I waited at the base of Elowah Falls, tripod and polarizer in-hand, masquerading as a landscape photographer (really, it's my best disguise). My heart was fluttering in my chest. I may have been outwardly-calm, but my stomach was a tangle of nervousness and excitement.
Amber and Erin made their way up the trail and stopped at the base of the waterfall, taking in the huge drop and roaring water. Amber and I exchanged a grin, then she came up to me and asked, "Hey, could you take our photo?" "Sure," I replied. "Let us know where we should stand," she said. "How about over there?" I suggested. After I took a couple of photos, I handed the camera to Erin, who began to cheerfully ask about cameras and scratched lenses. We chatted for a minute before Amber led her back to the spot I'd asked them to stand.
I quietly pulled my camera out of my backpack and waited as Amber reached into her pocket as they snuggled by the blast of the water. A few seconds later, Amber turned to Erin, dropped down on one knee, and offered her a diamond ring.
Erin's face utterly enchants me--clearly, Amber orchestrated the perfect surprise (challenging to say the least, especially on vacation from Boston to a place you've never been before). It was beautiful and darling and powerful. After Erin recovered slightly, Amber waved at me, introducing me as the photographer she'd requested to document the event. Erin, still crying, looked at me and called out, "HELLO BEAUTIFUL HUMAN!"
These, these are the moments. The moments that I can hold dear for the rest of my life. The moments that change me forever and fill me with joy that feels like it will explode out of my chest.
Congratulations to these two incredible women. I can't wait to join them for their wedding in July!