mini session with the couple at a few areas around the location.

The Arboretum has several beautiful areas depending on the time of year that you visit.

This particular visit had so many beautiful yellow Ginkgo Biloba trees.

Tips for a Proposal

  1. Hire a professional photographer, if you can. A professional will help alleviate the stress of photographing your moment. A professional will have experience and the necessary equipment to get beautiful pictures in any light conditions. Also, a professional will have experience and help you with all of the details.
  2. Have a plan. Visit the location before the proposal, if you can. Decide exactly where and when you want to propose. Have a back up plan in case your first plan does not work. Often the weather or random people visiting your location, will foil your plans. Always have a back up plan.
  3. Allow your photographer to FOLLOW YOUR LOCATION so s/he will know EXACTLY where you are and can know when you are coming!
  4. Have your photographer suggest colors of clothing for you to wear, if possible, without giving away the secret! I sometimes have my proposer snap a quick pic of the couple so I know what they are wearing and can bring any props to match them!
  5. Have two special signals to give to your photographer. One signal (a stretch, a yawn, etc...) to indicate right before you will get down on your knee and propose. Have another signal in case you want to go to Plan B.
  6. Consider having family and friends come AFTER the proposal to celebrate with a toast or snacks!

Congratulations on your engagement, Collin and Miranda!

Thank you so much for allowing me in to photograph your special moment!

I wish you many years of happiness together!