This story begins with secrets, lies, and double-lives… sort of.
When Clarice and Stanley planned their trip from Hong Kong to Canada to visit Banff National Park and the Rocky Mountains, Stanley suggested that Clarice bring a wedding dress so they could set up a tripod and take some pre-wedding photographs (a typical Chinese tradition). They are both photography enthusiasts so it seemed like a good idea. What Clarice didn’t know, however, is that Stanley was planning on surprising her with two human tripods (named Davina and Daniel) AND an engagement ring!
We picked up Clarice and Stanley at their hotel in Banff after location scouting for the previous two days and I think we may have been even more nervous than Stanley! We kept our real names, but the story was that we were friends of Stanley’s cousin, fellow photography enthusiasts who happened to be in Banff at the same time as them, who would show them around since we had a rental car and they don’t drive. When we got to Lake Minnewanka, selected for the proposal spot for its privacy, I nervously asked Clarice and Stanley if they wanted us to take a photo of them on the rocks. I nodded to Stanley to take the ring out of his backpack while I distracted Clarice, and convinced her to leave her backpack with me. There wasn’t a single tourist around as they climbed the rocks, posed for a photo and Stanley got down on one knee and presented her with a sparkly engagement ring to the sound of a music box he had hidden in his pocket. A shocked and thrilled Clarice said “yes!” and we all got a little teary-eyed.
Able to finally reveal our real identities to Clarice, we were excited to tell them about all the great spots we’d be exploring the next day. All four of us were visiting Banff for the first time and it was truly spectacular. To have the opportunity to photograph Clarice and Stanley against these breathtaking backdrops was an experience that we will never forget. We could not have asked for a sweeter, more willing couple to go on this adventure with.
Thank you, Stanley, for inviting us along, and to Clarice for embracing the surprise and the adventure!
To see a photo from the proposal itself, head over to our Instagram page where we post behind-the-scenes photos of our travels and photoshoots, as well as (embarrassing) photos from the last 10 years of Davina + Daniel.