I happen to relish the excitement in getting up like this in what the french call “entre le loup et le chien”, literally translated, in-between the wolf and the dog or between dark and light. It’s a really special and magical moment in of its own right. Often I suggest, to the person proposing, to come and enjoy and experience that moment and then proposing just after the sun has crested the horizon.
There is a moment of awe and surprise in the sunrise at Grand Canyon itself, but you really need to be there at least a half an hour before the sun breaks over the rim. I left my home (at GC) at 3:55am, it’s June 2nd and sunrise is even earlier than ever, 5:15 but in order to have that ooh ahh moment and to organize the surprise engagement proposal photography, I need to be out on location at Lipan Point by 4:45.
I sit in my car listening to NPR and waiting out the couples arrival. We can’t rely on cell phone reception or sneakily texting each other for a surprise proposal at the canyon where reception is unreliable so I usually ask for a description, photo and make and model of the car they will be driving. I see them pull up and watch them walk about the point, I get out of my car trying my best to appear as if I am paying little attention. I try to pick a view point that gets less visitation so i appear as a visitor and am not obvious but where there are plenty of places to have an intimate moment.
I follow them around and Ashley pulls Justin into an area that isn’t ideal for me to get photos. I do my best and take some that show some people it the background. Its okay, you can control it all. I always give a disclaimer that the moment is organic and its more important to have the moment itself than the perfect photo, though I will surely try to get it. This was one of those times but it was a beautiful moment and being in the present moment for a surprise proposal at Grand Canyon might be the most important takeaway of all.