Paul called me a couple weeks ago, asking if I would take pictures as he proposed to his girlfriend. I love proposals so I was really excited to take part.
Twenty five or so of Paul and Sarah's friends gathered in Pasadena at the cafe called Float, which mainly serves all sorts of tasty and unique float drinks. When I arrived, everyone seemed to be on time, plans were in action, and people were enjoying themselves while getting ready for a great surprise. They told me where I would be sitting, which was 3 feet away from where Paul would bring Sarah to sit...much closer than I was expecting.
For some reason I thought there would be some sort of warning when they were coming, but there wasn't, and they strolled into the shop as naturally as two people with no agenda except to drink a good float. They found their seats right next to us and then ordered tea. Paul complained of a stomach ache and went to the bathroom. Sarah's friend Joyce, just "happened" to have started a job at the counter, so she came out and chatted with Sarah. Meanwhile two young men brought out a keyboard in the corner and one started playing the most beautiful piano music, which I later found out was Sarah & Paul's favorite song.
"Oh, they have concerts here sometimes," Joyce said, or something like it. Then, out comes Paul. I mean, does he look like a million bucks or what!!?! He sits down, says something I cannot hear, then without looking behind him, lifts up his right arm gesturing to something behind him. In the windows behind him, up pops three sets of hands, one at a time. At this point Sarah is starting to be confused and yet not confused at all. Up goes his other arm and a moment later another three signs are raised. The message has been received. Paul pulls her aside, and you will see the rest.
I felt the need to go into such detail about this proposal because as a photographer I was given the chance to sit unusually close to them the entire time. So much so that the photos almost look staged, but let me assure you they are not. While Sarah was sipping tea, I was pretending to take photos of my husband. Once the action got going, I don't think she even realized I was there. So here is to Paul and Sarah, two lovely people with a great community and lots of love.