A very special moment was about to occur, one of those moments that can have no do-overs. My client was about to drop to one knee and propose marriage to his lovely and unsuspecting girlfriend. This all happened on a special private island in the Virgin Islands. However, a special request came by way of the event planner for the resort, asking for the photographer to be out of sight until the actual proposal began.
Now, this is usually not a problem; we’ve had to do this with many surprise parties and other events. However, the proposal was planned to take place on a very secluded beach that could only be accessed by traversing through an unoccupied private villa.
The challenge here was that the beach was surrounded by the ocean and a very bushy and rocky hillside. Well, the obvious choice, considering I had no scuba diving gear or underwater camera housing for my DSLR and also that the couple would be arriving by sea on a canoe, was to hide out in the ever bushy and rocky hillside.
Just my luck, the timing had me rushing to find a hiding spot before the couple in the canoe arrived. I perched myself on the hillside next to a very jagged volcanic-looking rock, under and behind some thick trees. Well, SNAP! CRACK! SNAP! One of my support branches snapped and down I went, me and my camera. At this point I had already started shooting the couple paddling across the channel towards the beach and my location.
I fell onto that dreadful jagged 200BC-looking volcanic rock, smashed my knee and scraped my hand and forearm, all in an effort to save my camera and L-Series lens, which still contacted the rock with a loud smashing sound! So now I’m moaning; moaning loudly from the shooting pain from many areas of my body and from the thought that I had just destroyed my camera and knee. What do I do now if I cannot walk out of this hiding area, and worse, what do I do if my camera has malfunctioned due to the accident?
After realizing that I could still move my knee (albeit very painful movements), I took my DSLR through a few tests to confirm functionality. It sill worked! WOOHOOO!!!
So I stumbled out of and emerged from my hiding place like a well dressed pervert stalker with a camera (well that’s what I thought I must look like emerging from hiding in the bushes on a hillside lol). The couple parked their canoe and a few seconds later, the young man dropped to his knees and popped the question. I limped over to them and captured every second of that very special moment. SHE SAID YES! Yep, she said “yes”, while I was saying “ouch” to myself, very quietly. Then, for the following 30-45 minutes I captured their fun moments together on the beach, as the newest engaged couple in the Virgin Islands.
To this day, the client does not know about my ordeal and did not know I shot their very special moments in pain and while bleeding from a gouge on my left hand. Well, I guess they will know now, when they read my blog post lol
I’m healing up very nicely, with hopefully very minimal scaring. The resort’s front desk personnel took great care of me by providing first aid for my wounds; my photography battle wounds.
This was the first time, and hopefully the last time of me getting hurt during a shoot. I guess this is a gentle reminder of no matter what you are doing, be careful, take extra precautions and make sure your health and equipment insurance payments are up-to-date 😀.
Now the big question is, what would I have done for my client if the camera got destroyed? 😳 🤔
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Dame Peters Photography
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