Jas and Harmit’s surprise Rideau Canal proposal was one of my favourite moment as a photographer. I loved everything about the time we had together and the images are some of my favourite. I love skating photography sessions and I am sure it has something to do with that. But there is something very special in photographing a proposal and I hope I get to photograph many more in the future!
Jas and Harmit have been in a long-distance relationship for a while now. Jas lives in London, England and Harmit is from Toronto, but studies at the University of Ottawa. Their story is so familiar and close to my heart, because 10 years ago, we were in the exact same place they are (minus the proposal). We had been in a relationship for a couple of years in England, and I moved back to Canada to go to University in Ottawa, but Michael wasn’t able to come right away. We were in a cross-Atlantic long-distance relationship for a year and a half before Michael was able to move to Ottawa. Jas and I talked about our life in England when we met to plan the surprise proposal. When we lived in England, we lived in Tring, which is a tiny British town with under 12K people between London and Oxford, so I was surprised he knew where Tring was!
I met with Jas on the Friday a couple of hours after he landed in Ottawa from London, England. Harmit was in class, so it was the perfect time to plan the surprise Rideau Canal proposal the next day. He had it all planned out and I was to photograph the perfect Ottawa winter proposal at the heart of Canada’s capital. They would be skating down the canal and as they approached the locked bridge, Harmit’s brother and sister in law would start playing music from the top of the bridge. Then Jas would tell he why he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her and would drop on one knee. At that same moment, Harmit’s brother who came from Toronto just for the proposal, dropped confetti. One thing that was not planned was the crowd cheering and clapping for them! I was further away on the ice and photographed every moment from a safe distance. It was an amazing surprised Rideau Canal proposal!
After the proposal, we skated down the Ottawa Rideau Canal back to Wellington Street and we went for some portraits. They wanted to have the key Ottawa buildings in their images, so I brought them to a couple of great locations to have the Parliament and Chateau Laurier in the background of the photographs. I love how you can also tell it is winter in the images. Following their photography session, they went for lunch at the Chateau Laurier with Harmit’s brother and his wife, before going to Le Nordik for some pampering. I am sure it was the best day in Harmit’s life!
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