On a recent trip to my hometown of Atlanta, GA I had the fortunate pleasure of meeting Kasey and Anthony. Together they make a young and vibrant couple. Anthony is finishing up chiropractic school at Life College in Atlanta. Kasey has a background as a teacher. As a couple, together, they are considering re-locating to Asheville so we hit it off immediately. As we were discussing many of the benefits to living in Asheville the subject of marriage came up. Anthony mentioned that he would most likely be "popping" the question soon. As a photographer it has always been a goal and dream of mine to shoot a surprise engagement. I feel one of my biggest strengths as a photographer is my ability to tell a story with my camera and a surprise proposal is such a great story to tell! I mentioned to Anthony that I was a photographer and that I'd love to document his proposal if doing it in Asheville was an option. We exchanged phone numbers and hugs that night and went our separate ways.
A few weeks went by and I received a call from Anthony. He informed me that he had purchased a ring and that he wanted to come visit Asheville and propose to Kasey somewhere in town. My creative juices started flowing! Among other places and things Asheville is known best for being the home of the world famous Biltmore Estate. I suggested the Estate and Anthony agreed that a late evening surprise proposal and photo shoot would be perfect. The Biltmore Estate is huge so my wife of 14 years, Meredith, and I began brainstorming on a few spots that would be accessible in the latter part of the day on the Estate. We decided that the lagoon would be best. The particular spot we had in mind on the lagoon looks to the east and has an incredible view of the back of the house. The sun would be setting to my back and ideally lighting up Kasey and Anthony for their special moment. Meredith and I both agreed that we had to visit the location during the evening to check out the light so we decided to pack up a picnic and head out to the Estate for some fun and test shots.
Now that we had our exact location nailed down there were other details to work out. We felt that a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries would be a good touch. I instructed Anthony exactly where he should set up and where Kasey should be standing. Their specific location was key to successful images.
Being in total cahoots with Anthony, we specifically laid out a plan to where Anthony would walk Kasey between these two rocks (pictured below). He would be to the right and she would be to the left. Anthony and Kasey had been on the Estate grounds for most of the day and were finishing up a tour of the winery when he texted me to let me know they were on the way over to the lagoon. There were intermittent clouds behind me. I saw a gap in the clouds and became anxious as I wanted the light to be perfect. I saw Anthony's car pull in and park. They both got out and started walking over to the spot. I should also mention that it was an extraordinarily hot July day and I was sweating profusely! They arrived to the spot and the rest was simply magical!! I hope you enjoy the these images. I had a blast capturing this special time for this beautiful couple.
There is a special reason and story regarding how we met Kasey and Anthony earlier in the summer. In mid-June we traveled to Atlanta to attend the memorial service for Carrie Harkleroad White. Carrie, who was 40 years young, unexpectedly died a few days before. Carrie was married to Blake who is and will always be one of my best friends on the planet. They had two young children together. I met Blake in 1999 while living in California. We grew up minutes from each other in Atlanta but our paths crossed on the coast of California. We clicked instantly and became roommates the next day. This story is a blog in itself, possibly a book. The first night we lived together in our sweet beachfront apartment we ended up having a huge party that the police had to break up. Every day was fun living with Blake White. We were both lonely and probably a little depressed when we met and we both helped each other find some happiness that we both desperately needed. I met Meredith when I lived with Blake. Meredith soon became our third roommate. We were having a blast! Blake moved back to Atlanta which saddened us but we kept in touch and saw him often. I was a groomsman in Blake and Carrie's wedding in 2004. We had only met Carrie a few times and she was always as nice as she could be. We were so sad for Blake and their family when we heard the news about Carrie. Kasey is the nanny for Carrie and Blake's two children. In this image above Kasey is holding a picture of Carrie. These "Flat Carries" have been seen all across the globe so we felt it was appropriate to have Carrie involved in this special day. We think about Blake every day and love him dearly.
From the lagoon we moved to the insanely beautiful sunflower patch on the Estate.
From the sunflowers we moved to the Inn on the Estate for some final and dramatic shots before the sun finally set.
The End!! I am now looking forward to documenting their wedding sometime in 2017. Thank you for checking out my blog!!