We’re about to take a long walk down memory lane — are you ready?! I shot a proposal last weekend that was extra special because Ryan is a friend from school and my family has known his family for years!! Our brothers played soccer together growing up and at the very beginning of my career while I was still in high school, I photographed his sister Chelsie at the dance studio in Waynesboro for their Nutcracker posters.
Ryan and Emmy started dating 9 years ago as of this past Saturday when the proposal took place and if you do that math, that puts them starting to date in 2009, when we were freshmen in high school! So a few years later, in 2012, the summer before I left for college, I used my graduation money to upgrade my camera from a Canon Rebel XSi to a Canon 5D Mark II, which was a HUGE deal. I remember the day that camera came in the mail. I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited in my entire life — it was a camera I had drooled over for years and it didn’t feel real getting to have it in my own hands. Of course with all that excitement, I craved the opportunity to use it! I don’t remember exactly how the shoot came about but I ended up photographing Ryan and Emmy at the back of my neighborhood. In fact, they may have actually been the very first couple I ever photographed.
The location from that shoot back in 2012 was not the most ideal, the bright midday sun was not the most flattering, my posing was definitely amateur, and I can guarantee I was probably a bit awkward when it came to using my new camera, but that was the beginning of me getting to tell their love story! So fast forward to a few months ago when I get a call from Ryan saying he’s planning to propose and he wants me there!! I was SO excited — there’s nothing better than photographing a proposal for someone you know. Ryan picked the day of their nine-year dating anniversary to pop the question at a vineyard Emmy’s dad actually built in Fishersville!
I showed up early that day to his family setting everything up for the 50 people who would soon be there to congratulate them and then walked down to the arbor in the vineyard with Ryan and his friend Dan. Dan’s wife is a good friend of Emmy’s and she was planning to drive Emmy down to the spot. Emmy thought Ryan and Dan were golfing and were planning to meet them for a tasting at the vineyard. Little did she know that Ryan was not golfing but was instead waiting for her to ask a question that would change her life forever! It was so fun getting to be there, hiding behind a wine barrel, watching the whole thing unfold! Everything was perfect and Emmy’s face of pure shock was the best of all.
Emmy and Ryan, thank you so much for having me capture this sweet day!! I’ve been so excited to share these photos with you! CONGRATS!