A warm proposal on a cold day!

From beginning to end, this surprise proposal was one of those “core memories” to remember forever for both myself and the couple, Dieter and Martha.

Dieter and Martha have been together since they were 14 years old! They went through middle school, high school, college together and now are shaping their careers together. Together they have traveled around the world together, from Egypt to Perú, their love story has been built trip after trip, experience after experience, from climbing erupting volcanoes to sleeping at the Andes. And now, a memory to cherish forever, a surprise proposal at the base of the Tetons.

Our story together started over 2 months before their trip to Jackson Hole. Martha reached out to me and wanted to book a couple shoot in the mountains as a part of their trip! She has always loved the mountains and wanted to make sure to capture the magic here in the Tetons.

When we started talking I learned that she LOVED to adventure and I knew that we should extend the shoot and do both a sunset and sunrise shoot. In doing this we could really extend the shoot both time wise and lighting wise. The sunsets right behind the mountains making it beautiful to photograph in the evening. The sun rises across from them which brings beautiful colors painted in the sky and on the mountains. We had chatted about time and locations and we were almost ready to go!

About a month before our shoot I got an email from Dieter, the boyfriend (at the time) who told me that he would like to propose at our shoot! I mean, how perfect is that?!?! We swapped emails planning out the perfect proposal so that it would all go smoothly. We decided that he would propose at sunset during our shoot. We planned the prompt so that he would know when to get the ring out and allow me to make sure we were set up for "the shot". We were on the same page and ready to go!

A couple weeks before the shoot due to COVID and flights, Martha and Dieter had to change their flights meaning we would have to change ours. No worries, we were still ready to go!

It's now the day of, I arrive in Jackson and pull into their hotel to head to the shoot. I am literally so excited but I had to play the excitement off as "pre-shoot" excitement! hahaha. I had checked the weather before they got to Jackson, 33ºF. Not too bad.


I could not believe how cold it was. I brought some extra scarves, gloves, and blankets to use during our shoot just in case.

We pulled up to the trailhead, Taggart Lake, in Grand Teton National Park and trekked through the snow to our destination! We started our shoot with some cute prompts, specifically ones to remember the day.

We were enjoying our shoot when I asked them to turn back to back and look off in the distance. While Martha was turned the opposite way, Dieter carefully pulled out the ring from his pocket and got on one knee. Martha turned around and was completely surprised! OMG her reaction was EVERYTHING. You could literally feel how happy and excited she was.

Everything about this moment was perfect. The sun slowly diapering behind them, the cloudless sky, and snowy day, it was dreamy.

One of my goals as your adventure and wedding photographer is to capture all the moments, the ones you didn't know you even had. I think that is why this shoot will be forever in my mind, seeing how in love these two were with one another.

Since Dieter and Martha travel together often, Martha had always left prepared to be engaged. This time, it actually happened! I learned that Dieter had tried to propose on a different trip but the ring was not ready so he waited until this moment.

These mountains to me are magical. I always feel honored to be able to capture them, all year around. They change as the seasons come and go but one thing I've learned is that somehow, my couples match the mountains perfectly the day of the shoot. To the mountains I say, Thank You.

The shoot didn't end here though...remember? Sunset AND sunrise! Honestly, this choice ended up being just amazing because we got to do engagement photos the next morning with a little bit different weather and lighting. We started our drive out to the mountains and holy cow the sunrise was so pretty. The whole sky was pink. We pulled up to a slightly different spot and began to get ready for our shoot! The sunset shoot was 0ºF...it was -14ºF with a wind chill making it -23ºF.

I thought the night before was cold...I was dead wrong. I truly could not believe how cold it was! I had brought a bottle of sparkling apple cider to use in a "celebration" photo but IT FROZE WALKING FROM THE CAR TO OUR PHOTO SPOT. I was in shock. It was liquid when we left the car and frozen solid 15 seconds later. It was at this point that we decided to do small breaks every 15 or so minutes to warm back up. Dieter was an absolute champ and somehow made some slush bubbles come out of the bottle for our "champagne pop celebration" photo! In the ned it was a fun memory and truly a funny story to really tell people how cold it was during the shoot.

We kept bouncing between the car and the shoot hoping to stay somewhat warm since it was so cold. We happened to be at the park on Tuesday which played out really well as the park wasn't crowded. During the winter the park only plows opens about 3 miles of road, meaning, you can only go 3 miles into the park. If you bring snowshoes or Nordic Skis you can travel beyond those 3 miles. It can get fairly crowded on weekends and holidays.

Since it wasn't busy we headed down back towards the entrance and pulled off the side of the road. We got right in the road and did some really cute pictures with a larger view of the mountains behind them. There was also some REEAAALLLY pretty snow dusted trees that we used too!

We ended our shoot here heading back into town where they could spend the rest of their trip. We had a really fun time together braving the cold creating memories to keep forever. To Dieter and Martha, thank you, from the bottom of my heart for letting me be a part of your special day. ✨

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