Oh, Heath and Jane’s Cannon Beach proposal photographer was somethin’ ELSE you guys. These cuties love each other fiercely and love their people with the kindest, most thoughtful hearts.
When Heath asked Nathan and me to document his proposal to the love of his life, our hearts leapt. We all got together (obvi without Jane, sorry girl, you know it had to happen that way), and planned the surprise to be simple and romantic, truly a session that was after their own hearts. The result is always for a gallery that feels like “them,” so whenever I’m helping plan a proposal, I specifically ask questions that will lead us in that direction. He wanted to take her to the place she went to as a kid and that he just recently discovered himself, Cannon Beach, Oregon.
Let me just stop right here for a sec and just say:
Cannon Beach is my favorite place in the world. If I could photograph every proposal, elopement, wedding and cozy bonfire shoots with dogs and s’mores? I would be QUITE the happy girl.
Heath wanted us to take them to Ecola State Park, a place where neither of them have gone before. We started our afternoon with some coffee and quality time, then head out to explore the park together. Then, we took them to a few spots that felt more secluded, rather than heading straight to haystack rock. As we laughed and shared stories, as friends do, we paused to take some photos along the way. Little did Jane know that the ring box was tucked away in my camera bag.
Need a proposal photographer? I’m your girl!
It was supposed to rain that day but it waited until after we were done with photos. The sky gave us this a dreamy overcast light, full of a warm glow, as if celebrating the joy their love brings into this world.
Eventually, we made our way to the beach, where the tide was surprisingly high, but calm, in true Cannon Beach fashion. We walked down to a spot that felt totally isolated from the outside world. Nathan and I took a step back, and gave the cue to Heath that we were ready when he was. This was all in his timing now. He held her hands, looked right into her eyes, and expressed his heart and his love to her. From there, he got down on one knee and of course she said yes!!
Afterwards, we took a few more photos on the beach, full of so much radiant joy.
It’s moments like these that make me feel so rewarded, honored, and humbled that this is my job.
It’s absolutely wild, being the only ones there for proposals and for elopements. Sometimes, the only witnesses. Crazy, right? So, right before a day like this, I always remind myself: It’s not about me.
I remind myself that even though I was a bride myself, have photographed over 100 weddings, and have been a part of nearly a dozen proposals – they haven’t before. To them? This is their first time. (Even if it’s for a couple who has been married before, it’s still an entirely new experience.)
I remind myself that even though I’m sometimes the only one there to witness powerful moments and milestones – they didn’t choose me to be there because I’m somehow more special than their parents, siblings, best friends and kids. They chose me to enter into the private, intimate moment, as their witness. They’ve asked me to document these moments so they can cherish them forever and share them with all of their loved ones.
Basically, I’m there for an entirely different purpose.
So, I step back whenever possible. I focus on the story that is laid before me. I focus on the power that comes from defining moments like these. And in that, there is so much unique beauty. At the end of the day, no matter what, it’s all about them. It’s important to me to not lose sight of that.