Last night we arrived at Long Island City around 7pm – Shannon and Anthony were scheduled to arrive around 8p after a nice dinner (she thought it was a celebration for his birthday). We scoped the location, planned where we would capture the moment, and set up our cameras and flashes. It was now around 7:30p. We texted Anthony what to do – where to stand and where to drop to his knee. All described via text message.

Then we waited. And waited. And waited some more. In the bitter cold. We did lunges, squats – anything we could to keep warm. And it worked for a bit.

At 8:00p, we got a call from Anthony. He was in the bathroom and we went over the details one last time. He told us he would be coming within the half hour.

More waiting. At 8:15p, we texted him “don’t forget to text us when you’re on your way!” Then our phone died.

We had no way to tell when they were arriving. Time to stress the F out.

We went to do another test shot to make sure we had the correct composition…nothing. Our camera battery’s were dead. We run over to the camera bag and quickly grab some batteries. This was stressful b/c the bag was acting as a weight to keep our lightstand from falling over from the wind. The problem with that was, it was in the impact zone of where the proposal was supposed to happen. We grab the batteries and head back under the Pepsi Sign and swap out the batteries.

We then go test my other camera, AND THOSE BATTERIES ARE DEAD. Another run to the camera bag, praying now is NOT the moment they come strolling along.

We run back under the Pepsi sign; all cameras working and ready. A BIG GUST OF WIND knocks down the light stand (thanks camera bag for doing your job). In the process, the batteries are knocked out of place and the light shuts off. We have to reset it. We finally get the light repositioned when we notice Shannon and Anthony in the distance.

RUUUUUN out of the way and into place, hoping they don’t see us.

We watch as they walk the path he and we discussed and think to ourselves “alright, going exactly as planned. Good job!” They continue until they get to the mark we told him to stop and propose at….but he keeps walking. Anthony walks past the mark!

We’re now not in optimal position to capture the moment! We scramble – what do we do? Do we move but risk being seen? Do we stay and just capture the moment as is?

Ultimately we decided the risk wasn’t worth the reward. We were in good enough position to grab the moment.

Stressful? Yes.

Worth it? I hope so.

What do you think?

Long Island City Proposal photography by Michael Justin Studios

Photography by Michael Justin