"Those Windermere peaks look like a perfect place to cry"
Narvik contacted me around a month before he was planning on popping the question to Katie. They both live together in London for most of the time but for a big chunk of the year, Katie lives away in Texas. They first met at the Dickens Inn in London, and from that very first date, their story began. Since then they have travelled all around Europe together from Paris to Rome and beyond.
Katie is a die-hard Taylor Swift fan and so following the release of Taylor's 'the lakes' single, Narvik always knew in his heart of hearts that the perfect proposal would involve being by the edge of Lake Windermere. In fact, Narvik was so incredibly romantic; he had gone as far as bringing Taylor Swift along in the form of a life-size cutout, along with a selection of some of her favourite nibbles, drinks, flowers and more! For a Taylor Swift fan, it was just perfect - there's no way Katie could say no but just in case, Narvik had bought Katie a t-shirt saying, 'I had a marvellous time ruining everything!'
Location wise, there was a multitude of options available with Narvik opting to pop the question on the jetty that was by the boathouse at the Langdale Chase Hotel. On the day of the proposal, my cover was to be taking photographs on the grounds for the hotel, whose staff were in on it too! In fact, they were instrumental in keeping the big secret and on arrival were incredibly helpful in pointing out areas to photograph the proposal from! In an ideal world, I would have set up on a bench close to the jetty with a long lens but having scoped it out, I would have been fighting the light and so preferred to be positioned at the other side of the jetty. This meant navigating some overgrown plants and possibly looking a bit out of place with a long lens but if I was to get the perfect shot, I knew this was my only option.
So, aware that I looked a little out of place, I set up behind a tree that enabled me to be quite hidden from the view of the jetty. I texted Narvik and let him know that I was in position, and a short time later a couple appeared on the jetty. Now, I wasn't sure what either Narvik or Katie looked like so I started snapping away waiting for the big moment. It was only when the gentleman started setting up a tripod and taking some long exposure photos that it dawned on me that this wasn't Narvik and Katie! Eeek! I was now in the awkward position of having to choose between coming out of hiding and giving my position away or gently shouting over to the couple and explaining. Some time passed and I decided that I would have to walk over to the jetty and have a quiet word....awkward! As I left my hiding place, in my peripheral vision I clocked Narvik and Katie waiting in the wings so to speak but I didn't make eye contact! I approached the couple and quietly explained what was happening, thankfully they were incredibly understanding and promptly left the jetty - if this couple was you, then thank you so much, I can't begin to express how grateful I am!
She Said Yes!
I made my way back to my hiding place behind the tree not taking into account that as I was walking back, Katie and Narvik had already walked onto the jetty and were now out of sight from where I was hiding. Seconds passed and then I heard Katie let out a loud shriek of joy..... I reached around the tree with my camera just in time to spot Narvik down on one knee! Phew! I very nearly missed the big moment but thanks to Katie's reaction, I caught the moment beautifully! Thankfully, Katie said yes and what follows is what happened from there on, in pictures.
I hope that you have enjoyed reading about my adventures as a secret engagement proposal photographer here in the Lake District. One thing's for certain, secret proposal photography is very different to being a Lake District Wedding Photographer!