published fine art photographer in virginia

Sam & Claudia | Surprise Proposal | City Point Park in Hopewell Virginia | Sarah Duke Photography

Saturday August 17, 2019

Where History & Pi Collide | Sam & Claudia | Engaged ! | Surprise Sunset Proposal at City Point Park in Hopewell Virginia

The scene was set at the historical Grant’s Headquarters – City Point in Hopewell, Virginia. In it’s prime, this abundant land was known as Appomattox Manor, which served as a supply center for 100,000 union soldiers and was one of the busiest seaports in the world. It always amazes me when visiting new locations, especially historical, because I often wonder to myself just how many other feet walked these same grounds?

As a photographer, I found it not only amazing to physically be in a location home to so much history but heartwarming because, I was asked to be the eyes aimed at capturing a piece of history as it unfolded…and for this incredibly sweet couple, their story began in high school math class.

“You’re my kind of pi” was a statement first hallmarked by Claudia and Sam.

This statement became the sentiment the two often expressed to one another in replace of the typical I love you. Now, fast forward seven years, the two have remained inseparable. Did I mention this was my first time photographing a surprise proposal? The whole day I was excited and giddy that by the time I arrived, I expected to see Sam with the same anticipation but it was quite the opposite! Not only was he mellow and calm, he carefully explained his plan:

“I plan on taking it really slow, like no rush at all…” he said.

I remember looking at Sam and just saying HOW are you so CALM?! :-D

Each component of his surprise proposal had intentional meaning. Each lantern lining the gorgeous path under the blooming crape myrtle trees represented a year they had been together – the last lantern being the one he planned on getting on one knee.

Not only did he have the whole proposal planned, he had orchestrated for all of their family and friends to be there! Claudia (who believed the whole day to just be enjoying a girls day out) arrived with her friends completely surprised to see Sam appear from behind the large tree,

“You look so nice!!” Claudia resonated as her entire countenance lit up with surprise.

And just as he mentioned earlier that day, Sam took his time… gently he guided Claudia under the blooming trees…almost as if taking her down a trip down memory lane. Beside each lantern was a photograph of them and it makes my heart happy thinking that maybe my images may be used later in their life to commemorate their 7th year together.

It couldn’t have been more perfect.

Of course, Claudia said YES! And after celebrating with family and friends I congratulated the couple who already plan on tying the knot ON “pi day”: March 14, 2020! <3

Sam and Claudia, THANK YOU for giving me the honor of capturing this timeless moment! It is one in which I will never forget, and I again congratulate both of you from the bottom of my heart! (I am now left questioning…will you all serve pie at the wedding??) :-D

Copyright © 2015-2020 Sarah Duke Photography

| VENUE | Grant's Headquarters - City Point


Chapter 1. Where History & Pi Collide - Sam's Surprise Proposal at Grant's Headquarters - City Point

Chapter 2. Claudia & Sam's Engagement Session at the VA Capital

Chapter 3. Bridal Portrait Session with Claudia at The Armour House & Gardens

Chapter 4. Claudia & Sam's Wedding at Belmont Golf Course

the journal


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