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Rachel Fawn Photo

My favorite thing about being a photographer is LOVE.

I get to capture such precious moments. A toddler bursting with joy as he runs around a pumpkin patch for the first time. Two young sisters exploring a Christmas Tree Farm looking for fairies in the enchanted woods. A nervous man holding his breath as he gets down on one knee to ask the love of his life to marry him. A couple joining hands, a tear rolling down her cheek and a lump in his throat, as the officiant asks for the rings. These are the things that make my world go round.

It's 3:30 pm at an upscale hotel in north Lake Tahoe on November 24, 2017. I introduce myself to the concierge, and he leads me up to the balcony where they have a private table set up for champagne, when - if - she says yes.

Uh-oh, I think. “Won’t she see the table when they walk by?” I ask the concierge.

Bryan and I had planned it all out beforehand. I would be there at 3:30, posing as a guest shooting the sunset. He would bring Mindy out to the balcony at 4:00, to enjoy the view. Suddenly, he gets down on one knee, and I’m no longer some random photographer - Bryan proposes, and I capture the whole thing on camera! After the proposal, the hotel staff brings out the table and champagne, and as Bryan and Mindy celebrate their engagement, I take candid photos and portraits.

But - as I can see - with the floral arrangements, the chairs, the tablecloth and accoutrements -  the table would be awkward to move in the heat of the moment. So, there it is, waiting in plain sight, tempting to ruin everything we had planned.

“How about we put it over there in the corner of the balcony behind that wall?" I suggest. "There’s still a nice view for their toast, and that way she won’t see it and get suspicious!”

The concierge and his staff agree, and we move it as a team.



Bryan sneaks away from Mindy for a moment while she's getting ready so we can talk the final details. I show him where to stand with her so she won't see the table, and where there's a nice background for the proposal. I'll be on the north side of the balcony taking photos, then after awhile move to the south side, and that'll be the signal.


As I shoot the landscape, I’m giddy with excitement. Getting to be a part of the most precious moments of people’s lives, capturing their love, and providing them with beautiful photos that I spend hours editing and enhancing - this is what I live for!


The proposal went off without a hitch. Mindy said yes, and she, Bryan and I were easily the happiest people on the planet, for at least an hour. And Mindy was as surprised as she could be; she didn’t suspect a thing!

I sent them their photos within a couple days so they could make their announcement. “Bryan and I are looking at the pictures now and are amazed," Mindy said. "They couldn't be any more perfect! Thank you for helping make that day so unforgettable for us!!”

My pleasure, always.



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