I recently got to meet with Eric Castro and not only hear his amazing plan to propose to his awesome girlfriend Bree Abbott but got to strategize how exactly I would capture the whole thing on video! Eric wanted to walk down to the beach with his girlfriend as they often do, with their dog Boo, but instead this time stop and get a caricature drawing of the beautiful couple. Because of the plan I know that I was going to have to put hidden cameras as well as a microphone as close to the couple as possible without letting her think something is going on.

With the whole secrecy of the situation I was able to get an amazing second shooter, Bucky Springmeier, to come with me and help gather footage. Bucky and I showed up to Oceanside Pier around 8AM to start the planning process and map out our positions. I hid a GoPro camera close to the couple as well as put a mirrorless camera close to the caraciture artist and make it appear as though it was his camera recording his own personal drawing.

Around 9AM, I received a text message from Eric saying they were going to start walking towards the Pier. This is when I had Bucky go camp out near the road they were going to be walking down in order to get the shots. Once I was notified that they were almost there I put my drone up in the air, high enough to not draw attention, in order to get a bird’s eye view of them walking down onto the strand. Everything is going great she has absolutely no idea anything is going on!

From there they walk over to the caricature artist and Bucky and I continue to record from multiple positions. We run all around them as they are sitting down and Bree has no clue that while we are looking all over we are actually filming her proposal from super far away thanks to telephoto lenses. There was a lot of times I thought she was catching onto us and so we played it off by taking phone calls, interacting with surrounding families, and just doing anything but look their way.

Her family starts to come in behind her and it is turning into a wonderful moment. The caricature artist then shows her the drawing with Eric’s animation proposing to her and she is in absolute shock. Eric drops to a knee and she says Yes! We are super happy because we captured every piece of their special moment.

After everything calmed down I asked Bree if she had any clue what we were doing and she said “I literally didn’t even notice you guys out there.”

This moment was amazing and beautiful but one of the biggest things I know with proposals is that the news and interaction these days, thanks to social media and technology, spread fast. We wanted to make sure that along with the family pictures that we were able to show all of Bree and Eric’s family and friends that weren’t there that morning exactly how everything went down. We wanted their friends and family to share in their moment on that same day. Because of that I immediately went to my favorite Taco Shop (Haggo’s Tacos in Encinitas if you are wondering. Their organic fish taco plate is to die for.) and started immediately putting together the video so that I could deliver it to them that same day.

The friends and family LOVED the video. There were so many comments congratulating them, saying the video made them cry and ultimately just sharing love with the couple. At the time of writing this the video that I put together and Eric shared on his Facebook reached over 350 likes, 23 shares, 107 comments, and over 4,600 views! But wait that’s just on Facebook! Eric also uploaded the video onto YouTube and it has right now reached over 9,600 views and has been picked up Magic 92.5 as well as Fox 5 San Diego! Their proposal made the news!

Finally, one of the cool things about the story is that afterwards ProFlowers actually ended up sending Bree a bouquet of flowers because they saw the video! So many tremendous things were accomplished that day and I am so happy that I was able to help capture them for this amazing couple. It truly was a fun and challenging day but at the end of the day love conquered all and I was able to help document a moment of their lives that they will never forget! Big thanks again to Bucky for being my second shooter that day, without him none of this would be possible.

  • Videographer & EditorChris Cochran
  • Second VideographerBucky Springmeier
  • FeaturingEric Castro
    Bree Abbott