I’ve never done a paparazzi style surprise engagement before.
The groom to be, Herman, wanted to make sure he had plenty of photos of his engagement surprise. The only hitch was that he wanted me to get lots of photos of the two of them together (and the bride to be, Monika, doesn’t like having photos taken), without tipping her off that he was going to ask for her hand in marriage. So how does a photographer sneak around in a Casino and try to get photos of a surprise engagement? Not easily! This required a lot of pre planning on Herman’s part, a coordinator to sneak up to their hotel room and decorate the place and me to play the part of an incompetent casino photographer. He wanted to surprise her with an engagement ring on her birthday just after midnight. I arrived at the Casino for a check in and security clearance. I was then escorted to the restaurant where they were dining. After the manager came to retrieve me and showed me to their table, I started in with a patter about how I wasn’t a real photographer, the real one went home sick three hours ago and they were making me fill in. I kept making photo “mistakes” in order to get as many frames out of the deal as humanly possible. I was prattling on and on, clicking the whole time with “Well, that doesn’t look right”, and “I don’t think that’s in focus at all!” type remarks. I’d told Herman I would be playing this role since I didn’t want him freaking out that he’d hired a bozo of a photographer!
After going up to their hotel room to get photos of the room and all the decorations Gayle, from Events To Envy had set up, Herman texted me to say he was in the bar. Another security escort dropped me off at the bar where I shot photos of Gayle and her mom as well as Herman and Monika. She’s had enough after four frames.
Then I waited and waited and waited. Seems it was harder than Herman thought to get Monika away from the roulette tables! He feigned exhaustion, yawned a lot and suggested they head up to the room. I followed closely behind. He didn’t want photos of the actual moment, but wanted me to come in as soon as she’d said yes. The challenging part was getting her to understand why the crummy Casino photographer was now in their room. When he explained he’d hired me, she said, “But she’s not a good photographer!”. So I guess she did buy it hook, line and sinker. With her sparkly ring and a 1,000 watt smile, we ran around the lobby getting photos since as you might know by now… Casino’s are NOT into having photos taken on their premises!