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Big Sur Surprise Proposal: Long Distance Love Story | Joris & Emily

man proposing on one knee to his fiancée in Big Sur, CA by film photographer AGS Photo Art

Joris planned his surprise proposal to Emily on the weekend they were set to come here- I was delighted to have squeaked in as their local Big Sur proposal photographer! Joris is also a fellow Philly and he works as a professor, whereas Emily is from San Francisco and does marketting in biotech. I loved getting to photograph these two, they are just the sweetest and have the most adorable height difference ever!

couple dancing happily hand in hand on sand together
smiling couple dancing at the beach
happy couple on the sand in Big Sur, CA dancing
close up of a red ring box with engagement ring inside; couple portrait of the man on one knee proposing to his now fiancée
couple embracing and smiling at one another; photo of a red ring box in the man's hand being opened and shown to his fiancée
man presenting a red open ring box to his fiancée by film photographer AGS Photo Art

How Their Love Story Started

newly engaged couple holding hands and smiling at each other as they walk down the sand
shadowed Big Sur Surprise Proposal portrait of couple smiling at one another with the sun shining overhead and the Pacific Ocean behind them by film photographer AGS Photo Art
black and white Big Sur Surprise Proposal couple portrait with the sun and ocean behind them by film photographer AGS Photo Art
Big Sur Surprise Proposal portraits of the couple touching their foreheads and noses together while smiling in celebration of their surprise proposal in Big Sur, CA by film photographer AGS Photo Art

“I went to high school with her cousin who introduced us despite the fact that we’re located across the country. We both flew to Chicago for our first date. Because of COVID, we’re together in SF for a while. The two of us love the ocean and romantic hikes and walks so I planned this weekend getaway to Big Sur a while ago, and it lined up perfectly for our engagement plans. Emily is incredibly caring and sweet. Totally selfless, very driven, and intelligent. I’ve known for a while that she was the one! Having the opportunity to live together during COVID was a great for us to make sure we were compatible in every way. The last few months together (all day, every day) have been incredible!” – Joris

portraits of couple's Big Sur surprise proposal on green and sandy cliffs

Surprise Serendipity Pre-Proposal

landscape portrait of couple at Big Sur on the beach with green rocky cliffsides and beach waves rolling by film photographer AGS Photo Art

A funny story: I was driving down to Big Sur and there was an accident on the road. Pro tip from your local Big Sur photographer: leave early! I always make sure to assess the situation (aka TRAFFIC) and prepare accordingly so I can give my best to my couples. Anyway, I get there (keep in mind that I haven’t met them irl yet!), and I actually parked right behind them! Talk about serendipity! I made eye contact with Joris and we both just knew. So I ended up following after them and it was a nice change of pace, not to mention it made everything that much more organic!

Big Sur Surprise Proposal photo of couple from the waist down; the woman in a blue floral dress and brown wedges, her fiancé in dark jeans and black shoes; portrait of the couple walking down a sandy path
Big Sur Surprise Proposal couple portrait where the man's back is to the camera with the woman's hand on his shoulder, soft focus on her new engagement ring; windswept portrait of the couple on the cliffside

Proposal Day Plans

couple sharing a kiss on the shoreline at the beach in Big Sur while the foamy white waves wash in

The weekend of Joris and Emily’s Big Sur surprise proposal was a busy one, but of course, love finds a way! Joris’ plan for this special day was a romantic sunset walk before dinner at L’aubergine in Carmel. I come in to photograph them on the coastline, a west coast specialty! In addition, I also captured their lovely day on film (an AGS specialty)! Photographing in film gives a truly romantic look and feel to photos, and I love being able to do that for my couples.

It was so heartwarming capturing their Big Sur surprise proposal, a lot of people were clapping for them too! Happiness spreads easily to everyone during lovely occasions like this. Getting close ups of Emily’s beautiful ring made for some really epic shots. Such a pretty classic style!

engagement ring in the sand for Big Sur surprise proposal by film photographer AGS Photo Art
couple celebrating their Big Sur, CA surprise proposal with champang on the sand
couple celebrating their Big Sur Surprise Proposal with a picnic on the sand and chapmagne
couple smiling and embracing one another in celebration of their Big Sur Surprise Proposal by film photographer AGS Photo Art

Thank you for the privilege of letting me be your local Big Sur surprise proposal photographer, Joris and Emily! Your cross-country love story is my everything, and it’s why I’m so grateful to you two letting me capture it on film!

windblown couple's Big Sur Surprise Proposal portrait with the man and woman embracing and smiling at each other by film photographer AGS Photo Art

Are you in need of a local Big Sur photographer for your upcoming special occasion? Proposals, anniversaries, elopements, and more- I’m your gal! Reach out to me here!

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