WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Marriage proposals are traditionally a private moment, but one local photographer found himself front-and-center and in charge of capturing the moment, after a phone call from a Charlotte couple.
Ned Leary usually shoots family portraits and landscapes. A documentary-style shoot was out of his norm, but not out of his league.
The groom-to-be called from Charlotte where he and his girlfriend were both lawyers. The duo was coming to town for a conference and he had scoped out Airlie gardens as the perfect location. (Note: this story was shot in the Arboretum after WECT's request to shoot inside Airlie was denied)
Once the groom notified the family, they all chimed in that they wanted to be there. To keep it special and a small affair, he hired Ned to capture every second.
The groom laid out a well-mapped plan for Ned of their path and just when he would propose. Ned loaded up extra gear, should anything go wrong on a one-shot shoot.
"This I have never done before," said Ned. "Don't fail me now equipment!"
Ned kept the couple in close range but pretended to be shooting just about every flower they passed by.
"He kept alerting me, ‘We're on the property, we're rounding the bend,' I kept getting these texts," Ned remembered. "The deal was still going down. It wasn't like ‘Here I am! Alright say the words!' I was out of the picture."
As the couple neared the fountain, Ned started to feel his heart beat.
"I had to get to get this and not blow it," said Ned. "There's definitely pressure."
The groom went for the ring and Ned popped up and captured every frame. The bride-to-be quickly figured out the plot and started laughing.
Engagement photos and videos can be found all over the internet. They're usually extravagant with skydiving, scuba or over-the-top displays.
This experience was as traditional as a marriage proposal gets, nothing fancy or flashy. Still the photos and Ned's video has received thousands of hits online. Many viewers leave comments about their tears and emotions after viewing them.
Ned believes it's the simplicity and emotion that captures people – love caught on film.
"Here's a guy who just wants to marry his girlfriend, that's the end of it, that is it," exclaimed Ned.
To check out more of Ned's work, head to: www.nedleary.com.
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