Nick & Nicole’s Secret Proposal at The Sanctuary

After weeks and weeks of planning every detail for Nick’s secret proposal, we had to call a last-minute audible!!!

Nick and I had worked so hard to come up with the perfect plan for him to ask his beautiful girlfriend, Nicole, to marry him. We had picked a pristine beach at the northern end of Kiawah Island as the backdrop. We had chosen the perfect time of day to catch that “golden hour” light before sunset. But all our plans fell apart minutes before our scheduled time when the skies opened up, pelting buckets of rain down from the sky!!!

Fortunately, Nick and Nicole’s parents had secretly flown in to surprise the couple after the proposal. Since his parents were staying at The Sanctuary, they quickly scouted out a secluded spot indoors and out of the rain. They even placed a trail of rose petals leading Nick to “the spot” where he would do his magic. It worked out PERFECTLY!!!

Arriving right on cue, Nicole said later that she could sense Nick was acting a little strange. But she wasn’t sure why? Then Nick hit his mark, turned to face the love of his life, and dropped to one knee. It was a truly magical moment. Nicole burst into a HUGE grin as she realized what was going on…and she couldn’t stop smiling the rest of the night!

Afterwar she said “Yes”, we were able to incorporate the beautiful hallways, archways, and grand staircase of the famous hotel into a fun authentic engagement shoot. I got some neat candids of Nick & Nicole’s parents surprising them and checking out Nicole’s AMAZING ring. And of course we captured a few nice family portraits to commemorate the occasion.

CONGRATULATIONS Nick & Nicole!!! We wish you all the best as you begin your new journey together!

Tyler & Melody’s Surprise Waterfront Proposal

Melody got a new Fuji XE4 and has turned into quite an amazing photo buff. So Tyler thought hiring me to give her one of my private photography mentoring sessions (https://chrisandcami.com/workshops/private-mentoring/) would be the perfect ruse for his proposal. HE WAS RIGHT!!!

It’s been so much fun secretly scheming with Tyler over the last few weeks to come up with the perfect plan to surprise the love of his life. Finally the BIG DAY arrived! I met up with Tyler & Melody at the famous Pineapple Fountain in Waterfront Park. After going over Melody’s camera settings, and practicing a few techniques, we went on a fun walk-about around the picturesque back alleys and colorful walkways of our historic city. Melody and I would stop periodically to shoot photos together. And I would suggest they do a nice portrait in front of whatever backdrop had caught our eyes. Since they are moving into a new house soon, and wanted photos to decorate it with, the “let me get a shot of you guys here for your house” excuse was a natural part of Tyler’s plan.

Now let me back up here for a minute. Believe it or not, Tyler & Melody got together because of the pandemic! Originally from L.A., Melody moved to Dallas, where she enjoys her career as a financial planner. Tyler travels a lot for his work as a medical consultant.  Originally from Michigan, he lived in the same apartment complex as Melody. In fact, they were neighbors on the same floor, and kind of knew each other in passing. When the pandemic shuttered a lot of travel, forced everyone to quarantine indoors, and curtailed extra curricular activities, Tyler & Melody began hanging out and became good friends. Then they began hanging out a LOT MORE!!! Until…well…here we are today.

Tyler really wanted to propose with the gorgeous Charleston Harbor behind them. So we had planned to conclude our photo walk down at the dock with the soft glow of twilight. Arriving at our location, it was miraculously void of all tourists and fishermen! Tyler and I had a secret sign arranged so that he would know when to make his move. Right on cue, as we stood on the open dock with the famous Arthur Ravenel Bridge standing as witness, Tyler NAILED IT!!! Melody was so surprised!  It was a beautiful moment I’ll never forget.

Some heartfelt words were spoken by Tyler. A GORGEOUS ring was placed on Melody’s finger. And SHE SAID YES!!! Please help me in congratulating this amazing couple! 🙂

Ben Proposes to Paulina at the Holiday Festival of Lights

I had so much fun photographing Frank and Sommer’s wedding last year. The Kordonis’ and Peterman’s are such wonderful families! So when Ben called to ask if I would photograph his Surprise Proposal to Frank’s sister, Paulina, I was ECSTATIC!!!

Ben had come up with a really unique but challenging idea for his proposal. He wanted to do it at the James Island County Park Holiday Festival of Lights. There were two major obstacles against us…there is no light…and there is no privacy! However, I loved the idea and went out to the park on a scouting trip. Soon a plan began to take shape.

I reached out to my friend, Gary Coleman, who is a good friend and has been Santa’s private photographer at James Island County Park for 13 years. Since Santa doesn’t make appearances after Christmas Eve, Gary was free to come with me and help out. He was able to let the park staff know what was going on, and ask Laura, one of the kind staff members, to help us with “crowd control”.

Arriving early to set up, we mounted a flash on a Manfrotto Magic Arm on one side of the “Tunnel of Lights”, and a second flash on a light-stand in the forest on the other side. Both were dialed way down to 1/128th power so as not to over-ride the beautiful ambiance of the festival lighting. I hid a Nikon Z6II with a 24-70 f2.8 under the “mushroom” display, which I triggered with a WR-R10 remote control. And I hid back behind the “woodpecker” display with a Nikon D5 using a 70-200 f2.8. Both cameras were set to ISO 2500, f2.8, and 1/60th sec.

After a nice dinner together, Ben & Paulina arrived at the Festival of Lights for what she thought was just part of their date night. Secretly staying in touch with Ben via text, he let me know when they were approaching the “Tunnel of Light” that we had selected as the spot to do his thing. Once I got the word, Laura helped me ask the crowd on my side of the tunnel to wait a moment for him to have a little privacy (and a clear shot from my cameras). Meanwhile, Gary, who was stationed at the far end of the tunnel, asked everyone on that end to wait a moment for them. By the time the tunnel was clear, there were probably 30 people all hiding behind me and holding their breath in anticipation of the big moment!

Ben rounded the corner exactly as planned, took to his knee, and asked Paulina to be his wife. Of course SHE SAID YES!!! And the crowd of people that had silently assembled all broke out in thunderous applause and loud cheers of encouragement for the happy couple! 🙂 Following this special moment, Gary and I took Ben & Paulina on a fun little mini-shoot throughout the Festival of Lights, before leaving them to enjoy their roasted marshmallows and celebrate this special moment in their lives.

CONGRATULATIONS Ben & Paulina! We wish you all the best as you begin this beautiful journey together…

Noah’s Surprise Proposal to Meredith

A few weeks ago I received a call from Noah. The voice on the other end of the phone was so kind and sincere. I was struck with how much he wanted to make everything absolutely perfect for his girlfriend of three years. Noah and I had a great time going back and forth and figuring out an awesome plan for his secret proposal to Meredith!
This morning, the Big Day finally arrived!!! Because Meredith loves all the beautiful trees in Charleston, we had settled on the proposal taking place under the cathedral of crape myrtles, draped in Spanish moss, lining one of the paths at Hampton Park. Everything turned out absolutely perfect! And SHE SAID YES!!!
The three of us then enjoyed a wonderful stroll around Hampton Park, photographing a variety of authentic engagement photos for them to remember this special day. I had so much fun getting to know them as we captured these images together! 🙂
CONGRATULATIONS Meredith & Noah! We wish you all the best as you begin this amazing new chapter of your lives…

Christina & Jeff’s Secret Proposal at Magnolia Plantation

Jeff and I have been covertly corresponding about his Secret Proposal to his beautiful girlfriend, Christina, since back in March!!! It’s been so much fun coming up with the perfect plan together. It really showed me how much he truly loves this amazing young lady!

The Big Day finally arrived yesterday. As they were enjoying the House Tour at Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, I was getting the stage set and getting in my hiding place. When the tour was done, Jeff led Christina down a winding path and stopped underneath a gorgeous live oak tree. He read a wonderful speech he had prepared for Christina. Than got down on his knee to ask for her hand in marriage.

SHE SAID YES!!! 🙂

Afterwards we spent some time walking through the gardens, photographing fun engagement photos, and enjoying the evening together. Christina was so excited. She could hardly keep her eyes off her amazing new ring.  And she couldn’t stop hugging and loving on Jeff the whole time!  🙂

It was an honor and a pleasure to be a part of this special occasion for Christina & Jeff. CONGRATULATIONS to you both!!!

Meredith & Peyton’s Secret Proposal at White Point Garden

It’s been a looong time coming!!!

Peyton, with the help of his incredible family, has been secretly planning his proposal to Meredith in the heart of beautiful downtown Charleston for months! Yesterday, the big day finally arrived. The dreary weather had finally cleared away, leaving us the perfect day for him to ask for her hand in marriage.

But when I got to the spot we had so carefully picked out at The Battery Park, the city of Charleston had roped it all off to let the grass grow in!  After a flurry of frantic texts back and forth, we had an excellent “Plan B” in place. Fortunately, Meredith still had no clue what was in store.  So everything turned out PERFECT!!!

After she said “Yes”, the three of us had a wonderful time strolling through the park, around the old historic district, and along The Battery, capturing amazing engagement photos as we went. Returning to the park, his family was there to congratulate the newly engaged couple, before sending them off on a romantic carriage ride.  To see the rest of their images, visit:  http://chrisandcami.zenfolio.com/p393066554

Longtime sweethearts from ECU (and recent graduates I might add), Meredith and Peyton are absolutely perfect for each other!!! I was so honored, and had so much fun capturing this exciting once-in-a-lifetime event for them.

CONGRATULATIONS Meredith & Petyon! We wish you all the best for a beautiful new life together…