The power of social media has connected a recently engaged couple with the stranger who took photographs of their mountain-top proposal.
Abbey Ruth and Jeremie Lacasse were hiking to Floe Lake in Kootenay National Park on Aug. 8. Little did Ruth know that her boyfriend had a surprise planned.
When they got to the top of the lake, after a treacherous and rainy journey, he started scouting out the perfect location to propose. The only problem was he didn’t have a photographer to capture the special moment.
“It was raining and just terribly cold when we got there,” she says. "The weather started to clear up a little bit, and we went down to the beach.”
Lacasse ran back up to their tent and spotted a woman with a large professional camera nearby. He went over and asked if she'd be willing to photograph him popping the question.
After returning to the beach, he gave a ‘peace sign’ to the woman, who was hiding in a bush. Without Ruth even noticing, he surprised her by getting down on one knee.
“The stars kind of aligned,” says Ruth. "We were making soup and then all of a sudden, Jeremy asked me to marry him, which was really cool.”
The proposal went perfectly and the photographer captured breathtaking images.
“Laura captured the moment and it was just really cool,” she says.
The couple then returned home to Vernon; however, after seven weeks, they still had not received the photographs. Ruth says they were worried their contact information got lost.
So, she decided to post on social media in hopes of finding the photographer. Her post was viewed thousands of times and started to spread across British Columbia.
"My fiancé and I are on a mission to find some photos of us,” she posted. "We met a woman named Laura, who graciously and excitedly hid in the bush and took photos while we got engaged. We shared our contact information with her but didn’t get her information, and fear she may have lost our info.”
To her surprise, lots of strangers wanted to help.
“Lots of people saw it, were commenting, were sharing it and telling us that they hope we find Laura,” she says.
Their leap of faith worked and they were able to find Laura Zeilke, who lives in Victoria.
“I was hidden behind a tree and I was trying to be as quiet as possible,” Zeilke tells Glacier Media.
Zielke was committed to getting the perfect shot for the couple.
“I probably took about 300 or 400 pictures because I was a bit worried about missing the moment.”
Zeilke, who is a hobbyist photographer, explains how on weekends she spends her time hiking and had not yet had the chance to edit the the couple's photos.
"I haven't edited any of my photos from any of my hiking adventures this summer. I’m gone pretty much every weekend,” she says. “I actually thought of it the other day.”
Her hiking friends were the ones who saw Ruth’s post and quickly messaged her.
"I felt bad and made sure I edited and got them to her right away,” Zeilke says. “It was really cool to see the hiking community want to help."
Ruth wants to thank everyone who shared the post.
“Social media brought it together," she says. "It’s a little bit wild but also quite special.”