If you want to choose an adorable coastal town to propose to your special someone, Rockport, MA is one of my favorite places on the North Shore. It’s quaint walkways, iconic “Motif Number 1” red fishing shack, and ocean views are a huge draw. Plus, how cool would it be to have a place like this to come back to on future anniversaries?
I had the pleasure of photographing the surprise proposal of J+D recently on Bearskin Neck, and I’m in love with photographing proposals like these where it’s just two people enjoying a beautiful view or special place together. The couple’s elation and emotions are simply amazing to witness as a photographer who loves capturing genuine moments.
Plus, the lead-up for me as I try to act like I’m totally interested in photographing the birds/boats/harbor can be quite comical. More on my running inner monologue as we go, but first, the big moment:
Backing up to earlier that morning, J texted me saying that they were on their way. The only trouble was that the parking lot (which is usually packed with people) was nearly empty! When a man commented about how hard it was to track swallows (a really fast bird that zooms in the air eating bugs), I figured out he was also a professional photographer and asked him to hang around for a few minutes and be my accomplice. When J+D arrived in the parking lot, I was “taking head shots” of him while they finished their tea before heading out on the walk.
Finally, after what felt like an eternity, the two of them set off on the walk to the end of the rock jetty.
And this is where it got tricky for me because…WHERE WERE THE OTHER TOURISTS?!?! I’ve never seen Bearskin Neck so quiet on a beautiful Saturday morning. Luckily, I have a 70-200 mm lens that I call my “paparazzi” lens, so I was able to stay far back and feign a lot of interest in the boats and view while grabbing a quick photo of the two of them when I dared to….
If you want to get your proposal photographer’s heart racing, getting down on one knee to take a cell phone photo will do it…..
And then… it happened!
Above, D is clued into the fact that I am there, and her reaction was awesome. I always take care to set expectations with the person doing the proposing ahead of time by saying, “If the person you’re proposing to would like to savor this time alone together, I will bid farewell immediately!” As it turns out, D was very excited I was there. In fact, she saw me in the parking lot earlier photographing the man, and she almost approached me to ask if I would take photos of her and J!!! She was absolutely elated that J had hired me and kept asking, “So she took photos of the proposal too?!?! I’m so excited!!!”
After we made it back to the parking area on Bearskin Neck, we walked around Rockport for a mini-engagement session downtown and at the iconic Motif Number 1. It turns out D’s favorite color is red, so the red walls of this fishing shack were a perfect backdrop. A few minutes later I said my goodbyes; they had a lot of people to call and share their happy news with!
Congratulations, J+D! It was wonderful meeting you and photographing this joyful moment in your lives together!