So… I almost missed the actual proposal.
Peter and I planned to meet at Christmas Eve noontime behind the Busch Student Center at Rutgers. Originally, Peter was planning to take Grace to the Quiet Lounge (a silent study room) and play for her a slideshow he had put together. This location was significant because it’s where they first studied together, thus very fitting for a starting point. Since all of the university facilities were closed for winter break, we were frantically (read: jon was frantic and peter stayed surprisingly calm, as always) trying to find an alternate location. As we walked by the supposedly non-operating automatic sliding doors behind the BSC, we heard a “bzzzrrrrttt” and the doors opened. After a little setup, Peter went back to the car to get Grace as I found my hiding spot (she thought they were at Rutgers so Peter could drop off “residency application papers” for med school).
As with most engagement proposals, Dreamlite’s preferred m.o. is what we call “photographing ninja style”. Meaning, we choose to photograph the entire proposal without obstructing or being noticed. For the first half of Peter’s time with Grace, this method of photography seemed like an excellent idea. When they exited the student center and headed to SERC, where the actual proposing would take place, the distance between myself and them grew farther and farther apart. Since following them from behind was too risky, which left many opportunities to be spotted, I decided to get to the other side of SERC. *cue the adrenaline-pumping music*
I sprinted for the next 5 minutes with my gear in hand (d700+80-200mmAFD and d700+35mmf2, for your photo geeks) from the Busch Student Center all the way to SERC, circumventing along the way two research buildings, the chemistry library, and the Center of Alcohol Studies building, all the while praying that Peter hadn’t yet gotten down on one knee. ((Btw, thank you Busch Campus for having wonderful buildings that are conveniently not spaced apart.))
Just as I arrived on the other side of SERC, I saw Peter reaching into his pocket for something and beginning to get down on one knee. I whipped out my camera, and clicked away as another beautiful moment unfolded. I made it after all, and it was all pretty sweet.
Lastly, I want to leave you all with the first two lines from the song, “Lemonade” by Chris Rice that accompanied Peter’s slideshow for Grace:
So go ahead and ask her,
For a happy ever after…
Congratulations to our friends Peter & Grace, and to everyone checking our blog, enjoy the latest photos!
Hi Everyone! This is Jon writing up a very special post for a very special couple.
the background: Steve is one of my closest and oldest friends. So when he called me a few weeks ago, I thought it was another random phone call to check up on me. Instead, he called to tell me he was planning on proposing to his girlfriend and I had to book a ticket to Chicago the next free weekend I had. Within a few days, Steve had purchased the ring and I had confirmed my ticket.
the cover: Just in case, we concocted a whole story as to why I was flying into Chicago. I was scheduled to meet clients there for an engagement session on Saturday, thus leaving the rest of my weekend free to hang out with Steve and his then-girlfriend Tesh.
the location: After much research, Steve decided he would propose to her at the Garfield Park Conservatory, right off of the Green Line. This conservatory exhibits an amazing array of plant life from all over the world– palm trees, ferns, cacti, banana trees, etc.. Steve had secretly scouted the conservatory the weekend before I arrived, all the while Tesh thought he was at a teaching workshop. He then chose the perfect location to propose (the ‘Fern Room’) and sent me the details via email.
the friday before: I arrived at O’Hare around 1pm on Friday and immediately headed to the conservatory. I scouted the place out and quickly found the spot Steve wanted me to stand. As you will see in the photos below, the magnificent view of the Fern Room hits you even before you step into the room itself. Then I met up with Steve and Tesh after they had gotten off work, and we all grabbed dinner at Joy Yee’s and spent the night hanging out.