Justin & Tiera {Proposal/Engagement}

Some views of the 'proposal tree' from the brick path

My wife (Amy) and I were lucky enough to be involved in the engagement of Justin and Tiera. Justin came to us a couple of months ago and asked us to schedule a shoot under the guise that it was going to be for Tiera's birthday. He had ulterior motives though... he was going to pop the big question during the shoot! We immediately began planning the shoot.

The location - West Baden Springs Hotel. The date - March 24th, 2012. The time - 7:00pm.
Amy had the brilliant idea of getting wooden letters that spell "Marry Me" and hanging them from a tree - she rocks! The goal was to have Justin and Tiera 'stumble' upon the tree and that's where he would ride in on his white horse wearing metal armor propose to her. March 24th rolled around and Amy and I arrived at West Baden around 6:00pm and began setting up the scene. It was looking to be a perfect evening - the air was cool and the sun was just preparing to fall behind the tree line. It was pretty funny seeing the reaction of those walking around - luckily it wasn't too busy. 

Justin and Tiera arrived and I ran up to meet them in the parking lot. Justin and I had to 'use the restroom' so I could show him how things were laid out in the garden. I showed him a few pictures on my camera (like the collage at the top of the page) and we were ready to start shooting. We shot around for a few minutes just to get everyone relaxed and settled down. Everyone, but Justin that is. Tiera was wondering why he was acting so stiff - little did she know...
Next, we made our way to the brick path that would ultimately lead both of them to the proposal tree. We told them that we wanted some pictures of them walking and holding hands. I backed up all the way to the opposite end of the path and gave them the cue to start walking. Amy walked along side them holding a flash just to give them an extra pop of light. This was it. Do or die. I'm pretty sure Justin was about to pass out or something. As they neared the tree, Justin gestured towards the tree. The collage below records what happened for the following 55 seconds. I think her answer is rather obvious :) Click HERE to view the entire album.
The progression of the proposal - the images flow left to right, top to bottom.

Behind The Scenes (BTS) Section
The images below give a glimpse into how we created some of the shots. The more I shoot, the more I make an effort to remember and take some setup shots. They benefit me, because it allows me to reference the lighting setup and people like seeing behind the scenes stuff.
The large softbox is a Westcott Apollo 28" and the small softbox is a LumiQuest SoftBox III. This combination works like a charm and it's pretty mobile and light. I love using the small LumiQuest III as a backlight because it adds such a nice edge that separates the subjects from the background. Things tend to look flat otherwise. Both flashes were triggered using my trusty RF-602 triggers that I have been using for a couple of years. As always, feel free to ask questions in the comments section below. I used my Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 AF-S and Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 throughout the shoot.
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