This is a day I have been waiting for, for a long time! Well, not as long as Riley, but I was excited to be a part of all the secrecy and excitement. Josh has been one of my best friends since 6th grade. He lived one street over during high school, we have celebrated so many life moments together, and he introduced me to Riley who is now one of my best friends. Josh texted me about a month ago telling me that he bought Riley’s engagement ring and I screamed. Riley has been talking about being engaged all of 2015 and when I received the news that it was finally about to happen I was beyond ecstatic! The brainstorming quickly began because Josh wanted to give her the perfect proposal.
Riley is my office manager and a few months ago, I proposed doing a staff photoshoot for Analisa Joy Photography. This Fall/Winter season has been crazy, but we thought it was the perfect excuse for her to get all dressed up without getting suspicious. Riley basically organized her entire proposal. She picked out the outfits, found the date, and together we selected the location. Riley has never seen snow IN HER WHOLE LIFE and Josh loves the snow so we wanted to incoprorate that into their big day. Riley’s best friend happened to be getting her engagement photos taken with me the day prior so she took Riley with her to get pampered for her own shoot. Riley joined in on all the beauty festivities so we were able to check off trying to sneakily convince her to get her hair and nails done. Everything fell together perfectly.
Riley arrived to my house the evening prior to the photo session and she told us that she is no longer going to scroll through social media because everyone was getting engaged. It was hard not to laugh knowing that she was about to join the trend within 24 hours. The following morning, we got all dolled up for the shoot while Josh and Riley’s closest friends headed up to Lake Arrowhead. When we arrived, Riley was so excited to see snow for the first time. We took pictures for about an hour and then we secretly prepared Riley for her walk toward Josh. She’s lucky to be friends with three photographers because I gave each girl a camera as a “prop” and we were ready from all angles to grab her reaction.
We set up Josh down a long snowy path just around a bend. We had Riley take “candid” shots walking around the bend to show off her outfit. I instructed her to walk towards me while playing with her hair, her skirt, and looking side to side. I wanted to position myself naturally in front of her so that I would get the initial reaction. When she finally looked up, she saw Josh on the snow path with rose petals and the cutest Christmas setup. It was instant tears and we all scattered into the trees so that she could walk toward her fiancé-to-be. The walk was long and it stirred up so many emotions that both Josh and Riley were crying as they approached each other. We had three cameras capturing it all from a distance and it truly was one of the best proposals I have photographed to date. It’s very rare for a girl to be completely out of the loop until the exact moment of the proposal and we were all so happy that we were able to make this day such a success. I’m SO excited for two of my closest friends. Let the wedding festivities begin!
Behind the scenes at our Analisa Joy Photography staff photo shoot.
Riley’s best friend helped Josh with this setup. Everything was personalized and perfectly pieced together. The branches were filled with their favorite photos, the presents were shirts and cups that celebrated the engagement, the stockings were personally created, and Josh built the “Merry Me” sign!