A Surprise Beachside Proposal in Rye

One early morning in July, I got an Instagram message from Bryan. He was planning a surprise proposal for his girlfriend at their favorite spot on the Rye rocks overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, and he wanted to make sure the moment was documented. After a quick phone call, Bryan and I had a plan. That night, he texted to let me know that Helen, his soon to be fiancé, had also found my work and was planning to get in touch to schedule a couples session for them. This was a funny, nerve-racking, but also convenient twist, because it meant I wouldn’t have to pretend to be a random bystander for the big moment. Sure enough, Helen got in touch and we excitedly began to plan their “couples session” with lots of brainstorming and inspiration. Listening to these two talk about each other and helping each of them plan their dream shoot made it extra clear that these were my people. They’re romantic, adventurous, and decisive, and they believe in the magic of preserving life’s best memories.

Bryan and I played along as I scheduled a session with Helen at the same time and location that Bryan and I had planned for his proposal (thank goodness these two are so aligned!). Though I was a little bit nervous about getting our wires crossed somewhere, Bryan assured me that he knows Helen so well that there would be no way she’d catch on to our plan. and know her well he does, because everything went off perfectly. On the day of, Bryan and I pulled off surprisingly excellent poker faces as Helen introduced us to each other.

If you’ve ever been around a photographer, you know that we live and breathe by the light; I try to shoot at sunrise or sunset whenever possible and in this particular case, I was especially intent on making sure we got the best possible golden rays. What we got, in addition to that golden light, was the most stunning, dramatic blue sky that eventually shifted into one of the best sunsets I’ve seen all summer. We nailed it.

After the hard part was over, these two popped open a bottle of bubbly and busted out some sparklers, and we had an incredible time playing in the light, ending with a motorcycle ride that took the newly-engaged’s to a celebratory dinner overlooking – you guessed it – the ocean.

Feeling so lucky to be a part of moments like these!


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