Back in September I received a portrait photography enquiry from Jochen, Germany, asking me if I would secretly take photos of him proposing to his long-time girlfriend Stephanie. I thought this was an unusual assignment, nevertheless thought it was a great idea.
Jochen wanted to propose in a public place in central Dublin and thought of Bewleys Café as both of them are great fans of the place. So I set about checking possible locations where to take photos discreetly. I found a couple of options but of course I had to ask for permission to be allowed to take photos without interrupting the customers around us. It was accepted, however I had a niggling feeling that there must be a better place to do the engagement photography session.
I had in mind a shopping centre* in central Dublin and suggested that to Jochen in case it sounded a better option. So I wrote to him with photos attached to show the option of where they could sit in either Bewleys Café or in the shopping centre. He came back and advised that it is better to do it in the shopping centre at a spot where he could comfortably kneel down in full view of me taking photos discreetly.
The date and time for December had been set, so I got there a bit early to make sure that my camera was ready with the right settings. I stood on the side building looking at the location of where they were going to stand. Time was ticking by and my heart was beating with nerves. Twenty minutes later I received a message from Jochen asking me if I’m there. Told him yes and would be on my way once I see them approaching.
Once in view I got to my location and started taking photos of Stephanie taking pictures using her mobile phone of Jochen with the backdrop of the Christmas lights. My legs were a bit shaky (never had that on a wedding shoot!), watching Jochen turn to face Stephanie saying his words then kneeling down asking for her hand in marriage. He took out the ring, put it on her finger then lifted her up with joy.
Once they relaxed I moved down the steps further taking more close up shots. They were still unaware of my presence which was great as I caught Stephanie’s lovely smile looking at Jochen’s face with happiness. A short while later Jochen turned around to me and at the moment Stephanie’s shocked face looking at me with my camera turned to laughter and confusion. I took more photos of her surreal expression then came over to introduce myself and to congratulate them.
Stephanie looked at Jochen’s face as if asking him “What’s going on?” He explained why I was there. Stephanie was shocked, shaky still and couldn’t believe it. I let them chat for a while alone, took more photos close up and a little further away until it was explained by Stephanie that she was so hungry since she arrived in Dublin. She had not eaten since 7am that morning (8am our time) before they flew over from Germany. She informed me that she could not understand why Jochen would not let her have something to eat after they landed and before they turned up in the shopping centre! I asked her “Are you hungry now?” Funnily enough she answered “No, not anymore” because she was still coming to terms with what happened to her.
AWW that was a great event. I wish them all the happiness in the future. What do you think of this idea?
UPDATE: Just to let you know….they got married in Germany by Janine Photographer
*For commercial reason I cannot name the shopping centre.
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