the fastest turnaround ever

In April, my husband and I were invited to be part of our dear friend’s proposal surprise weekend in Flagstaff.

We thought we were pretty clever, using Google Latitude on our phones to track each other’s locations and planned to be in the same little meadow at the same time and I’d be able to sneakily capture the proposal moment. My husband dropped me off ahead of time so I could find a good hiding spot for the project, and then I received a text from our friend, Andy, that he was almost there. I responded with a quick “just stay away from the big brush pile.” Apparently we had different understandings of what that meant.

Crouched behind a stump, I saw them pull in, get out and disappear behind a tree for a good ten minutes. When they emerged, they were doing lots of hugging, and I couldn’t tell if I missed the moment or not. They then began walking toward me, and kept walking, and kept walking, until they were about 20 feet from where I was now lying in the smallest fetal position ball I could manage. They began taking pictures, and I just knew he had to have already asked and I had missed it. They kept moving forward, and were now just at the flank of my stump, where I was trying to wiggle round the other side and pressing myself into hoping this little ledge would conceal me. Unfortunately, this lasted for awhile, so I wasn’t able to get many pictures, or they would have for sure seen and heard me. They finally began walking back to their car and got out their picnic and began eating. I was able to get a few pictures, but was then worried I would miss the family surprise party afterward. When I was confident Andy and Lauren were well distracted, I crawled backward as far into the trees as I could, legs completely numb and barely working. I jumped up and bolted, feet sloshing about in my Hunter wellies, making enough noise I was sure they could hear me for miles. I ran and ran, over hill and dale, until I could no longer see any hint of the meadow. For the next twenty minutes or so I wandered about the woods trying to find my husband, and getting very frustrated I was lost and wouldn’t make it back. When we finally reunited, we drove back to the meadow, thinking maybe I could get just a couple more shots, but Andy and Lauren were just getting back into their car. We booked it home, in perfect time for me to change my pants (which now had a hole ripped in them from squatting on tree limbs), and to capture the surprise and love that followed.

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(special thanks to Niomee B Photography for letting me borrow her 70-200mm lens for the task)

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After the surprise party, I retreated to the office, uploaded the photos and did a quick clean up on them. After that, Andy, Lauren and I went out for a a quick engagement session and pulled it off in record time. I went back in, uploaded the new pictures, edited those, and had all done and burned to disc before dinner. After dinner, all 14 of us snuggled up on the couch and watched the slideshow from the day. It was amazing, we all even got a little teary eyed. Congratulations to Andy and Lauren!

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