• Lesly Salazar

Washington D.C. Surprise Proposal & Engagement | Jefferson Memorial



Not every boyfriend secretly hires a photographer to capture the moment they get down on one knee and pop the question. So when Kareem reached out and asked me to photograph his Washington D.C. surprise proposal & engagement near the Jefferson Memorial, I was so happy for him and Jess! I knew it would be a gorgeous moment, especially since Kareem was so passionate about creating the perfect moment with the best backdrop possible.


Since Kareem and Jess live in New Jersey, there was a lot of coordination involved. He reached out about a month before the day he wanted to propose to Jess, and we chatted over the next few weeks to iron out all the details. He even included Jess's favorite ;) cousin, Paul, into the planning process! As Murphy's Law would have it though, mother nature was not on their side on their arrival day in D.C.


Torrential (and historic!) rain flooded the D.C. area the day before the proposal. Kareem had hoped to take Jess out walking near the rendezvous location to familiarize himself with it, but they got drenched and couldn't make it. The next day, I arrived about an hour early and found that the Tidal Basin was completely flooded (see photo below)! I quickly adjusted and found a new spot close to the old one, and even used Logan and Elena (my fiancé and daughter) as models at the spot to show Kareem via text!

Thankfully, this story has a happy ending. Not only did the new spot work out beautifully, but the weather was absolutely perfect our entire time together! Sometimes, my clients get worried when they see cloudy skies. Most people don't realize that clouds actually diffuse harsh light and create soft, even light that is super flattering! Needless to say, every photo was absolutely stunning. Jess and Kareem were on cloud nine that day and I was honored to capture this amazing moment for them. It's one of the best parts of my job - meeting new people and creating heirlooms for them and their families to enjoy for generations to come. I love what I do!


Dear Jess and Kareem,

Congratulations again!! I am beyond excited for you both and am excited to hear all about your wedding plans. Hearing you share your love story, and how Kareem didn't realize your first date was a date until you asked for a second one Jess, was amazing. Kareem, I love that you spoke with Jess's parents about the proposal before actually doing it. That says a lot about your character and integrity, and I just know it meant the world to them. I will keep you both in my prayers as you begin your wedding planning and enter this new stage of life together! Thank you again for allowing me to be part of such an amazing moment. Enjoy your photos!! xoxo, Lesly




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