August 18, 2020

Date: August 14, 2020 Time: 4:00 pm

You’ve probably heard of the Runaway Bride.  Even better is the Runway Proposal starring Haley Gordon and Zak Clement!!!  

I can’t begin to tell you how much fun it was to be part of planning the proposal and then to be able to document it with my camera, so the two could have this memory preserved in pictures!!!  

Let’s start at the beginning.  Well, the beginning where I got involved.  Zak asked me the day before if I would take pictures of their proposal, and I jumped at the chance.  His only request was that I get the mountains in the background.  That was no problem since I’ve done several photo shoots on our runway with the mountains in the background.

Wait!  Runway?  Let me back up.  Zak has a hangar on the same private grass runway where my husband and I also have a hangar.  Zak’s a corporate pilot, but in his downtime he flies his beautiful Bucker biplane.  Haley is a middle school teacher!!!  Yes, a middle school teacher!!!  I say that with great respect and understanding because I was a middle school teacher.  I get it!  She’s awesome!!!!!

Ok, back to the story.  Zak wanted the mountains in the background, but how would he get Haley into the middle of the runway?  Even more suspicious, how would he explain my presence with a camera?  It took some brainstorming to come up with a reasonable plan.  Zak and Haley would chip some golf balls on the runway. This wasn’t an unusual pastime for them.  I’d come along with my camera and ask to practice some action shots while they hit golf balls.  The plan was hatched.

It was a hot August afternoon in North Georgia. Haley was not feeling it, but she was being a good sport for Zak’s sake.  After a few shots she went out on the runway and started picking up the golf balls. Uh oh! Zak hadn’t had time to toss the ring box on the ground for her to find.  Wanting to get her back on the runway, he asked Haley to hit some more, but she was tired after being at school all day.  Instead, she agreed to help clean up the rest. That’s when Zak pulled out the white ring box, bent down to pick it up and said, “What is this?”  Haley knew  immediately what it was and the pictures tell the rest of the story. 

She was in such shock when he got down on one knee, she turned her back and walked away leaving him grinning and waiting for her reply.  She quickly returned with a thrilled “YES!!!!”

Haley and Zak, I’m so thankful you allowed me to capture this moment for you. I truly enjoy spending time with the two of you. You have a great energy together which makes you so enjoyable to be around. As Chic-fil-A would say, “It was my pleasure!”

Public Service Announcement  No airplanes were hurt in the creation of this event.  There were no planes in the pattern or on the ground awaiting takeoff at any time during the proposal. 

Happy Accident The UGA flag in the background of the shot with Haley showing off her ring was a happy accident.  I was focussed on the joy in her face and the ring and not what was in the background.  What I realized later was that Haley and Zak are both UGA graduates, so the flag just added a little more depth to the image!

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