Christian’s Lake Tahoe engagement proposal to his girlfriend, Lauren, was a beautiful way to kick off the weekend. Before committing to an exact time or location, Christian contacted me to find out about documenting the event. I listened to his plan thus far (a morning hike to somewhere with an amazing lookout), and I offered some recommendations for where to find the best views. I also shared some useful tips for a surprise proposal, especially when a photographer is there.

As a Tahoe wedding photographer, surprise proposals are some of my favorite events to shoot. For one thing, they almost always happen at a stunning outdoor location. Needless to say, shooting at these spots is one of the best parts of my job. Even though there are plenty of options closer to the road, people generally prefer photos of their proposal somewhere more private without onlookers nearby. A little bit of hiking always tends to thin out the crowd. As a result, most of my favorite locations for an engagement shoot are not only crowd-free, they make you feel like it is just the two of you, the sky, and beautiful Lake Tahoe. This other location is a good example, as well.

In this case I arrived early and reached the top of the ridge first. This gave me a chance to get in position and figure out the best angles. As they approached the proposal spot, I pretended to be photographing the other side of the lake and a couple of red-tailed hawks circling above. I kept a close eye on Lauren and Christian while mostly trying to look interested in the mountain views. This Lake Tahoe proposal location is actually a pretty large area. With this in mind, I gave Christian some specific ideas of where to pop the big question during our final planning phone call.

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