It all started when I received an email from a guy named Walker. He said he lived out of state but was coming to Washington to see a concert at The Gorge with his girlfriend. Prior to going to the Jack Johnson concert, he thought it would be a good idea to explore Seattle and then drive to Mt. Rainier where he would make her heart leap by asking her to become his wife.
I let him know of a specific location on Mt. Rainier that would be an impressive backdrop to his proposal to Christine. We agreed to meet there, with me arriving first so I would be in place to capture their proposal at sunrise on Thursday.
Unfortunately, the weather didn’t want to cooperate. The forecast was sunny skies on Wednesday and Friday but cold and rainy for proposal day (Thursday). If the weather man was correct, it would likely mean that we wouldn’t even be able to see the mountain that day which would be disappointing for photographing this couple’s special day.
I texted Walker on Wednesday morning to see if he was up for changing the plan based on the weather. He stated that he wanted to stick to the plan and pray for sunny weather. And of course he had to text me in true spy fashion from a bathroom to keep the proposal a secret from Christine.
I thought it was great that he was so optimistic but I still wanted to shoot for a different time/day to make sure they had some good mountain visibility. I recommended 5:00 PM that same day and fortunately, he said yes! I was very excited because the weather was great that day and Mt. Rainier looked glorious from Seattle.
Walker had emailed me some photos of Christine and himself so I knew who to watch out for when the clock struck 5:00. I had told him to just keep an eye out for the tallest guy with a camera. FYI – I’m 6’7″.
As I got into place near the Henry Jackson Memorial Visitor Center at Mt. Rainier to wait for the couple, I thought about how fun it was to be in this Mission Impossible photo shoot.
Around 5:00 PM, I turned around to scan the crowd behind me and saw Christine and Walker (recognized from the photos Walker sent me) approaching the rendezvous spot. After they walked past me, Walker glanced over his shoulder and gave me that look as if to say, “Are you the photographer?” I responded with a thumbs up but put it down right away because Christine started to glance in my direction.
Walker told Christine to walk up the stairs and look at Mt. Rainier with her back towards him while he took a photo of her. But instead of taking out his camera, he took something else out of his pocket that flashed brightly – a diamond engagement ring!
As Walker started walking up the steps to propose, a guy came over to me and asked me if I could take a photo of his family with his cell phone. I swiftly told him I couldn’t because at that very moment I was photographing a guy proposing to his girlfriend. So he and his family watched it all unfold in front of them. BTW – my girlfriend was at her home in Seattle waiting for it to all unfold from the Rainier webcam with her bag of popcorn in her lap.
It was so great to be able to capture Christine’s surprised expression. After they exchanged many hugs and kisses, I whisked them off for their engagement photo session on a trail up Mt. Rainier. At the end of our session, they celebrated their beautiful and momentous day with some champagne.
Walker did a great job with his spy skills of setting up the photo shoot and getting the ring to the rendezvous spot! I’m glad everything worked out so well for them that day. It was a lot of fun spending a few hours with them on the incredibly beautiful mountain. Looking forward to hearing how the rest of their awesome trip goes!
Congrats to Walker and Christine!!!