Life-changing experiences can be anticipated. We pass a driving test, open our first paycheck, graduate from high school, start a new job. Sometimes, though, life changes without warning.
Early Saturday morning, May found herself standing at the top of Peters Hill, with Mark kneeling in front of her.
Some history: Mark and May had been dating for years. Mark knew it was time to take the next step, but he wanted everything to be right. He started by purchasing a round-cut diamond engagement ring, the largest he could afford. Then he scheduled a surprise dinner on Saturday evening with his parents and her parents. Lastly, he hired a photographer (me), and together we planned out the proposal.
Fast forward to Saturday morning. I was at the top of Peters Hill overlooking the Arnold Arboretum. It was wet and blustery, and I was out of breath because I'd run to beat them there. I was sitting on a stone bench when Mark and May strolled up, hand in hand. Mostly I kept my back to them, so May didn't really notice me or the camera that I kept hidden from view. Only one problem: Mark and I had agreed on a signal--he would whistle--but I couldn't hear anything because of the wind. I decided to risk an occasional turn of the head. So I watched from the corner of my eye. And I waited.
Five minutes later, they set down their drinks. When Mark suddenly changed elevation, my camera went to work.
Here are a few images more taken after the proposal. I never had to tell them to smile.