Surprise Proposal at Balboa Park

a surprise proposal at the desert garden in balboa park

This surprise proposal at the Desert Garden in Balboa Park will forever be a favorite session of mine! Kea & Eric are some of our close friends who we have known for a few years. I first met them in 2018 when I put out a model call for a queer couple in love who wanted to shoot in some local orange groves back when I was living in Orange County. Kea & Eric responded and we stayed in touch since then! We’ve celebrated Pride together, stayed at each others houses, had dog play dates…these two are great friends of ours. I was so happy to hear Kea was proposing and wanted me to document it!!

When Kea approached me to document his surprise proposal at Balboa Park, I couldn’t help but be moved by his meticulous planning. Kea devised a clever strategy to throw Eric off track, scheduling a casual photoshoot to explore the park beforehand. Little did Eric know that this was all part of Kea’s master plan to create the perfect moment in the enchanting Desert Garden. Eric was especially unsuspicious because we have had several photoshoots together previously. He thought this was just another session!

The picturesque surroundings of Balboa Park served as a stunning backdrop for their love story. We wandered hand in hand, capturing their laughter, stolen glances, and candid moments. With each click of the shutter, the anticipation grew, as Kea’s excitement built for the big moment ahead.

After capturing countless memories around Balboa Park, we made our way to the Desert Garden—the chosen location for the grand finale and surprise proposal. As we entered the garden, the air was filled with a sense of quiet anticipation. There were no other park-goers (shocking for Balboa Park), and the vibrant colors and unique shapes of the cacti created a whimsical atmosphere. I gave him the signal – a prompt of “tell each other 3 reasons why you love each other” and a nod to let him know I was in position. But, Kea didn’t do it. He was visibly nervous, so I stayed ready and waited for him to let me know he was ready. I gave another prompt “Eric, face me and Kea will run up behind you and hug you”. Sounds silly, but it always gets great photos. It was then that Kea decided he was ready and got down on one knee.

With bated breath, I snapped away, capturing the emotions that danced across Eric’s face as he realized what was unfolding before him. The cacti stood witness to their love, as Kea’s heartfelt words filled the air. Time seemed to stand still in that precious moment of vulnerability and connection.

As Kea asked the all-important question and Eric’s response resonated with overwhelming joy, the atmosphere was charged with emotion. I continued to capture the profound happiness that radiated from the couple, ensuring that each frame reflected their genuine love and elation. These photographs will forever encapsulate the raw beauty of their proposal at Balboa Park, becoming cherished mementos of a milestone that marked the beginning of their journey together.

A surprise proposal at the Desert Garden in Balboa Park is an extraordinary moment to witness and photograph. Kea’s meticulous plan and the genuine love shared between him and Eric made this occasion truly unforgettable. As their photographer, I feel privileged to have captured the essence of their love story, immortalizing their special day at Balboa Park forever.

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