When Eric asked me to photograph his proposal to Sarah at Milton Lee Olive Park, it was the BIGGEST honor. This shoot has the most special place in my heart and here’s why⬇️
My First College Friend
Let me set the stage for you. Sarah was the first friend that I made in college when I moved to Chicago from Nebraska. It’s been what, around 7 years now that we’ve been friends?
So when Eric came to me and said that he was proposing and wanted me to not only be part of the event but instigate it with a photoshoot, I about started crying right then and there. He made me keep the secret for SIX MONTHS, in which I nearly blew the whole thing up almost every time I saw Sarah.
It’s Proposal Day At Milton Lee!
Many nerve-wracking months later, I asked Sarah and Eric to model for me on a styled shoot. I asked them earlier in the year to do this as well, so it wasn’t out of the ordinary. We planned it all down to a tee – we’d shoot at Milton Lee Olive Park on a gorgeous fall day in her fanciest dress.
The big day came and while I was practically pooping myself I was so nervous I’d mess this up for my best friends, everything went perfectly. I had them take some time right before the proposal to reflect back on their relationship. I prompted them with questions like, “What’s been your favorite memory over the past 5 years of your relationship?” and “Why do you choose to walk through life with this specific person?” This intimate reflection gets the emotions and tears flowing.
Once they spent some time reflecting on their past, it was time for Eric to pop the question that decided their future.
I tell them I’m trying some new poses and direct them to stand back to back, and to take a few steps apart so I can photograph the buildings in between them. Eric turned around and gave me a little “Shhh” gesture and got down on one knee. He called out to Sarah to turn around and BAM, they were engaged!
What followed was a series of “You knew and didn’t tell me!!” and very incredulous looks down at her unbelievable ring from Chicago-based Minerology.
After The Proposal At Milton Lee Olive Park
We finished with some images around the area with her new hardware. I gave them my heartfelt congratulations, and we parted ways from Milton Lee Olive Park.
A Non-Traditional Engagement Party
Sarah thought she was headed to a fancy dinner to celebrate their new engagement. Little did she know all of our friends had gathered at a small event space called Hummingbird Studios to surprise Sarah with an engagement party.
For years she stated she wanted an engagement party right after the proposal so that she didn’t have to plan an engagement party on top of planning a wedding, so that’s exactly what she got😘
Both Eric and Sarah’s parents had traveled in from out of town to help celebrate. After the big surprise walk-in, with a few tears shed and many a bottle of champagne, it was time for party games.
Being the ridiculous group of friends that we are, Eric recreated a party we had hosted in college – a Minute To Win It Olympics.
We split into teams and spent the next two hours ferociously competing – after all, whichever side lost was going to “pay for the entire wedding!” (all in good fun). Never seen an engagement party with cheeseballs and shaving cream, huh? Neither had I.
I kept my camera close to capture these golden memories of Sarah and Eric’s dad recreating the “Soulja Boy” dance to a very chaotic game of group beer pong. It was one of the most special and memorable sessions to capture each of our friends in their element.