UK photographer Che Birch-Hayes didn’t want to get one of the two “typical” types of pictures when he proposed to his girlfriend Becky Thompson in June.
“One is when a couple are already engaged so is more of a pre wedding shoot and one is where someone is brave enough to invite a photographer along whilst he or she actually pops the question,” Birch-Hayes wrote on his blog.
Instead of asking a friend to secretly snap pictures while he popped the question, he realized that Thompson could unwittingly be the second shooter for her own engagement.
Thompson works in human resources, but she’s often Birch-Hayes’ second shooter on jobs. “We have a great passion for the outdoors and one of our first dates was a little landscape photo trip in the Malvern hills between Herefordshire and Worcestershire,” Birch-Hayes told BuzzFeed Life of their shared interests.
As for the engagement ring, Birch-Hayes hid it in a camera’s viewfinder instead of a traditional box.
Birch-Hayes needed a way for Thompson to take photos of the ring and the early stages of the proposal. This meant he needed three cameras: One for Thompson to use, one to hold the ring, and one to take time lapse photos of the whole event from short distance away.
He primed Thompson for the whole thing by creating a ruse wherein they “created” 3D pictures. He had no idea how to actually do that, but he fooled her: He asked her to take photos of the other cameras, and she didn’t question his made-up technique.
When proposal time came, he asked Thomspson to try the “3D thing.” She played with her camera and even took a photo of her engagement ring without even realizing it. Once she surmised that the “3D” ruse wasn’t working, Birch-Hayes told her to check the other camera’s viewfinder to see the “finished” image. When she finally looked in, she realized what was happening.
This photo shows Birch-Hayes revealing to Thompson that she’d inadvertently took photos of the proposal in progress.
After Thompson said yes, Birch-Hayes excitedly told her, “You’ve just been the second shooter at your own engagement!”
As of now, they plan to marry in August 2017, but they won’t take their own wedding photos — they’ve already hired someone else.