When Victoria photographer Jon-Mark Wiltshire was contacted by an old friend who asked him to secretly take photos as he popped the question Wiltshire jumped at the opportunity.
His friend Dave had an elaborate scheme for the proposal. He and his girlfriend, Ashley, are avid hikers so Dave wanted to take her to the tressel at Goldstream Provincial Park outside of Victoria so the couple would be in their element when Dave popped the question (plus the location made for some great photos). To add a dramatic foreground, Dave wanted to dress nice, but he didn’t want to give anything away so he wore a dress shirt and tie concealed under his hiking clothes.
Wiltshire’s job was to get up to the tressel ahead of the couple, act like a nonchalant hiker (Ashley had only seen him once before), and take pictures of the events as they unfolded. He also had to bring Dave’s dress shoes to complete the groom-to-be’s outfit change.
In a rush to get to his covert location on time with all his equipment Wiltshire forgot his friend’s shoes in the car but it was too late to turn back.
When Wiltshire was set up on the tressel he texted Dave to let him know everything was a-go. Dave brought Ashley up to the middle platform on the tressel and told her he had to go to the washroom. He ran to the end of the tressel past where Wiltshire was sitting to get changed. He emerged in socks and these photos illustrate what happened next.
Know anyone who might be interested in popping the question this way? Read on for some tips from Wiltshire on perfecting the undercover proposal shoot.