Peter + Patricia | Washington, DC - Romeo Doth Still Exist

Saturday, September 5, 2009

On August 30th, I shot for 11 hours disguised as a lost tourist and a hotel staff member named Spencer(!?). Photographing proposals is hard work, but the enthusiasm and perceptible love at the grand finale are well worth the physical toil and intricate pre-planning. I marry my vision with that of my clients to present an unparalleled story to be recorded in history.

Twenty-seven year-old Peter (totally mature beyond his years) planned a proposal to his girlfriend, Patricia, which spanned two locations and required the aid of over 30 people. The couple began with Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. This is the largest Roman Catholic Church in North America, and one of the ten largest churches in the world with over 70 chapels and oratories. I was so enamored by the massive structure, with its Byzantine-Romanesque style, that I found myself caught in some sort of trance while staring through my lens.


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I wanted to be careful not to disrespect such a sacred place so I arrived early to speak directly with the Communications and Security Staff. They ended up being completely enthusiastic about my purpose for visiting and granted me access during the service. Before the couple arrived I was posted incognito outside on the steps.

Once the couple found seats inside the Crypt Church (location for Saturday Mass) I seized the opportunity when Patricia closed her eyes to pray. I have to applaud Peter for starting this day off right by rededicating their lives during worship.

I slipped out of the service early to beat the traffic and drive to the National Harbor, our next location. Peter had reserved two separate rooms at the Gaylord Hotel. Since Peter's birthday was on the previous Thursday, Patricia was made to believe that the 2 PM spa appointments and Peter taking away her phone was for the both of them to relax with no interruptions.

I was dipping and dodging in and out of four different elevator banks being careful not to be seen. That's when Peter and I had a quick half-time meeting to recompose the plan. Next door to his room was the second room with a separate entrance. I turned the volume of the tv up as loud as it could go because Peter has a deep voice and I didn't want to give away our location. We started arranging the room and lighting candles.

Patricia was clueless as she got dressed
in the first room for a 5 PM dinner accompanied by cupcakes on the desk with the message "Happy Birthday Peter!" An absent Peter made the excuse that he was missing a piece of luggage and joined me once more in the hospitality suite to make sure the layout of the room was perfect.

I changed into my hotel staff jacket (picture click here) and straightened my name tag. When the couple entered the room they were greeted by me. "Hi, I'm Spencer from South Carolina. Welcome to the Gaylord Hotel."

A three-course dinner was already setup by staff from the hotel. I controlled the volume of the music and checked-in with them every once in a while.

After dinner was dessert and the moment that Peter had been waiting for months to occur. He asked Patricia to join him on the ottoman in front of the candle display and a box that he had constructed of memorable pictures.

Inside the box were important items Peter wanted to share. A bible, a diary, a book, a rosary, several cards, and ten letters...that's just the start.

One by one Peter revealed the meaning of each memento.

As Patricia read one of the letters Peter reached behind her to the hiding place for the ring.

I could see Patricia swelling with emotion as Peter got down on bended knee.

After he popped the question, there were tears and then she said yes.

I finally revealed who I was but there was one more great surprise. Gathered next door were 20 friends and family waiting to celebrate the two lovers engagement! They all shared stories and tears and then we all went to the 19th floor exclusive club to dance off some steam!


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Politics of Parenting (POP) said...

That was beautiful. The box of momentos was a great touch, with the black and white added alot of emotional depth. What great employment...capturing these moments and sharing them.

clo said...

Oh my goodness! This is fantastic and made my day! You in the hotel jacket is hilarious! Excellent work.

bedazzled photography said...

This is so beautiful. I pray for God's love to continue to bless their union Amen!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Knight, you have witnessed some of the most amazing,loving and beautiful proposals/weddings I have ever seen:)I love the way you express each couples special day. The pictures are amazing. I am a huge fan! You have truly found your calling:) I hope whenever God blesses me with a fiance/husband you will be some where pretending and hiding on my wonderful and loving day:)


Philip Small said...


Philip Small said...


Darcita said...

Speechless as well... However, must say that the uniform doesn't nothing for you!!!! LOL!!!

David N. Beasley Jr. said...

Wow, that about sums it up!

Tori D. said...

Why am I sitting here with tears in my eyes? I love the story of his proposal, very beautifully done!

Arlene Hope Photography said...

Superb Ross!

Kim said...

I'm curious as to how you were able to explain why you were taking photos of them throughout dinner and why you were in the room with them when they were opening the mementos. I know you were disguised as a staff person, but I would be wondering, "why is he here photographing us?" Did you use a tele lens and shoot from across the room in a hidden location?

Adore Amore said...

Great Captures, "Spencer". I felt like I was there.

Lady A said...

Wow, and wow spelled backwards! Lovely. I was bagging up @ "Spencer". The lengths you go through for your clients. That's love and it will pay off all the more. Great job! Hi Brandi!

Simi said...

Wow now that is what I call a Romeo! Great job with the ingenuity to pose as the tourist and Spencer. It looks like it was all worth it. Great capture here... looking forward to seeing all the other photos.

CT said...

as always, you have captured the very essence of everything that is what a proposal and love is all about. thanks for sharing what you see with all of us! i love this blog!

Coretta said...

Wow. I love this. Praise God for people taking this marriage stuff seriously. And including Him in the plan. Really, really touching and SO beautifully shot.

Deewonda said...

I HAVE to agree with Clo. You in that waiter's jacket almost had me in tears of laughter! "Spencer?" Real original, Ross! LOL!
Beautiful event...!

Kendra Niketa said...

So, Imagine my surprise as I browsed through this site, and noticed an old friend from college (hey Peter). I totally didn't realize that he'd had one of the BEST capture his engagement. Mr. Knight, you've done a wonderful job of documenting this occasion (we've come to expect this caliber of work from you). Patricia, you are one of the luckiest ladies alive. Congrats again Kudjoe. Peace and Blessings.

Mel D said...

WOW Peter! I never would have expected this from you! You have come a long way from skipping out and missing our group rotations in dental school, with this proposal you were RIGHT ON TIME. It is truly amazing and every man could learn from this. Congratulations to you and Patricia!!!