Knapp's Castle, Santa Barbara Proposal || Shelby & Josh


Words cannot describe how honored and blessed I feel to have been the one to capture Josh & Shelby's proposal! Josh serves in the US Marine Corps, so while he was on deployment, his father contacted me about Josh's plan to propose to his girlfriend, Shelby, at Knapp's Castle while they were visiting town. I was over the moon to have this opportunity, and immediately booked a proposal session with them. I finally got to speak to Josh directly over the phone when he came home from his deployment, and we discussed the details of how the proposal would go down. I couldn't wait!

I decided to bring along my dear friend Katie to be my "decoy model" and post in front of my camera so that I could shoot past her and capture the proposal, without Shelby seeing what I was doing. Katie also brought along her Instax camera and took several shots on it as a gift for the newly-engaged couple! We arrived to Knapp's Castle, expecting it to be full of tourists and local photographers taking advantage of the gorgeous view of the valley below. But not a single person was in sight: a truly remarkable and rare opportunity, and perfect for such a special moment.

Once Josh & Shelby arrived and laid out a blanket for their picnic, Josh said, "I have a surprise for you," and handed Shelby a letter that he wrote for her. They stood together under the main arch of Knapp's castle as she read and cried over the letter. Josh stood next to her, smiling with nerves and excitement, as he held the box that contained Shelby's grandmother's ring behind his back. When Shelby finished reading the letter, Josh got on one knee and asked her to marry him. She said yes, and they embraced.

Katie and I walked up to them after they had a few moments to celebrate privately and then we introduced ourselves; Shelby was so surprised! We spent the next hour wandering around the property and taking photos, laughing, and tearing up with happiness and excitement.

I could not have asked for a more perfect and heartfelt proposal for such an incredible couple. Congratulations, Josh & Shelby!

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CeJae Photography

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