Preston and Jennifer’s Surprise Proposal in Acadia


During the summer, I’m probably making the trek to Acadia National Park once a week to photograph a proposal, engagement, or family session. All of the people I photograph, proposals specifically, are visiting on vacation and when I meet them for the first time it’s only minutes after one of the most life-altering moments of their lives has occurred.

The cool thing is that I get to be part of the process of creating those moments, planning those moments, and capturing those moments even when one of the people involved has no idea I’m doing so.


Preston contacted me about his trip to Maine with his girlfriend, Jennifer. After secret discussions and plans to coordinate their clothing and how to get her into Acadia National Park in a dress without being the least bit suspicious (yes I help with this… it’s important!), we had the right location for what he wanted, and a plan to make it all happen.

It was clear by her reaction, even from my distance, that Jennifer was absolutely clueless about what was happening when Preston knelt to ask her to marry him, and her expression and body language was priceless. I’ve seen few people so surprised and excited and bubbly as Jennifer in a moment like this.


Preston and I talked about the opportunity to bring a bottle of champagne to celebrate the moment, and I love this idea, because it gives Jennifer and him an opportunity to breathe, let the moment sink in, and enjoy being in each other’s arms as opposed to going straight from introductions to formal-ish photos. I love photographing these moments as well, and listening to her ask questions about how he pulled this off, how long he’s been planning it all, and when he bought the ring. Jennifer was all giggles.


I always try to plan my session for the last hour of daylight, when the sky changes color, the heat dies down, and the tourists have all gone to dinner for the evening and retired to their hotel rooms. It leaves a couple feeling like they’re the only ones left on the planet in such a gorgeous setting. I’ve even put on a headlamp and guided couples down mountains in the dark just to capture summit sunsets with them. Anything for the photographs!!!

This was one of those couples I instantly fell in love with. Our personalities matched so perfectly, we laughed so much, and we even talked about the possibility of traveling to Africa together in the Spring because we all loved to travel so much. I wish Jennifer and Preston the best and brightest and most fun and exciting future together, and maybe someday our paths will cross again, considering Africa didn’t work out. Dangit!!!

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