Hal Zhang | Rish & Anu


Rish is a man who had a master plan. 

Wow! This has to be my favorite engagement shoot thus far in 2013. No posing, no boasting, no acting. Live and in living color. Smiles, laughs, love and tears of joy. Just pure raw emotions and vivid memories to last a lifetime. 

Rish and Anu were introduced by friends and they had been inseparable from the start.  Even though the distance from Montreal to Halifax was far, the trips between the two were frequent with endless texting, FaceTime, Skype, and long phone conversations. 

Rish sent me an email this week asking if I was available for an engagement shoot. Of course this wasn't no ordinary engagement shoot. He wanted to surprise propose to his girlfriend with friends, family and loved ones flying in from all over the country to attend and witness this special occasion. And what a special occasion it was...

Rish had moved back to Ottawa two weeks ago after finishing up his training. He had always wanted to bring Anu to his favorite restaurant: Atelier. This seemed like the perfect time to propose, surrounded by family and loved ones. 

Rish had asked me if it was possible to capture the moment and Anu's reaction. My first reaction was "Yes! This could be fun!” After a few email exchanges and phone calls, we worked out a plan with me hiding in the alley and patiently awaiting their arrival. 

Outside the restaurant, Rish stopped Anu short of the door and said to her “Anu, I’ve always wanted the day I propose to you to be perfect. And so far it has been.” He got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. Once she finally got over her surprise, she said yes! :) I moved past them into the restaurant to capture her expression for the second surprise - when she saw who was waiting inside to share in the celebration."

Rish and Anu would like to thank to all the guests that traveled miles upon miles to attend and make this special occasion happen. It wouldn't have been the same without you. 

Thanks as well to Steve and everyone else at Atelier for their incredible service and attention to detail. The food was, as always, delicious, interesting, ornate, and really really fun to eat! A take-home box of Anu’s favorite dessert (chocolate chip cookies :-) was the final surprise, and a very thoughtful touch.

So this is how the story goes ...