I recently took part in what I would call my “dream shoot”. It all began when a friend referred me for a photo session on a Facebook group for creatives called The Rising Tide. A man named Michael was looking for a photographer who would be able to capture the incredible proposal that he had planned for his girlfriend, Megan. The plan was to take a helicopter sunset tour into the Grand Canyon, and while there he would pop the question. I couldn’t believe that I was offered this opportunity, and after discussing the specifics I happily accepted. A lot of planning went in to this trip, and the best part was that Megan had no idea what was coming.
The morning of the big day I arrived early at Serenity Helicopters so that Megan would not see me, and the employees had me join them in the back so that we could figure out a way to slip me on to the flight without giving away the big secret. They ended up telling the whole crowd that was waiting to take off that I was there to get some new promotional shots for Serenity. They even had everyone sign model release forms to make it look legit!
The helicopter pilot had a soundtrack playing during the flight and he kept us entertained with facts and tidbits of information about the areas that we were flying over. Megan and Michael sat up front with the pilot while I was in the back capturing images of the landscape and sneaking the occasional image of the lovely couple.
The helicopter swooped down into the canyon itself to land on a shelf overlooking the Colorado River. It was breathtaking. There were a few tables already set up in anticipation of our arrival and hot meals were set up as we exited the helicopter. Megan and Michael sneaked off to get a good look over the edge at the river snaking through the canyon below us. All eyes were on the couple as Michael got down on one knee, much to Megan’s surprise and joy. It was quite an honor to be able to capture this moment for them!
The pilot had dinner ready for us at that point, and a bottle of champagne was opened in honor of the newly engaged couple. The tour company really had the details covered. They had even prepared a bouquet of sunflowers, which were Megan’s favorite.
This tour of the Grand Canyon was in the middle of a two week adventure that Michael had surprised Megan with, during which they were visiting several of the places on their bucket list. Megan did not know each location that they were going to until they were headed there. At each location, Michael had Megan pose for a picture with a wrapped gift that she was finally able to open here after the proposal. Inside the present was a hand lettered canvas that read “Will You Marry Me?”
I thought this was a neat idea: Megan suggested that they throw her promise ring into the canyon now that she was replacing it with an engagement ring. Michael made a show of winding up to let it fly and faked everyone out before throwing it for real the second time. Everyone was in high spirits and we were all so happy for the beautiful couple. Megan and Michael had such a great positive vibe about them that it was impossible not to smile when near them. I wish them much happiness and many more adventures to come.