• Todd Shapera

Popping The Question: A Photo Speaks A Thousand Words

Story and images by Todd Shapera of Todd Shapera Photography

When Scott dropped to one knee and asked Casey to spend her life with him, she had had no idea that two photographers were there to capture the moment. The proposal, which took place in a Larchmont park overlooking the Long Island Sound, came as complete surprise to Casey, whose event planner mother worked closely with Scott to create a magical day that she would never forget.

Traditionally, the most anticipated moment in weddings has been when the bride walks down the aisle. In the modern day digital era, we have seen a shift to the dramatic 'first-look' photographs before the ceremony on the venue grounds. Now more than ever, capturing life's true candid moments has replaced stiff posed portraits. A growing number of grooms are arranging to covertly capture the breathtaking moment when they propose to their future brides. The end result conveys every emotion, overflowing joy, and a wholly sincere emergence that the bride would otherwise have never seen on her own face. We all know our go-to smile for posed photos, but to get that irreplicable expression from within the moment... this is the photo that speaks a thousand words.

Inspiring a moment such as this only takes the utterance of four words, but to capture it requires significant preparation. For Scott's proposal to Casey, the occasion was met with diligent coordination. Last minute scheduling adjustments had been made due to the weather, on top of logistical details being sorted prior to proposal. On the day of, I arrived early to scout backgrounds and lighting, and to take test shots. Inevitably, in wedding photography, the best laid plans are subject to unanticipated developments. I try to embrace these uncertain