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How do you pull off a surprise engagement? With planning. Lots and lots of planning.

Ryan reached out several months ago about proposing to his girlfriend Megan while they were vacationing in South Florida. Initially, we discussed some options that required telling her about the photo session as a cover and then proposing during the session. But in the end, the surprise proposal felt like the most special and the safest–she would have no clue it was coming. Ryan decided we would capture the proposal first and then do some engagement photos to top off the Best Surprise Ever™. So I went to work using Google Maps, pinning locations, and sending sample images. We discussed how he would propose and which direction to face. Ryan sent along a couple photos with Megan so I’d know who I was supposed to photograph (always a good idea). By the week before, it was all set up.

I was on the beach absurdly early about 45 minutes before they were supposed to show up. But hey, with a proposal you don’t want to be late! Turns out my Uber was on time, the drawbridge didn’t open, and the path I’d scouted out got me to the location I was supposed to be in quickly. So I enjoyed the sunrise from start to finish, which is a really nice treat for me as I’m not typically a morning person. The color in the sky was magical.

Right on time, Ryan and Megan walked onto the beach as I was taking photos of the sunrise. I could tell she did not suspect a thing! He asked her to look out at the ocean while he took a few photos of her from behind, made sure I was all set, and got down on his knee. After a few seconds she turned around and BAM. It was a picture perfect moment. Megan cupped her hands over her mouth and let out a cry of joy, smiling and emotional. Even with the breeze and the sound of the waves I could hear her say “YES.” They hugged and embraced and only then did Ryan let her onto the fact that someone was photographing them. I love that her expression was so priceless and could tell having the moment photographed meant the world to her.

After they took a few moments to bask in the joy, we walked up and down the beach taking engagement photos. Ryan and Megan were easy going and easy to photograph. We found great spots along the beach and ended our morning with some fun lifts and silhouettes in a lot full of palm trees.