Time was of the essence. I had one hour to get from BWI airport to the Lincoln Memorial in DC to photograph my brother's engagement! His girlfriend Allison had no idea what was coming her way. For all she knew, they were off to spend the beautiful weather together at the Cherry Blossom Festival and brunch at the amazing Farmers Fishers Bakers.
My brother Jimmy called me two weeks prior and told me the whole plan. I was immediately on board and within minutes the flight was booked! I could hardly contain my excitement! On the flip side (as excited as I was) at almost 19 weeks pregnant I was super worried I would get sick or even worse- it would be so busy with tourists that someone would walk right in front of me while capturing the surprise.
That morning, the plane arrived in Baltimore ahead of schedule. Everything was off to a fantastic start! It was around 9:50am and I had to be there and in position by 10:45. I made my way to the Amtrak station to hop on the train and head straight to the memorial. Alas, the first obstacle. The train was running 30 minutes late which meant I couldn't board until 10:30!! Okay- time to hop in a cab. I knew it would take longer than the train, but at least I had about an hour to get there. The cab driver proceeds to drive off and then gave ME his GPS to enter where we were going. OH. NO. Um, hello Mr. Cab Driver? Don't you take people to DC from the airport all the time? There are cab drivers lined up outside. This should be routine and I choose the ONE that didn't know where the heck he was going? Great. I mean, I'm the tourist...how do I know the address of the Lincoln Memorial? Forty-five minutes, bad traffic, and many dollars later, I start to panic. I followed this guy's every move to make sure he wasn't duping me. He truly did not know where he was going and relied on his extremely outdated GPS was taking us the most ridiculous route.
Enter Tristan and Jackie. Jimmy and Allison's awesome friends who were waiting for me to help with the engagement and stake out my position. I called Tristan in a panic, while at the same time I was texting Jimmy my crazy adventure and status. I thought for sure Allison would suspect something as we were all texting frantically back and forth. I gave Tristan my location and he was able to direct me with his GPS. I finally arrived around 10:55, thinking I had blown the entire engagement.
Luckily, Jimmy was doing a fantastic job stalling while on their walk over to the Lincoln. They arrived around 11:15. There were people everywhere. I hid behind a rescue dog tent, sneaking out to get my practice shots while waiting. I knew that Jimmy would take her over to the edge of the Reflecting Pool and face the Washington Monument with their backs to us. As soon I saw them in position, I ran out plain as day (about 20 feet in front of them) and captured their amazing moment from start to finish. My eyes were so blurry with tears that I was praying I got the shots! It was the most incredible experience to be a part of and I could NOT believe that no one got in our way. Better yet- Allison had no clue about the entire chain of events. Success!!
I could not be happier to have been a part of this huge moment in my brother's life. I will remember it forever...as I know they will too.
Enjoy as the moments as they unfold before you. :)
I LOVE the expression on Jimmy's face in this next one...
For a good 15 seconds, Jimmy glanced over at me and Allison still had no idea I was there!
Until now... :)
The rest of the day was a blast. We pranced around DC on our way to brunch and captured a few more photos of the beautiful newly engaged couple. I didn't have to tell them to do anything. They were so busy relishing in their moment that voila! Gorgeous. Photos.
Allison, I am thrilled to soon call you my sister! Words cannot even do justice for how happy I am for the both of you!! Congratulations!
Much love to you both!