July 27, 2019
Alright, this surprise proposal and engagement session is a little EXTRA special. I might be biased because it’s my baby bro.. But I had been planning a styled shoot in the dunes with another photographer when I realized my brother and his GF (who have been together for 6 years) would make the best models. We had been chatting previously about updating their pictures, so they could have some new photos to frame for there house. When it dawned on me – “Brandon, you should really propose during the shoot, it’s going to be the least suspicious way.”
Somehow I convinced them to model and him to hurry and get a ring. A few weeks before the shoot at Jessica’s birthday dinner she joked about wanting to be engaged already and how the photoshoot would be the perfect opportunity. Brandon and I just glared at each other over the table. “UHHHH did she figure it out?” I thought. Gladly she didn’t.
I somehow convinced the brother who never dresses up to get in a tux. MIRACLE. While trying the tux + dress on, Jessica said “Marry me right now” to Brandon when she saw him for the first time! This made me so excited. She had noo idea it was coming.
Fast forward next week, we wake up at 2AM and travel to Armogosa Valley to beat the heat and catch the sunrise. It was literally perfect and everything I had envisioned. The first half of the shoot was centered around posing them for the “Styled Shoot” about halfway through I set up my phone camera on the RZR, go dig in my camera bag where the ring is hiding and pretend to look for a smoke bomb. My right-hand lady Sandra is distracting them both while I grab the ring. We position Jessica’s back to the camera, I act like I’m fixing her dress and hair while I slip Brandon the ring box. I was cool as a cucumber all morning until I had that ring in my hand. I couldn’t talk and give them direction!! I was so nervous for him. We had Brandon place his finger to his mouth like “shhh” secret. Jessica had no idea what was going on behind her back. We had them face each other and Brandon dropped to his knee and asked her to marry him. She was shocked, excited and crying. I also screamed in excitement when she said yes!
After the adrenaline of that was over we went and had some fun in normal clothes and took their engagement pictures. I’m so thankful I could be such a big part of their special moment. Days like this one make me feel extra blessed for what I do.
Photographer | Karissa Russ & Co.
Dress + Tux | Rent-A-Dress & Tux
Florals | Acacia’s Arrangements