There are so many things I’d love to say about Durel + Hilary, that it’s hard to know where to start. This was the first time I’d shot a “live” proposal, which Durel and I had conspired together on since April. We had to make sure we had great locations all around New York City to encompass the city he grew up in, as well as tell the story of the two of them. It was also the first time my husband has helped me on a shoot, and to paraphrase his words, “Durel makes the rest of us men have to step it up!”
Waking up early, we met and headed out to Nyack College, where Durel and Hilary met, and walked along the river as the sun rose. They wandered ahead, holding hands and chatting for what Hilary thought was a friend of Durel’s, who wanted to build some portfolio for a new photography business. What she didn’t know was that Durel and I had been in cahoots, planning his surprise proposal, for over 4 months. When we found the right spot, he got down on one knee and popped the question so sweetly, and Hilary’s response was perfect, ending with an accusatory glance to me, where she said, “You KNEW! You knew, didn’t you?!”
The day was absolutely perfect as we wandered Brooklyn Bridge Park, Central Park, and the DUMBO murals in Brooklyn. From the gorgeous paintings, to the New York City skyline, to the beautiful greenery in Central Park, Durel and Hilary’s engagement photos were such a wonderful time. Their excitement was tangible, and their joy tells the story much more adequately than I ever could.
But Durel wasn’t done there. After a fantastic day exploring the city, Durel surprised Hilary with an engagement party at a family member’s home, where not only was his family waiting, but also Hilary’s, who’d traveled from Ohio for the event. Hilary’s look of surprise and elation at the sight of her family was wonderful, and it was simply a joy to document for them.
From start to finish, Durel + Hilary’s day was wonderful, emotional, and fantastic to be a part of. Congratulations, you two, and thank you so much for allowing me to be your photographer!