This Saturday at 5pm, I had the honor of capturing Brandon’s beautiful proposal to his girlfriend Esther at the iconic Pierce Stocking Drive, specifically at the 9 and 10 overlook. Brandon had meticulously planned every detail, and I suggested a dune overlook slightly away from the crowds to make the moment even more intimate. The spot turned out to be perfect.


Pierce Stocking Drive Proposal Lake MichiganDune View Pierce Stocking Drive 9 and 10


I arrived at the location 15 minutes early, hiding behind a nearby dune. Brandon had shared a photo of them beforehand, so I was able to recognize them as they walked into position. Using a selfie as an excuse, Brandon had Esther remove any distracting items like her purse or sunglasses. This also served as my cue that he was about to propose. As soon as Brandon got down on one knee, I moved closer to capture the magic.


Pierce Stocking Drive Dune Overlook Pierce Stocking Drive Proposal


Esther, who had suspected a proposal might be in the works, was nonetheless delighted by Brandon’s planning and the custom-designed ring. After their tender exchange, we explored the dunes at Pierce Stocking Drive, enjoying the vibrant blues and greens of the midday scenery. Thanks to the strategic location choice, we had the place almost to ourselves, making the experience even more special.


Pierce Stocking Drive Summer Proposal


5 Tips for Planning the Perfect Proposal


Choose the Right Time of Day:

    • Midday proposals can be stunning with bright, vibrant colors, especially if you pick a location away from the crowds. Early morning or golden hour proposals offer softer lighting and fewer people.

Plan the Location Carefully:

    • Pick a location that is meaningful and beautiful. Consider places that offer privacy and stunning backdrops, such as a secluded overlook or a scenic trail.


Pierce Stocking Drive Scenic Overlook


Have a Photographer in Hiding:

    • Coordinate with your photographer to arrive early and hide nearby. Share photos of yourselves in advance so they can recognize you and capture the moment discreetly.

Use a Cue for the Photographer:

    • Plan a subtle cue to signal the photographer when you’re about to propose. A selfie works perfectly to help your partner get rid of distracting items and give the photographer a heads-up.

Personalize the Proposal:

    • Incorporate elements that are unique to your relationship, such as a custom-designed ring or a location that holds special meaning. This makes the moment even more memorable.


Scenic Blue Summer Lake Pierce Stocking Drive


Brandon and Esther’s proposal is a beautiful example of thoughtful planning and perfect execution. If you’re thinking about proposing, consider these tips to make your moment just as magical. Ready to plan your proposal? Let’s create unforgettable memories together. Contact me today.

Josh Hartman – Pierce Stocking Drive Proposal Photographer


Blue Michigan Pierce Stocking Drive