Ali + Kirk | Gladstone, NJ

Surprise Proposal Photography

When I was contacted by Kirk’s mom about her son’s soon-to-be engagement I was secretly screaming inside when she mentioned she had been looking into capturing it and had been looking into Surprise Proposal Photography. It’s not often you get parents that are so giddy and excited with this that they are doing all the research to make sure that this memorable moment stays memorable for everyone! Surprise Proposal Photography is something that is definitely catching on – and a lot of people are finding new and creative ways to hide in the bushes, or pop out of the trees (“surprise! you’re on camera!”)… so you probably want to hear how I did it?….

I’ll start by setting the scene… it was a dreary, rainy day, and it had been drizzling all day long. We weren’t quite sure if it would be too rainy to surprise Ali on an unexpected walk at her favorite park, Natirar, in Gladstone, NJ, so Kirk and I were secretly calling and texting each other to stay on track for the plan! I felt like a secret detective, it was great! So I took my trusty assistant with me (aka my mom) to pose as a stand-in model in an all-too-empty-but-beautiful park… and as I waited for Kirk and Ali to arrive at their predetermined spot, I was merely “practicing” my photo skills on my lovely model in the rain.

As they settled into their spot, with my close-up lens focused behind my model, I captured it all as it went down. It was absolutely a beautiful sight to witness! Of course, after the initial surprise was over and of course the answer was YES!, I then presented myself so she didn’t think I was so weird for randomly taking pictures of strangers.

One of the most special parts of this whole session, was the fact that we got to immediately after, photograph some portraits of them together as part of their engagement session. Many people are used to having their engagement photos taken long after the actual proposal takes place, and it’s planned out, down to the outfits, location, etc. so while this engagement session was more on a whim, the emotions that were captured, still heightened from the recent surprise proposal, is something that I think Ali and Kirk will never forget. To have a portrait session display feelings and evoke memories is exactly my goal when photographing any of my couples – this one happened to have a particularly special memory attached to it.

But the surprise didn’t end there… after their portrait session, I followed them up to 90 Acres, the restaurant above Natirar, where their entire families were waiting for them outside to greet them and congratulate them – a final surprise for the evening that Ali wasn’t expecting and evoked even more emotion!


couple walking in the rain at Natirar in Gladstone NJ surprise proposal photography at Natirar park in gladstone NJ surprise proposal photos at NJ park surprise proposal pictures in New Jersey black and white image of couple after surprise proposal candid engagement photo of couple in woods romantic engagement photo of newly engaged couple close up of ring detail in engagement photograph happy engaged couple kissing romantic engagement picture at park in gladstone nj black and white artistic engagement photo intimate engagement photo in black and white woodsy engagement session in park in new jersey close up image of engaged couple embracing engagement photo of couple in the woods engagement photography in new jersey quirky engagement photography in gladstone nj real engagement session in nj portrait of soon to be bride in woods laughing portrait of girl artistic portrait of newly engaged girl happy portrait of newly engaged groom after surprise proposal serious portrait of man happy couple in field in nj surprise proposal photo nj artistic photo of trees and couple intimate portrait of couple couple embraces in front of tree at Natirar park in rainy weather couple bursting in laughter during engagement session artistic black and white photo of couple in engagement session happy engaged couple surprise proposal in front of family 90 acres surprise proposal bride looks at engagement ring after surprise proposal candid reactions of guests after surprise proposal candid reactions of guests after surprise proposal candid reactions of guests after surprise proposal candid reactions of guests after surprise proposal engagement ring detail photo

Are you planning a surprise proposal for your significant other? Have you considered making it even more memorable by capturing it in photos and video? I absolutely love helping to plan these, so don’t be shy to reach out if you’d like my help to make it a moment you’ll never forget, and more importantly that your friends, family, and future kids will get to relive also! Follow your proposal with a true engagement session, and it’ll truly mark your day with the emotions you felt after you/he/she said yes!


Hi! I loved your surprise proposal story! My girlfriend, Victoria, and I were supposed to go to Italy this summer and I was going to pop the question there, we all know what happened with that! So I had to change up my ideas. We were planning on going to different parks/gardens around on Sundays and I was looking around to see if I could do a surprise proposal event at Natirar park. It looks like you have great experience here doing that! I was wondering what your schedule is like? I was thinking of doing something on a Sunday evening with the proposal around 6:30/7 with some pictures after and a meal around 8pm(It could be this weekend even 7/26). Not sure if you are doing this with COVID or not. Maybe having some peonies flowers leading up to a heart of them as a side idea. Thank you for your time!


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.