Recently, I was corresponding with Koichi to plan his surprise engagement proposal in Honolulu, Hawaii! Koichi is from Japan so our e-mail exchanges were very simple at first. Once I figured out where he was from I felt very happy because I studied Japanese in College, did a student study abroad exchange program in Osaka, and had my humble beginnings as a photographer apprenticing at a Japanese Wedding photography company (Yup, all our clients were Japanese customers! So photography Japanese and posing —- Check!).
I was thrilled and excited that I could communicate effectively through e-mail to help plan his surprise engagement! I wrote to him in the best Japanese I could (and even double checked everything through google translate) and he wrote back to me in English. This was totally a Win-Win. I was able to practice my Japanese and he was able to practice his English skills.
Koichi’s vision was to pop the big question at Kaka’ako Beach Park around sunset. He would pretend to forget his camera in the car and come back with a giant bouquet of 100 roses! He wanted me to hide and use my Photography Ninja skills to capture this special life event as it unfolded.
To help him prepare for this big surprise I made a map of the park and matched them up with photo references. This worked out perfectly because he had never been to Kaka’ako park. We outlined where to go and the best scenic spots for views of THEeee romantic sunset to remember!
After some planning he felt like a huge weight had been lifted from his shoulders since all the logistics were ironed out and now he could focus on other details such practicing what he was going to say, ordering roses, and planning the rest of the day leading up to this moment.
On the day of the shoot I arrived about 30 minutes earlier to make sure everything was in order. I sent him a message to tell him where I was waiting, while looking very incognito. I have found that its best to not look too much like a photographer for Surprise Engagement Proposals so I had my cameras hidden under a beach towel.
He arrived and everything went exactly as planned. I hid behind a tree and sprung into action while he asked Mayu, the woman of his dreams, to be his wife.