For the longest time, I had never shot a proposal. A lot of it had to do with the fact that I was a teacher full time. Most people wanted to do something during the school day, so I just wasn’t available. Finally, last year, I got to shoot two proposals. Still, that’s not many considering I’ve been photographing weddings for 10 years. Anyway, I’m happy to say I just added another one a few weeks ago when I shot Hunter and Payton’s proposal at Mount Sequoyah.
Proposal at Mount Sequoyah: Hunter and Payton
I don’t recall exactly when Hunter reached out to me, but it wasn’t more than two weeks before he planned on proposing. That means we didn’t have a ton of time to plan things. He knew he wanted to do it at the cross at Mount Sequoyah, but that was about it. I guided as much as I could through the whole process and gave him some ideas of where he would need to be and where I would be.
We got it all figured out, and I showed up about 30 minutes before the proposal to make sure I had a good spot. If you haven’t ever been up there, it’s pretty popular and there aren’t many parking spots. I found a good spot and started waiting. Now, I had never met Hunter, so I had no idea what he looked like. All I knew was that he would be wearing shorts with a blue button-up. About a minute after I parked, a car pulled up and out popped a girl and a guy. The guy was wearing shorts and a blue button-up. My initial thought was it was way too early and couldn’t be them, but I got paranoid. I really didn’t want to miss the shot, so I just sat with my door open and a camera hidden to my side…and watching. Yep, like a creeper.
After about 15 minutes, they drove off. I took a sigh of relief and started waiting again. This time, they really showed up, and I was ready. Hunter led Payton down in front of the cross and started talking to her. I snuck out as quietly as I could. A few seconds later, he was on his knee and I was moving around trying to capture it all. It was a really emotional and exciting moment!
When everything was said and done, I got to talk to them and their crew. They brought along her sister and her boyfriend. It was quite an interesting group. Payton’s sister proceeded to climb the cross and invite her sister up there with her. Apparently, this was something they did in the past.
We then did some quick portraits, talked some more, and the night was over! They were off to move someone into a different place, and I was headed back home. It’s amazing how fast it all went down, but Hunter and Payton’s life will never be the same! So glad I got to be there for that moment!