Shelby + Adam / Suprise Sunrise Engagement
I’ve been trying to stick to more pictures and fewer words lately, but I can’t help myself today. Less talking, more doing. I get it. They say that your images should speak for themselves, and thats true. And these ones do. But I HAVE to tell you this story.
Shelby is a wedding videographer in Memphis, TN who found me on instagram while she was vacationing in Montana with her boyfriend, Adam. She asked if I had time for a 3o minute shoot and I did, so yesterday morning we met in the chilly parking lot at Pete’s Hill for a quick sunrise session. Shelby had specifically mentioned to me that she didn’t want the pictures to look too much like engagement pictures since she didn’t expect to be engaged for a while. Adam’s brother is getting married in October, and they didn’t want to steal their thunder. I understood and totally agreed. I hadn’t talked to Adam prior to meeting him at the shoot, but the night before the session I thought to myself “I wonder if this dude has something up his sleeve…?”
Fast forward 15 minutes into yesterdays session. It was a brisk but beautiful morning in Bozeman. We chatted on our walk through the park about their vacation, how I ended up in Bozeman, and how they met and started dating. We reached a plateau on the hill, and I directed Shelby and Adam toward a field on fire with the morning sunlight. Not many people want to take advantage of sunrise and shoot during the first of two golden hours that happen every day, so the energy was already simultaneously exhilarating and peaceful. It was magical in a way that only Montana can be. I turned toward Shelby and Adam to plan the next shot when Adam says “wait, I have to do something first”, and got down on one knee.
I hadn’t been so surprised since my own proposal a month ago. Despite all the weddings I’ve been to over the years, this may have been the most intimate moment I’ve shared with a couple. There were hugs and squeals of joy and high fives all around. I felt truly honored to be there.
Here is why this day was so incredible to me: Shelby found me ON INSTAGRAM. I love instagram for what it is: a way to share and see photos from all over and learn about how other people see the world. But how far does that get you? When you click the little red heart, does it mean anything? In a world where connection is easier than ever, how often to we share something genuine?
Shelby and Adam invited me to share breakfast with them after our session, and we talked like old friends. As they head back to Memphis, I fully intend to cheer for them as they continue their new lives together. I walked away from yesterday with a set of images that all three of us will love forever, but more than that with two new friends. I am so grateful for yesterday, I am grateful for instagram, and I am grateful for new friends.
Anyway…that’s enough talking. Back to doing. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.