Old City Philadelphia | 9:30pm

My husband and I arrived in Philadelphia with plenty of time to park and scope out the scene of Andrew and Annabelle's surprise engagement. Andrew was on his way via train from New York City after a long work week, and he told his gal to meet him in Old City Philadelphia for "some drinks after work". We had been communicating via text message, a tentative plan in place, with my aim to see the best place for the best lighting possible in such a dark alley at 10pm.

Elfreth's Alley - "Our Nation's Oldest residential street"

Elfreth's Alley, whose oldest house was built in 1703, is our nation's oldest residential street. A home recently came up for sale in the alley, giving Andrew a great excuse to get Annabelle down the alley, to "check out the alley and the house" before going on to "get drinks somewhere". A convenient ruse! The even more convenient part for the photography aspect and hiding until the right moment, is the little secondary alleyway that peeks right down to a very bright street light. The perfect scene for the "crime"!

Andrew arrived and we plotted out the proposal and planned where he, she, and I would stand to get the perfect pictures of her reaction. She was due to arrive around 10:15, so we had plenty of time to confirm the plans. I spent some time taking multiple test shots, playing with settings, and I'm sure setting off a few Ring doorbell cameras of the few residents who inhabit my hiding place of Bladen's Court (also a place of historical note). It was nearly time.

Go Time| 10:20 PM

Annabelle and Andrew began strolling down Elfreth's Alley, admiring the historic homes and enjoying each other's company. I stood just out of the way, in the shadows, waiting for them to appear under the street light at the end of the alley that we had chosen.

He asked....

She said YES!

I suggested we head over to the Franklin Fountain for the newly engaged couple to celebrate!

Andrew and Annabelle walked ahead of us and acted like young kids in love the entire way there! It was adorable to watch these two interact, and you can tell how much they're in love!

Congratulations, Annabelle and Andrew!

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About the author

Photographer Natalie Serwan

Natalie is the owner of Natalie Serwan Photography and lives with her husband Dan and their two year old son, Christopher, in Woodstown, New Jersey.

Visit Natalie and ask for a tour of the DBJ History of Photography Museum located in her recently opened studio located in Swedesboro.

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