I first met Erin last year at a meeting of local Washington, DC area photographers. At the time, I didn’t know much about her, except for her great work, both with weddings and her portraits of musicians and fantastic coverage of concerts. Since then, I’ve had the privilege to shoot with her on many occasions, as well as to get to know her boyfriend (and second shooter), Stefan. Like others, I had known that these two are pretty much a perfect match, and an engagement and wedding was inevitable :). Even knowing all that, I was still taken aback when I got this from my site’s contact form just a day or two before I was scheduled to leave on a three week trip to Russia (which you can see here – http://lifeunexplored.com/2011/05/29/moscow/):
Subject: Inquiry – Leo Druker Photography
Any interest on shooting Erin getting proposed to? :-)
Naturally, my answer was a simple, but resounding “YES!” although it did come with a small caveat about possibly holding off on the proposal until I came back in nearly a month. I was again taken aback when he agreed to wait, even though I don’t think I would have been able to hold out that long, had I been in his place. Good thing, too, as I found out from Erin later, aside from the actual proposal, having a photo of the pivotal moment was the most important thing to her. During my trip, Stefan and I had a roughly 30 message long email discussion about how we were going to pull it off, with our final plan involving a fake meeting between Erin and myself at Georgetown Waterfront Park to look at my photos from the trip. Once she would arrive, I would lure her to the perfect position and have her look through my phone’s camera roll, eventually landing on a photo of the ring, which I had just taken minutes earlier. At which point, she would figure everything out, turn around and find Stefan, who was hiding around the corner the entire time, while I would be safely tucked into some bushes far away, ninja style.
Of course, this is real life and the phrase “the best laid plans..” comes to mind. After Erin showed up, she had assumed we’d go grab some food and talk there, so as I tried to prevent her from leaving, I was forced to abandon our plans to lure her anywhere, and improvise on the spot. I’m most proud of my quick thinking when Erin asked why I seemed hesitant to move away from the park in the direction of food, my genius answer was “I’m jet lagged.” I think that one’s going to say with me a while.. :)
As things were taking a turn for the awkward and I could tell Erin sensed that I wasn’t quite acting right, I quickly and inconspicuously (so I think..) texted Stefan to come out of hiding and stand behind Erin while I gave her my phone and told her to scroll through my photos. As she scrolled to the last photo with the ring, a look of confusion crossed her face and she looked at me and asked what she was looking at. As I was unprepared for this turn of events, here’s what happened next:
Me: “What do you think it is?”
Erin: “Looks like a ring – whose is it?”
Me: “Well, it’s not mine” – pointed look at her.
Me: *awkward pause*
At this point, I take a step to the right, making Erin follow suit, at which point she noticed Stefan, who had been standing behind her during our exchange.
I’ll let the photos tell the rest of the story.
To add to the amazingness that was their proposal, they’re also moving to Denver in a bit more than a week, so I wish them all the best in their new home.
Erin & Stefan – congratulations to you both!