Neel & Reena’s Surprise Proposal at Lookout Mountain in Golden, CO | Epic Mountain Hiking Proposals | Colorado Engagement Photographer | Apollo Fields Wedding Photography
I just love a good proposal and this one was one for the books! It’s hard to get a better mountain backdrop than Lookout Mountain and it’s epic views. I was so excited when Neel contacted me with his plans to proposal to his girlfriend, Reena, while they were on their vacation. I love working with people to coordinate awesome proposals and helping them to navigate timing, locations, and details— especially when they aren’t local and maybe haven’t been to the spots before.
Proposals are also one of the only times that I ever get a nervous sort of excitement when I’m working! Most of the time, even though I’ve shot over 100 weddings, I still get the jitters in the morning before I’ve left for the venue. Maybe it’s all of the coffee I drink, but I usually get a little buzzy in the mornings before a wedding. I’m running through shot lists, timelines, points of contacts, questionnaires, and other details. But the moment that I arrive at my weddings and begin actually shooting, the nerves totally dissolve. I get into my zone and get right into my groove. It’s awesome and I love it.
But proposals are almost the opposite for me! I arrive super-duper early and am usually creeping in a bush, car, or behind a tree trying to stay incognito. It’s not always easy to blend in, especially when NOBODY else is around (think off-grid mountain hikes) and the big ass camera is usually a dead giveaway. So I have to get crafty, and it’s a lot of fun, but it is also a lot of pressure to not be the one to blow the surprise. I’ll get all settled in (oftentimes if it’s not a well-known exact location, I’ll work with GPS coordinates to make sure we are 100% in the right place) and get my test shots out of the way.
Proposals from a Photographer’s Perspective
So here I am, crouched down in a bush for the last twenty minutes. I’ve been discretely texting with the proposer “HERE” and “READY”. The couple arrives and I almost pee my pants — I’m dead serious. I’ve shot dozens of surprise proposals and it is always the same. Don’t worry, I’ve never actually peed myself and I’ve always nailed the shots!
The proposer always thinks that he/she will take a lot of time to set the mood before actually popping the question. In real life, this NEVER happens! I guess it is part nerves / part excitement, but it is always so much faster than expected. Before long, it’s happening! I love watching the reactions and the celebration afterwards because it is such a special moment.
Will you marry me? Omg yes! Kiss kiss, hug hug, it’s amazing. Once the right moment presents itself, I’ll sneak out of the pricker bush or out from the park bench that I’ve been hidden behind and introduce myself. It’s really fun because oftentimes I am the first one to actually congratulate them! It’s like I’m in on the fun news before anyone else (which never happens) and for a moment, it’s our little secret.
It’s fun especially when I haven’t met either partner yet. A lot of the time, because proposals will happen on destination trips or vacations, it is not practical or feasible to actually meet in person. So it’s fun to witness and capture one of the most exciting times in their lives, and then actually introduce myself! We always do some shots afterwards to get a fun mini-engagement session and celebration!