COLBY FARM SUNFLOWERS ENGAGEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER
There’s hundreds of people coming each day to Colby Farm in Newbury, MA with the intent to take in the beauty of the emerging sunflowers. “D.”, however, had a different plan in place — a romantic getaway weekend in town with his girlfriend, during which he intended to propose to her in the sea of yellow. D. had seen my offer on Facebook for portrait mini-sessions at Colby Farm and wondered if it would be possible for me to capture the proposal candidly, followed by some portraits afterwards amongst the flowers. I was all for it!
Each portrait session is special in its own way, but this collaboration promised its own kind of magic given it was all a surprise. D. and I agreed to meet late afternoon at the farm, and I suggested I stand by the main entrance to the flowers to wait for them. I told D. what I would be wearing, and once he arrived with his girlfriend and was within earshot of me, D. knew to speak a code phrase we settled on the night before: “Wow, isn’t it amazing.” Hearing that, I wandered ahead of them, casually taking random pictures of the field here and there so D’s girlfriend wouldn’t grow suspicious while D. trailed behind me. It also helped that there were hundreds of other people around… many of them photographers… certainly making it easier to maintain my cover and the surprise! We came upon an area in the sunflowers I scouted beforehand, a clearing D. could kneel in without being obscured by the flowers. I stood here in this spot for a moment to cue D. that “this was the place, try standing here”. I stepped out of the field, camera at the ready, and, well…. the rest is in pictures below.
What’s interesting about sunflowers is that they turn throughout the day to follow the sun — at least the younger flowers do. On the very same morning of this engagement shoot, I was at Colby Farm photographing a previous session, and many of the flowers at that time were facing east to greet the rising sun. When I returned to Colby Farm for this late day engagement, a good portion of the flowers had turned west. As a photographer, it’s interesting to see how a location can change throughout the day, and, of course the light — from rich, blue skies in the morning to a diffuse warm, purple horizon as we approached sunset.
Congratulations, D., to you and your fiancée. Thank you so much again for inviting me to be a part of this moment!