A truly memorable DC surprise proposal

After capturing many great proposals as a DC proposal photographer, this Georgetown surprise proposal was truly one for the books! There are many reasons why it was so memorable: the proposal was meticulously planned during the weeks before, the reactions during were amazing, and the engagement photography session was full of life and laughter.

The weeks leading up to the proposal

Sean's sister found me on Instagram and told me that Sean is in need of a photographer to document the upcoming surprise proposal. After connecting with Sean over the phone about the plan to propose and the couple's backstory, I learned that the proposal would happen in Georgetown, although the location wasn't set, and that the lucky girl is Dani. They met back in 2021 at a themed bar in Baltimore. For the next week or so, Sean would need to be very discreet and not blow his cover while the couple lived together. The proposal would happen en route to an already-made brunch reservation at Sequoia the following weekend.

Deciding Where to propose in Georgetown

The remaining question the week before the secret proposal was where the proposal should happen. As part of my proposal photography service, I offered to scout the two locations Sean had in mind on the weekend before.

The first location considered for the proposal was the fountain at the Senator Charles H. Percy Plaza overlooking the Georgetown waterfront. When I arrived I realized two things that would disrupt the proposal experience. One, the fountain hasn't turned on because it isn't summer yet. Two, the location has a lot of distractions. I updated Sean and headed off to the second location.

The next location being considered was a meaningful spot for the couple as it was a place where the first "I love you" was declared. Given its meaningful connection, I was very happy to find the Georgetown Canal Lock 3 to be a great spot to photograph the surprise proposal. Even though it's an area with seating for the public, there a few things that could make a proposal work. First, there was a spot near the mini-waterfall that would be away from others and overlooks the water as a backdrop. In fact, the rushing water would mask any sound from a distance, thus making the proposal audibly private. Second, because there are seating around, it also meant that I wouldn't look out of place waiting around with my camera.

I updated Sean on the second location and we agreed that this would be the spot. After confirming the proposal location, I also walked around and discovered a few hidden gems where we could get additional engagement photos for the session.

The Georgetown Canal Surprise proposal

On the day of the proposal, I arrived in Georgetown early to make sure I get a parking spot and get settled in the proposal vicinity. As requested, I marked an X and O on the exact spots by the water where Sean and Dani should stand. Sean updated me by sending the tracking info from their rideshare app. A few minutes after the couple got dropped off, they walked around the corner into the Lock 3 block. As they passed me, I got into my photographer position, which is behind a metal structure with a clear view of the couple.

As Sean proceeded to get in position for the proposal, I could tell Dani sensed that something big was happening. I made sure my shutter was clicking away to capture every moment of confusion, surprise, excitement, bewilderment, and joy in her expression as Sean got onto his knee, asked the question, put the ring on her finger. As she said "yes" to his proposal, the couple embraced each other and held each other long and tight for a long time to take in this incredible moment in life.

I let the lucky and newly engaged couple have their moment and collect themselves from the emotional highs of the proposal before guiding them through a few quick portraits at the proposal location. Then we are off to the next photoshoot location, which helped them walk off their post-proposal jitters.

Man about to propose to girlfriend at Georgetown Canal Lock 3
Man about to surprise propose to girlfriend at Georgetown Canal Lock 3
Man proposing to girlfriend at Georgetown Canal Lock 3
Man puts engagement ring onto girlfriend at Georgetown surprise proposal

First we stopped by Lock 2, which is similar to the proposal location at Lock 3, but has more lush greens in addition to the waterfall background. Then we went to a tucked away alleyway with geometric shapes and a living wall with plants and did many fun poses and prompts there. Having a more private area for this part of the photoshoot helped the newly engaged couple relax and let their real personalities shine. We even set the mood by listening to "their song", which is "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song" by Jim Croce. Dani also facetimed 8 of her best friends to tell them the exciting news and they all cheered and cried tears of joy together.

To conclude the engagement portrait session after the perfect surprise proposal, Sean and Dani got on an electric scooter together and rode across the K St. NW underneath the Route 29 overpass before heading over to a celebratory lunch at Sequoia. Later that night, their family and friends would be joining them in celebration.

I love being a DC proposal photographer

I am so thankful to have had this opportunity to be a part of and document genuine reaction to this well-planned surprise proposal for Sean and Dani. Their love for one another and the support they have from family and friends near and far is admirable and inspiring. Congratulations!

If you are looking for a surprise proposal photographer and a memorable experience, reach out to me and I'd be happy to help!

Intimate engagement portrait at Georgetown Canal Lock 2
Newly engaged couple at Georgetown proposal photoshoot