Botanical Gardens Surprise Engagement: Josh and Ariel

Josh and Ariel have been dating for a few years after they met at work. From the midwest, they planned a trip out to Arizona for the holidays. And, Josh had a little surprise for Ariel, a Botanical Gardens surprise engagement!

Josh found me online searching for a photographer in Phoenix, and I was one of the first results. After checking out my website and portfolio, Josh reached out to me to check on my availability and help with planning. During the fall/early spring, the Desert Botanical Gardens hosts the Chihuly in the Desert event, displaying beautiful glass sculptures. This made it a little tricky for timing, since the best time is just before sunset, and the gardens close during that time before reopening for the night time events.

We decided on a time, and devised a plan, including staging how the first part of the shoot would go and prompts for when he was ready to propose.

Day of the Photoshoot

The weather the day of the photo session was perfect. Since it was a gorgeous day, and during the holidays, with a special event, it was pretty crowded. But we were able to work around crowds, and most people are courteous to not walk in front of you when they see someone posed for a photo. Our only issue was the bright overhead sun, and the harsh shadows that it cast through the cactus and plants in some of my favorite areas. We took advantage of the opportunity to explore some more areas of the Desert Botanical Gardens and find some new locations.

One of the most popular, and most photogenic locations is right up front. Unfortunately the sun wasn’t cooperating with us, so we altered the planned shot just a bit.

We had a little small talk walking to our spot, and I gave them some tips and let them know how it would go, to help them get comfortable (most people get a little nervous in front of a camera). I warmed them up with a couple of easy, posed shots, and waited for Josh’s cue. He had a specific question I told him to ask me, and I had a specific answer I’d give him verbatim. That would allow me to make a couple changes to my settings so I could shoot the photos in a faster burst to ensure I didn’t miss anything about the special engagement moment, and to get in place.  Once I was ready, I got in place, gave them a quick prompt, and gave Josh my verbal cue. 

He dropped to one knee, pulled out the ring box, and asked Ariel to marry him.  She was in utter surprise!  And she said yes! After giving them a few moments together, I said congratulations and asked her if she was suspicious he might be up to something. She was completely surprised and elated.  We took a couple more quick photos, and then we were off to explore the rest of the gardens and finish their engagement photo session.

Desert Botanical Gardens Engagement Gallery

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