Bobby, a long-time friend of ours, came to us a few weeks ago with a plan in mind for an awesome Central Park proposal for his girlfriend, Jacklyn. She’d seen so much of Pak’s photography online that she would likely recognize him, so he asked Antonis to play the role of the “tourist with a nice camera” in an elaborate set-up to surprise Jacklyn at Bethesda Fountain in Central Park. Pak would be positioned at a distance so there was no chance of Jacklyn seeing him, with Bobby taking her through the park using paths specifically chosen to avoid us. Saturday was the big day with the crucial moment planned for just after 7:00pm when the light would be ideal and the park would (hopefully) be less crowded.
We arrived early to scout our locations, with Pak planted atop the Bethesda arches. The light was glorious and the crowd thinned just before Jacklyn and Bobby arrived.
While Pak set up his gear up top, Antonis wandered around down below, trying to look like a tourist and snapping some background images. This is one of our favorite parts of the city. (You can see Pak set up at the top left of the balcony).
As 7pm rolled around, we kept an eye out for Bobby and his unsuspecting girlfriend. They approached the fountain and started taking selfies. Our signal was for Bobby to step back and take an image of Jacklyn. I walked past him at the right moment for him to ask me, “Excuse me, do you mind taking a picture of the two of us?” I agreed and took a picture of the two of them with their phone. Then I took out my camera and said, “I’m doing a project, taking pictures of people in NYC, do you mind if I take an image of the two of you?” They agreed and the first images I snapped is the one at left, below. Then I stepped back to give Bobby some privacy and that was his queue to kneel and pop the question! Jacklyn was totally taken aback and her reaction was utterly charming and touching.
Once the big moment was over, all was revealed to Jacklyn, and Pak made his presence known. We then posed the newly engaged couple for a few shots beneath the famous arches.
With the photography taken care of, it was time for Jacklyn to start letting everybody know about the big news. She was so excited and couldn’t wait to share with her friends and family!
We parted ways with the happy couple, and Bobby drove us downtown under the guise of dropping off somewhere more convenient for us. What Jacklyn didn’t know was that Bobby had planned a large dinner with family and friends at El Quijote in Manhattan and that he’d asked us to take a few shots. He, therefore, dropped us off near the restaurant and went to park, so that we wouldn’t spoil the surprise for Jacklyn. With all of their friends and family waiting outside, the couple arrived and Jacklyn was hit with another unexpected pleasure!
Here is the beautiful slideshow w/ video of the magic moment!
Jacklyn and Bobby – We are so happy for the two of you and were honored to document this special day! Congrats again, you two!
– Pak and Antonis