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EMILY

CRALL

Miranda & Ben

A Hiking Trail Spring Proposal

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Hi, I'm Emily.

Ben contacted me a few weeks ago. He was in the process of finalizing a ring design with M.C. Ginsberg for his then-girlfriend and wondered if I’d be available to photograph the proposal. I have had the privilege of documenting hundreds of weddings and engagement sessions, but this was my first proposal and it was so special and also such an adrenaline rush, haha.

Ben wanted to propose while out hiking and we hashed through a few different ideas of how to execute the proposal (and photographing of it) without Miranda suspecting anything. In the end, we decided I would trail behind them at a distance in case we needed to scrap the first location (if other people were already there) and go to the second spot.

fossil_gorge_engagement_emilycrall_photo_4726.jpgSince none of us had ever met, I did a quick Facebook search so I would know what Ben looked like and we also exchanged car information. (We had cell phone numbers as well, but we refrained from texting as we didn’t want to tip Miranda off to anything unusual.) I parked my car in the Woodpecker Trailhead parking lot a little early on Sunday morning and waited to see Ben’s car pull in. I had my camera gear in a backpack (#casual), but did pull out my camera to hold onto under the guise of photographing nature along the way. As soon as I saw Ben and Miranda pull in, I busied myself in my car (I still had it running so it would look like I had just pulled in) until they got out and started walking toward the path. I turned off my car, grabbed my stuff, and followed behind. I saw Ben glance back a few times so I knew he had confirmed that I was there. Every time they went around a curve, I rushed to keep an eye on them while also trying to stay far enough behind to be a casual hiker. I’m pretty sure I was nearly as nervous as Ben because I really, really wanted it all to go exactly as he hoped and planned!

It was a beautiful morning so we lucked out with perfect weather and there were other people out hiking as well, but thankfully, it was just early enough in the day that it wasn’t crowded or busy on the trails.

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We got to the first spot that Ben had hoped to propose and it was completely empty. I lingered behind with a long lens and aimed my camera to the trees and flowers, but watched them out of my peripheral vision until I saw him start to get down on one knee. I turned my camera to them and lived my best paparazzi life!
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As we had hoped, Miranda didn’t suspect a thing; it was the perfect surprise! She was in a state of hazy, happy shock and they were both riding the euphoric high of we-are-getting-married!!! We spent a few minutes afterwards (once Ben pointed me out and I could officially congratulate them) taking some photos before I left them alone to enjoy the moment!

Congratulations, Ben and Miranda! I’m so happy for you both!!
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