Hi Everyone, Way back at the beginning of the year, I shared this story about how I created a special addition to Up & Away, which asks probably one of if not THE biggest question of a person's life to ask - "Marry Me?"
The bride was asked and the groom received the answer he was hoping for - YES! It was such a special project to do for me as it was a real honor to be part of this couple's special day, which leads me to my NEXT story. This one is a bit more detailed as it involved many covert tasks for the groom and some special editing work on my end. Please allow me to introduce you all to Becky & Jesse ...
I have known Becky for a couple years now as we've worked together on a few projects between LA and NYC. She's an absolute doll so when her (very good listener of a) boyfriend, Jesse, got in touch with me via one of her co-workers, I was all ears. And, his idea was a pretty big one! I have to admit I was impressed with his creativity in making this moment truly meaningful for both he and Becky.
Throughout Becky and Jesse's courtship, they have always enjoyed strolling through Washington Square Park in New York City. Jesse learned of me through Becky a few years ago when she bought a photo of mine which found a home in their first apartment together. When Becky and I connected last year for some work projects, Jesse said she often spoke of about me and my work-- and he took a BIG note of that! Knowing that I had already photographed Washington Square Park from above, Jesse devised a plan. He asked me to photoshop his actual "proposal" into the image right by the iconic arch, which would for all intensive purposes capture their moment forever--see the pink arrow in the photo below.
This took some sneaky work on Jesse's part, as he had to snap a picture of Becky from a distance and from above in order to allow me to place them within the image. He accomplished it, though and the rest as they say is history! How about we hear a bit from them now?
"I was incredibly surprised and impressed! He thought about every single detail and crafted such a special proposal. We have always loved Washington Square Park - we live two blocks north and spend a lot of time there so it was very meaningful that he asked me to marry him in the park. I didn't know at the time that there was one more surprise, which of course, was Gray's beautiful photograph."
"After the initial shock wore off, Jesse told me he had one more surprise, which I would get that evening. I had no idea what he had planned. When I got to the bar and saw the Washington Square Park photograph Gray had created specially for us with "the proposal" edited in, I was overwhelmed with love. It is, by far, the most thoughtful gift I have ever received and I can only image the amount of time and effort that went into creating such an incredible piece of art. Before I knew Gray, I loved his work and then when I got to know him, I absolutely adored him, so his involvement in our engagement means the world to me."
"I had planned on proposing for quite some time -- 192 days to be exact. On December 2, 2015 I reached out to Becky's friend and coworker at the time to ask for Gray's email address. I told her I was working on a special project. I'm pretty sure she was in suspense for the full six months wondering what I was up to -- probably unable to work, sleep, eat. I imagine the suspense was debilitating."
"Becky often spoke about this guy Gray Malin who was a very talented photographer that she was working with on a few projects at work. She also loved the Prada Marfa photo in our living room, which she frequently reminded me was Gray's, so one day I went on GrayMalin.com and perused the site. I became increasingly more interested in his work, and the NYC shots in particular. Then, I saw the Washington Square Park photo. I had been thinking about times and places to propose to Becky for a few weeks at that point and all of the sudden something clicked -- I'd do it in early summer in Washington Square Park -- trees in bloom, ice cream trucks out, musicians playing, people sunbathing, and drug dealers posing as chess players. I decided I needed to convince Gray to photoshop me proposing to Becky under the arch."
"It was easy to photograph me on a knee. I went home and had my Dad take a picture of me from above on a balcony while I was across the street. But photographing Becky was hard. How do you take a good clear picture of your girlfriend from several stories up without giving it away or feeling like a complete pervert? Not easy. So naturally, I decided the best idea was to get Becky drunk. There was one snowstorm that seemed like a good excuse, but the lighting and the depth were off. A few weeks later, I took her to brunch and then we walked along the High Line. I told her I was feeling "artsy" and asked her to stand below the High Line so I could take pictures from above. That should have been a red flag, but she didn't oppose. Mission accomplished."
"It made all the difference. I was worried he wouldn't like the idea but from that first email exchange, not only was he on board, he loved the idea. Apart from being incredibly talented, Gray is unbelievably genuine and one of the nicest people I've met in a long time. I can't thank him and his photography assistant Nicholas enough for everything they did. The photo sits above our bed now and I know it will be there forever."
Isn't this just the sweetest story ever?? My career is all about making people feel happy through the power of imagery so this is just a really amazing extension of what I already love doing every day. I am humbled to think that I can help bring people together and even create powerful memories for a lifetime.
The first proposal I helped with was incredible but after helping with Becky and Jesse's proposal it made me realize that I should release the MARRY ME? photograph for sale to allow others to use the image to create memories that will last a lifetime. I am so honored that a photograph of mine can make two people so happy... and even say 'I do'! If you're proposed to with this print, you HAVE to let us know! We live for this! Cheers, xx GM