My first official photo shoot with my Sony A7R III is one I won’t soon forget! It all began when my niece’s boyfriend called me to tell me that he planned to propose to my niece, and he asked if I would like to take pictures of the proposal!
How exciting… But first, let me take you straight to the night I went to the park to take the photos…
“Look at that lady! Wonder why she’s crouched down by the trashcans?” “What is that lady doing hiding in the bushes?” “Look at that weirdo spying on that cute young couple!”
Based on the looks I was getting, these are just a few of the things I’m sure people were whispering about me as I crept around the pavilion ducking behind trashcans and crawling through bushes to get situated to take the perfect photo of my sweet niece being proposed to.
If only I’d had someone videoing me crawling and creeping around that night. I’m sure that video would go viral…
I felt very fortunate to have been asked by my niece’s fiancé to come take pictures of him proposing to her on Saturday night at a park in Frisco. I was so excited, nervous, and honored to get to be a part of this special occasion.
The only catch…he didn’t want her to know I was there. Hmmm…
So…that meant I needed to stay hidden, not only while they walked up to the picnic blanket, candles, and chandelier that his sister had set up earlier in the evening, but I also needed to stay hidden while he proposed – – and during all of this, I needed to be taking pictures.
How was this going to work? I had never taken photos at an engagement before, much less, taken photos at an engagement where I had to be hidden from sight! But I knew I was up for (and excited about) this challenge.
The nerve-wracking part of this is that I knew I only had one chance to get it right. If I botched the photos, I couldn’t ask them to re-enact the special occasion so I could re-take the pictures. So this was it…
A couple of days before the big event, I drove over to the park to check out the situation. I wanted to get an idea of what this area looked like, and what the lighting conditions might be like.
I pulled up, and realized I might be in over my head. The park was huge. So much space. I had no idea where he planned to set things up, and suddenly, I was very nervous and wondering whether or not I could pull this off. But for my niece, I would do anything…
The big night finally arrived, and I headed over to the park early to help with set up. I was surprised by the number of people that were there on a Saturday night. When I had visited, there were only about 3 people wandering around.
Well, on this night, the parking lot was full of cars. There were kids running around everywhere, and lots of people out on the trail pushing strollers and walking dogs.
Oh no…suddenly, I realized that all these people were going to be photo bombing my perfect pictures!
As luck would have it, at the time the big event took place, there were only a few people in the way. One woman in particular seemed to want to be in all the pictures, and of course, she was wearing a bright pink shirt. Fortunately, I was able to crop her out of most of them…
After taking about 150 photos without my niece knowing I was there, her fiancé told her I was over in the bushes hiding taking photos. She looked over, saw me, and we both began laughing. I was so happy to have played a small part in such an exciting event in her life.
We took a few posed photos, and then I got out of the way and headed home. Just hoping and praying that the pictures would turn out.
I felt good about the photos, the settings I used, and the light from the sunset, but I was worried, because I shot this entire event using my new Sony A7R III. I’ve only had it for a few weeks, and I haven’t shot with it much.
I would’ve used trusty old Midnight, my Canon 5D Mark IV, but my 70-200 zoom lens for that camera is broken.
For this adventure, I definitely needed a zoom lens with at least an f-stop of 2.8. He was planning to propose right around 8:00 PM, and the sun was setting that night at 8:17, so basically, I’d be shooting a very special moment for my niece in very low lighting.
Couldn’t he have picked a time with better lighting? Maybe 7:30 or 7:45??
We had a very brief discussion about Golden Hour, but he was set on 8:00, so I needed to be ready for low light, and I needed some good zoom capabilities so I could stay out of sight while shooting!
Fortunately, I had rented a 70-200 lens for the Sony A7R III a few days prior to the event to photograph my son’s baseball tournament, so I set out with my Sony and the rented lens.
I was not disappointed with the results. And now, I am convinced that I need to buy a 70-200 for my Sony!
The Sony A7R III is an amazing camera. So many things to say about it, but the most amazing thing to say is that I’m considering using this as my main camera.
I feel like I’m cheating on Midnight, my Canon 5D Mark IV, but the things this camera can do are incredible, and I’ve barely scratched the surface…
If you’d like to read more about this camera, you can check out this review of it on the Gizmodo Website, in the article titled Sony A7R III: The New King of Mirrorless Cameras. If you’re thinking about moving to a mirrorless camera, this is definitely one to check out.
Back to the engagement photo shoot… The event went off without a hitch! I was so happy for my niece and her now fiancé! What a perfect night! All this to say…what wouldn’t you do to get the perfect shot?
I’m covered in chigger and mosquito bites, but I would do it all over again. Adventures like this one don’t come along all that often.
So happy I accepted the challenge, and even happier no one called the police to report a creepy old lady crawling through the bushes with a camera…
Let me know about your perfect shot, and what crazy things you have done to get them. And if I can help you out with some fun photos for you and/or your family, be sure to reach out. You can find me over at Paula Mason Photography! Just let me know how I can help!
Until next time…