February 20, 2017

Philadelphia Proposal Photographer | Longwood Gardens | Julius + Clare

Engagement

Julius and Clare met 9 months to the day of their proposal.  It took one 13 hour first date and they both knew that they had found their one.

diamond solitaire engagement ring on Casablanca Lily closeup

Julius called me to talk about a plan for photographing his proposal.  We talked and emailed extensively to come up with the perfect plan to surprise Clare.  Since it was February  and Clare isn’t keen on cold weather, we needed something that she would agree to. He considered Morris Arboretum and the Rodin Museum but both were ruled out as being too problematic with rain.  Longwood Gardens was perfect unless she didn’t want to go quite so far away that morning.

We had our maps and plans.  We had to move the shoot up a little early because they had agreed to help a friend move later in the day.  There was no good way to convince Clare to dress up so Julius didn’t stress it for fear of arousing suspicion.

Longwood Gardens conservatory map proposal plan

It all went down perfectly.  We planned for them to come walking towards me in the Silver Garden and for Julius to pop the question as they rounded the corner.

surprise proposal about to happen in Silver Garden at Longwood Gardens

Clare’s reaction was priceless!  Her legs literally gave out from under her and she burst into tears.

surprise proposal in Silver Garden at Longwood Gardens surprise proposal in Silver Garden at Longwood Gardens proposal and engagement session ar Longwood Gardens proposal in Silver Garden at Longwood Gardens

She clearly had not seen this coming at all.  He played it cool all morning, their standard dance party in the am, shrugging off his choice of nicer clothes, and finding a way to make it her idea for him to stop back at his place (to pick up the ring!).  They had talked rings and figured maybe she’d see something on Valentine’s Day.

crying proposal at Longwood Gardens

She got her parents on the phone soon after and they gushed about the ring, the proposal, and her father advised that she start keeping a journal of everything.  Cute idea!

calling parents right after surprise proposal at Longwood Gardens

It was at an MBA event where they first locked eyes.  She saw him enter and was near the door when he was leaving and they struck up a conversation.  Their first date took them all over the city from coffee to ice cream to Penn’s Landing to dinner.

laughing at engagement session at Longwood Gardens cutesy picture at engagement session at Longwood Gardens African American couple right after proposal at Longwood Gardens orchid

They bonded over their love of travel.  Together they’ve already been to China, Thailand, California, Canada, and North Carolina.

proposal and engagement session at Longwood Gardens silhouette walking outside engagement session at Longwood Gardens engagement session after proposal outside at Longwood Gardenssweet couple on bench outside at Longwood Gardens engagement session

It was so much fun to be with them.  Clare stared in awe at her gorgeous ring more times than I can count.  There was so much bliss and excitement.  Man, I love photographing proposals!

surprise proposal in Longwood Gardens Silver Garden

Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring.
~ Oscar Wilde

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