One of the biggest things I have learned when covering an event is to keep my head on a swivel and ears open to what is going on within the environment.
I remember covering an event late last year when I heard and felt something happening behind me. It wasn’t overly loud, but I spun around and captured a moment where two friends who hadn’t seen each other in years reconnected. One of the event volunteers standing next to me asked, how did you know that was going on behind you? I thought about it for a moment, but really didn’t have an answer as it is something that just I tend to pick up on when I am in the “shooting zone”. I am sure after reading this, my wife probably wishes I would be in that zone more at home to improve my listening skills. 🙂
This weekend started out covering the wedding of Taryn and Chris as they started their new journey as husband and wife. We started covering their wedding by taking images at a few locations around Indianapolis but had to pivot and move indoors as the rain started to fall.
After adjusting locations and taking family images, I was going around taking candid photos and event photos around the venue. I had just completed photos of the cake when I started to focus my efforts on a shot of the wedding rings with the city in the backdrop.
As I was working on the shot and getting it as I envisioned, I heard someone say in the distance, “he is going to propose”. I assumed it was someone attending the wedding who was going to propose. I quickly snapped a few final images of the wedding rings, put the rings back, and made my way to the commotion.
There I found a young man, Michael, who was attending an event on the other side of the venue, in the hallway outside the elevator ready to propose to his girlfriend, who was going to be coming off the elevator soon. I have found over the years a lot of enjoyment in taking engagement photos of the moment as it happens, so I offered to Micheal that I could take images if he wanted. He said yes!
By this time many of the wedding guests gathered near the hallway to the elevators so there was quite a crowd watching and waiting for this moment. After a few false alarms with the wrong people getting off the elevator, Michael’s girlfriend emerged from the elevator and ducked back in quickly as she wasn’t sure what was going on with all these people around. Shortly thereafter she turned to notice Michael and his proposal. He had rose petals scattered along the floor, some in a heart shape, and a piece of cake with “will you marry me” in icing on the plate.
He dropped to a knee, asked her to marry him, and we all waited in anticipation for her answer.
She said yes!
Everyone who gathered, perfect strangers moments earlier, cheered and celebrated the start of a journey for another young couple.