Jessica & Alex | San Francisco Proposal Photography

It was such an amazing experience to be part of this special proposal. Alex and Jessica first met at TAF, a summer camp that many of us have attended since we were kids, and they have been together almost ten years now. Because many of our TAF friends were going to Napa for The French Laundry in the first week of June, Alex seized the opportunity to plan the surprise of a lifetime for Jessica, surrounded by many of their closest friends.

The scene of the proposal: Lyon Street Steps in Pacific Heights, San Francisco. Alex told Jessica that they had their own dinner plans for that night, so they went to Linda’s place near the steps to change. The rest of us all got into place, and I called pretending to be the restaurant to push back their reservation, which gave them the perfect excuse for Linda to casually suggest that they check out the view from the Lyon Street Steps. We all hid in our spots while they walked down the steps, and then we all emerged as Alex gave his speech and got down on one knee. It all went amazingly as planned! And afterwards, rather than head to their own dinner, they got to join an even bigger crowd of friends for a celebratory dinner in San Francisco.

Because Alex and Jessica live together with Ming and Eric in Chicago, Ming was in charge of transporting the ring so that it wouldn’t be on Alex as he and Jessica flew to California.

Of course Kevin and Jon were on hand to hide in bushes and film the proposal as it happened. Pei held on to the bouquet that I whipped up full of orchids and hydrangeas, Jessica’s favorite flowers.

The whole crew hid at the bottom of the Lyon Street Steps in Pacific Heights, San Francisco.

Alex and Jessica walked down from the top of the steps, as I hid behind a tree to the side.

Linda’s cue to the rest of the crew was “Let’s take a picture right here in front of the heart!” And then friends started emerging from left and right.

Jessica started crying immediately, before anything really started happening. Best line? Alex asked her, “Why are you crying?” Jessica: “Because I’m scared.”

Alex then got on one knee and delivered an impeccable speech as the friends looked on.

She said yes!

Afterwards, I took Alex and Jess on a mini excursion for a couple engagement photos.

The view from the top of the steps is truly breathtaking, and the weather and the sunshine that day were just perfect.


One group shot of the entire team.

Congratulations, Jessica and Alex! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of such a special moment. I am so incredibly happy for you both!

Anna Wu is a wedding and portrait photographer based in San Francisco. She has become quite adept at hiding in unexpected spots during people’s surprise proposals. Follow her adventures on Facebook or contact her to inquire about your own proposal plans.