Surprise proposal at the Eiffel Tower Bir Hakeim Bridge
DATELINE: July 15, 2020
These are definitely odd times. From the moment the pandemic (Covid-19) started being discussed seriously in March of 2020, I knew my life as a photographer in Paris would change. I just didn’t know how much. My last gorgeous couple before the confinement was on March 12, 2020. The spring blooms were just about to start popping on the Parisian trees, after a very long winter. I felt joyful. But I felt a sense of foreboding too. When I photographed my last couple in March, I knew in my heart that in fact, that would be the last couple I’d photograph for a very long time in Paris.
Two months of confinement wore on me, as it wore on everyone. I love my tiny Paris studio, but living in it without really being able to go outside for two months’ was emotionally very difficult. More difficult than that was my sadness over losing all my business for the summer. Summer in Paris is just magnificent and I spend all winter looking forward to the warmer months when I can again welcome joyful couples to Paris who are engaged, becoming engaged, getting married, or just visiting. To have that opportunity stripped from me was devastating.
It’s not just about taking pictures of people, it’s about the connection with people, the sharing, the laughter and the fun I have. In the span of a couple of weeks I’d lost everything I’d worked so hard for in my business and my busy summer, filled with weddings and elopements and surprise proposals, vow renewals and Quinceañeras, came to a screeching halt.
This new world is still not one I can get used to or that I want to get used to. My sympathy lies with all of the people who’ve become ill or unfortunately passed from this horrible virus. Who am I to complain, just because my life was set on end? So was everyone else’s. For the first time in the modern age, all humans across the planet are facing the very same situation at one time.
In mid-May, France lifted the confinement slowly and Paris started opening up. But not for tourism. Even at this point, in July of 2020, only visitors from the European Union are able to travel to Paris. As most of my clients are Americans, I never expected to be part of a surprise proposal anytime soon.
Then I was contacted by a wonderful young man named Ahmet, and he booked a surprise proposal in Paris. What? Could this be? Ahmet and his girlfriend Burcu live in Rottedam, in the Netherlands, part of the European Union and Ahmet wanted to propose to Burcu in Paris.
In addition to their engagement, it was also Burcu’s birthday they’d be celebrating. To say I was excited to meet them was a big understatement.
Ahmet made the drive with Burcu to Paris and told her they’d have a photo shoot to celebrate her birthday. But, out of nowhere, as we met at the bridge of Bir Hakeim with a stellar view of the Eiffel Tower, Ahmet dropped to one knee and asked Burcu, who he met when they were just 15, to marry him.
Burcu is so beautiful and gave me serious hair envy. Her hair, there are no words to describe how gorgeous her hair is. Ahmet is friendly and you can feel the love he has for Burcu just by looking at him. After the proposal, we spent a little bit of time in the surrounding area for some engagement photos.
A full engagement session can be added on to any Picture Me Paris surprise proposal, the surprise proposal itself is meant to be shorter, as it’s more comfortable for the person being surprised, but we always do a few photos afterward and you can even order champagne or have a violinist there.
This young couple was so lovely to meet, and so lovely to photograph. Paris isn’t quite Paris without tourists, we all miss lovely visitors, but I’m so glad I was able to share in this special moment, once again, doing something I love so much!