Malin and Maggie’s surprise proposal at Rainbow Lake in Frisco, CO was a day I will never forget. I woke up before the sun on a crisp, fall morning in Colorado so I could make the drive up to Frisco and arrive in plenty of time to hide and photograph Malin’s proposal to Maggie. It was a short, half mile hike up Rainbow Lake trail but I still had to get there in plenty of time to get everything prepared before Malin led Maggie up the mountain. So, how do I help you make a surprise hiking proposal in Colorado go off without a hitch?
My first priority is making sure that the guy knows EXACTLY where to go and doesn’t get lost at any point along the way. I have the same neon orange marking tape that the forest service uses to mark trees. I always tell the guy what car I drive and to look for the neon orange tape tied to my driver’s side mirror in the trailhead parking lot. Then, as I am hiking up the trail before my couple, I take off pieces of that tape and tie it to tree branches along the way to mark the correct trail. This was especially important with this trail because there were a lot of other intersecting trails and cut-offs, so I wanted to make sure that Malin knew exactly where to lead Maggie.
One of the most stressful but important factors in being a proposal photographer in Colorado is finding a place for me to hide where I can still get a good shot. After I determine where I’ll be hiding (behind a giant tree in this case) and the angle I’ll be shooting at, I make two small piles of sticks and rocks with the neon tape conspicuously tied around a stick in the pile. This way you know exactly the angle you should be standing so I can get the best shot
After I got it all marked out, I just hid behind my tree, listening to my breath, waiting. Malin and Maggie came hiking up the trail and stood next to Rainbow Lake with the mountains in the background and Malin asked Maggie to marry him. It was such a beautiful proposal to witness because Maggie was completely surprised. And I love it because as soon as Malin got down on one knee and said four words: Will you marry me? Maggie was on top of him giving him hugs and saying yes, yes, yes. It was just so special to be the only person there to witness this moment that these two will remember forever. They’ll look back on this day as Maggie is walking down the aisle toward Malin. They’ll tell their children about their proposal one day. And hopefully even their grandchildren.
Malin and Maggie actually met in high school. They knew of each other but they never were good friends or hung out. They ended up going to different colleges and Malin went to live in Europe for two year with a mission that he was on. When he came back from living abroad, he got in touch with Maggie just to say hey and catch up on life since high school.
They officially started dating only this past January and just got engaged in October. I love these kinds of stories because it proves the saying “when you know, you know”. There truly is no other way to explain that saying besides witnessing stories like Malin and Maggie’s.
The both are finishing up college near Pheonix, AZ. They love to go hiking in the Flagstaff area on the weekends and hang out in between studying for tests and homework. Maggie is going to school for psychology and Malin is studying biology and eventually wants to be a doctor.
These two flew out to Colorado on a trip with Malin’s family. Malin’s birthday is in October, so his family made the trip all about Malin and celebrating his birthday so they could completely throw Maggie off track and distract her from thinking any sort of proposal would happen that weekend. She thought he was going to propose in December, closer to Christmas, so it was such a fun surprise for Malin to propose at a time that she was least expecting it.
Thank you, Malin and Maggie, for trusting me to hike a mountain and hide behind a tree to capture one of the most important moments in your adventure together. You two were such a treat to photograph this fall!
Looking for a Colorado Adventure Photographer to Capture Your Proposal?
Meet Larissa. Larissa is an adventure couples and wedding photographer based out of Colorado. She’d take an adventure in the mountains over shopping + a date night snuggling on the couch over dinner and a movie any day. Larissa’s obsessed with: morning snuggles with her rescue pup, Hazel, hot chocolate, a good book and yoga pants. She believes in making you forget a camera’s even there, that your story is the actual thing she wants to capture on camera and that real, raw moments are more important that perfectly curated poses. Book your Colorado Proposal Photographer.