Steven proposed to Natalie in a Hot Air Balloon!!
So one day I get a call from Steven, a client that I have worked with in the past although for commercial work. As we exchange pleasantries, I notice he seems overly excited about something. Now not knowing him personally very well, I put that thought in the back of my head and continue to listen. He goes on to explain that Natalie (at the time his girlfriend) had expression some time before, that a perfect proposal for her would be in a hot air balloon. Come to find out, after hearing that Steven’s reaction was something less than awesome… I am pretty sure his words were something to the effect of, ” I am never getting in a hot air balloon!” We talked for a little while about how everything would work and where to meet. All the while, not knowing the aforementioned quote of ‘never getting in a hot air balloon’ the more we talked, the more I could really sense the excitement but a bigger sense of nervousness. On the other hand, I told Steven “absolutely sounds amazing” with a stomach full butterflies myself. I like Steven, and come to find out Natalie have never been in a hot air balloon before. I had no idea what to expect, so I asked around to other photographers, friends, and family. So the night before the flight, you have to call and make sure the weather will be clear enough. Friday the 18th I get a call from Steven at 9:15pm. A bit of a problem, the weather is incremental and will have to call back in the morning at 5am to check the updated forecast. Still sensing the excitement with a dash of nervousness, he says ” no worries, we’ll just have to adapt and overcome”. At 5:05am the next morning, I get another call “unfortunately the flight is canceled.” So we schedule 3 more contingency plans, for the following saturday and sunday. Friday night at 9pm, phones rings Steven “Flight is on, good to go”. The morning of Saturday the 26th was absolutely clear, maybe a little chilly about 55F. During the flight prep and actually setting up the balloon nervousness swam through the chilly morning air, although you could tell in an instance how much Steven and Natalie truly love one another. Would either of them attempt to go up in a hot air balloon with one another? I can’t answer that question, although I can tell you that there is nothing that they wouldn’t try together. I could see that from the first time we stepped out of the SUV and saw basket. They both looked right at each other with stunned eyes, and at the moment, you could feel a bit of tension release. Knowing that they had each other there in that moment for themselves. Steven reached out his arms and wrapped them around her swinging back and forth still gazing at the basket. The setup was quite intriguing, being able to assist in the assembly of the balloon was a great addition to the whole experience. Giving you the sense that you are not just a passenger, but a part of the journey. As the balloon filled up with air so did my stomach with knots. As the balloon lifted, so did the excitement and fear in everyone. Although it seemed to dissipate shortly after. It was absolutely serene, with the sun peaking over the trees and the deep blue sky of the early morning. I won’t try to fuddle my way through the magical nature of the flight with words, I will let my images do the speaking. I would like to leave you with two things. The most amazing thing from this experience wasn’t the balloon ride, it was indeed love. Steven has a love for Natalie that is so strong, that he was able to overcome his “fear” or willingness to ride in a hot air balloon at 2000ft. Always be pushing, always be moving forward be with someone that urges you to step out of your comfort zone.