Here’s something that doesn’t happen every day: Not only did I get to photograph a wedding proposal, but one of a fellow photographer, and one with a photography theme. Fun Colorado proposal photos to follow…

David first contacted me a few weeks before he and his now-fiance Claire, an awesome children’s photographer in Dallas, were headed out to Aspen on a little trip. He planned on proposing to her either on the 3rd of the 5th of July, sometime early in the morning at the Maroon Bells. I love it there — the mountains are huge and grandiose, like those in my hometown of Estes Park. I was shooting on the 2nd in Vail, so after a gorgeous wedding, my wife and I hopped in the car and headed off toward Aspen so we could catch David and Claire early the next morning.

The morning-of, I sent David an SMS telling him what we’d be wearing, but I was scared to do it. What if he was in the shower or something, and Claire saw? I deliberated on how and when to contact him, and while I was staring at my phone, an SMS arrived from him. So I quickly responded and hit him right back, since I knew he’d be in front of his phone.

We arrived at the Bells and as luck would have it, wound up parking right next to each other. I saw David while I was unpacking my monster 500mm wildlife lens, and followed him into the men’s room where we hatched the final plan. It was all a little seat-of-the-pants, so it was good to finalize plans face to face. In the bathroom. Kinda weird.

Anyway, he left and wandered off to meet Claire. We decided that it was going to happen at 9am, so Rannveig (my wife) and I followed them to the lakeshore. David and Claire sat down on a rock, Rannveig camped out in the bushes with the 500mm, and I wandered up behind them with a 70-200 and pretended to be taking pictures of the mountains. Every time Claire so much as turned her head, I looked away and started off into the hills. I felt like a bit of a peeping Tom, but whatever, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

David had Claire on his right side, and his phone in his left pocket. As the hour approached, he kept leaning over to check the time. 8:59:00? Check. 8:59:15? Check. 8:59:30? Check. One last time he checked, and then it all began.

First, he stole Claire’s camera and took some pictures. I think he was getting warmed up…

surprise proposal

Then, he told her he had a gift. A camera!

proposal photographers

It was an old Brownie Bullet camera, and he’d hollowed out the inside and made a small ring box. He carefully positioned the ring so that the diamond shined through a little red window on the back, where I think the film label used to go. Here’s what it looked like. Clever, David! You get major points for this!

man proposes to woman

Next, he handed it to her and had her take a picture or two. He was hoping she’d see the diamond, but it didn’t work out that way. Claire handed it back. It didn’t work!

colorado marriage proposal

So… David had to take charge. He also tried to take a picture with it, but that didn’t work… So he just opened it up and got down on one knee.


Here it comes! Wait for it… Wait for it…

marriage proposal

Will you marry me?

picture of surprise marriage proposal

She said yes!

popping the question

photo proposal marriage weddingman asks woman to marrywill you marry memaroon bells weddingcolorado engagement maroon bellsaspen wedding proposalwedding-proposal-photos-dreamtime-aspen0014-.jpg

Afterward, we approached them (Claire had figured we were just bigtime camera geeks) and introduced ourselves, and we spent the next little bit shooting some engagement photos. Didn’t wait long to get engagement pictures done!



Congratulations!! Totally stoked for you! Thanks for inviting me along for such a big part of your lives!


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