Rick and Azra’s Glacier Engagement

Most men don’t think to hire a professional photographer when they propose to their girlfriends, but then again, most men don’t propose to their girlfriends on a glacier via helicopter.

When Rick called me about photographing his proposal, I was excited for Azra when I heard what he had planned…and I was excited for the both of them because I knew he had chosen the right photographer for the job. With the combination of my wedding and alpine experience, the photos I would get would preserve their memories of this special event for the rest of their lives.

After a couple of phone calls, we had a plan in place. It was Azra’s birthday, so she would think that the experience was a birthday present from Rick. I would pretend I was photographing the helicopter/glacier tour experience for Glacier Air‘s website. Rick was bringing a birthday cake for them to share, picnic style on the glacier and after the b-day cake he would propose. When Rick and Azra arrived, I introduced myself (Rick and I hadn’t actually met!) and explained what I was doing and asked their permission to include them in a photo or two. Thankfully, they both said yes!

Similar to a wedding, you have one chance to get the shots…there are no replays – so I was imagining all the different glacier scenarios on the drive to Squamish. The ideal situation I decided on was if he set up his picnic on a rise or hill along the glacier. Having never seen the Serratus Glacier before, I had no idea if this even existed – and I didn’t get a chance to mention this to Rick before we got into the helicopter.

We landed on the glacier and I jumped out first to begin pretending I was shooting landscapes around the glacier. Out of the corner of my eye, I watched Rick as he put his plan in motion. Sure enough there was a rise on the snow, and as if I had sent him a message telepathically, he led Azra right up onto it! Thank goodness for my 70-200mm F2.8L lens, because I was able to photograph what was happening from afar without making Azra suspicious.

The story from here can be told through my photographs below. Congratulations Rick and Azra!

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Melissa Welsh is a National-Award Winning Master Photographer located in Nelson, BC. 

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