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Justyne Edgell, Uxbridge Photographer ~ Capturing a Surprise Proposal

It was a moment that I'd always dreamed about shooting as a photographer. A surprise proposal, caught on camera! And better yet, popping the question to one of my good friends, what could be more exciting!?

How it all came to be.

After announcing my fall mini sessions, I decided to hold a giveaway to generate a little buzz. Very quickly one of my friends entered, and then her boyfriend, and then his sister. And I thought "woah they're loving the idea of fall mini sessions!" I then got a message from Coby, my friends boyfriend and the "proposer". Before I could even open the message my heart started racing. I'd never really chatted with him casually before and so I had a sense that I knew what was coming. And sure enough, I did!

Coby said he'd been planning the proposal for a while and he thought that the fall minis would be a great opportunity to capture the moment on camera. So yes, in a sense I sort of rigged the giveaway. I decided to giveaway to two winners, Hunter (my friend and the proposee) and a real draw winner picked at random, just so we could make it fair. I set up the draw from a hat, where the piece of paper with Hunter's name on it was on card stock and the rest were just regular paper. This way we could feel the heavier weight paper and knew to pull that one out. When we announced the winner Hunter was so surprised and over joyed! "I never win anything!" she told me.

I then messaged back and forth with Coby to plan out how we'd get it all to work. The plan was to start off with a few poses to get them comfortable in front of the camera and then we'd go for the "sneak attack".

The big moment!

I don't know about Coby, but I was definitely shaking! Coby had dropped the ring off at my house earlier that morning and we'd sorted out how to do a surreptitious hand off as we walked towards the field where we would set up the proposal.

The sneak attack is one of my favorite poses for couples. Hou set them up with one a few steps behind the other, both facing the camera, you then count them down and the person in the rear will run up and do a big surprise bear hug from behind. It gets super adorable laughs and complete authentic emotion.

So we set up the sneak attack and did it a couple of times to get some cute shots. Then I told them to just wait there and I'd get a photo from the other side (which actually makes no sense because they'd be facing away from the camera). I needed to be In a position where we could tell Hunter to turn around and I could get her expression when she realized what we had ben planning.

I made my way around to their backs and set up the shot. I gave Coby the official nod and he got into position, one knee down and ring out! Hunter started to get a bit suspicious, and confused at the fact that I was now standing behind her to take a photo, but it was time, and we told her to turn around.


Hunter basically screamed "OH MY GOD" for the next ten minutes. They were laughing and happy crying and it was one of the sweetest moments I have every had the pleasure of seeing. At one point I realized I had actually stopped taking photos and was just standing staring at them with heart eyes. I sent my assistant (my boyfriend Toby) to run and grab the readied bottle of champagne so we could do a cute "popping the bubbly" photo. After they'd had a few moments to bask in their grand moment, we did a few "show off the ring" poses and some "newly engaged" shots. Hunter couldn't believe it. how long it had all been planned and how many people were actually involved in putting it all together.

All in all

Hunter and Coby then rode off into the sunset, quite literally, and then to MacDonald's before meeting their family at the local cidery to celebrate. That night I could barely sleep. I keep playing the sweet moment over and over in my brain, and planning out how I could've made it even better (gotta love that nighttime anxiety...).

It was so much fun, one of the most fun moments I have ever had in my photography career. Not only did it fill me with joy to be part of this incredibly special moment but the thrill in setting it up and getting it all to work was pretty exhilarating.

Despite the stress and hugely high steaks of getting it right, and only having one chance, I'd definitely do a surprise proposal again.

So, if you're in the market for a photographer to capture the question popping, I'm your girl! Hit me up!

Until then, be kind, choose love and wear a mask.



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