If you’ve ever wondered how photographers capture those stunning viral proposal shots while still managing to stay hidden, one way to do it is not to plan at all. Enter Matthew Dippel, a photographer behind a recent viral proposal photo of a couple he’s never even met.
Dippel stumbled upon the romantic scene at Taft Point in Yosemite National Park. He perfectly captured the groom-to-be on one knee on the edge of a beautiful cliff, taking his now fiancée’s hand in his as the sun set behind the mountains surrounding them. Dippel tried to catch up with the couple to find out who they were, but didn’t have any luck. “I ran over there to try and find them, asked maybe 20 to 25 individuals and came up short,” Dippel told ABC News.
With no success, he eventually turned to social media to broaden his search. "Twitter help, idk who these two are but I hope this finds them,” he wrote alongside the photo on October 27. “I took this at Taft Point at Yosemite National Park, on October 6th, 2018."
The image went viral within hours—it was retweeted over 165,000 times and shared on Facebook almost 20,500 times. And, finally, with the help of the internet, Dippel was able to find the couple 10 days later.
"UPDATE: I FOUND THEM,” Dippel shared on Twitter over the weekend. “Everyone meet Charlie and his fiancé Melissa the happy happy couple that was out on the point in my Taft Point Proposal. In short, I captured the second proposal, the more special and official one in Charlie’s words. Huge congratulations to you two. I wish I was able to meet you in person and hug you. I’m glad I finally found you to share this special moment with you, thanks for being so awesome, maybe one day we will finally meet in person!"
Charlie Bear came across the image naturally, by 2018 standards—scrolling through Instagram. He was looking for a friend’s photo on a local news station's feed when he came across his own instead.
"Basically we went on a hike at Taft and I decided to surprise Melissa with a 2nd proposal, for personal/meaningful reasons," he said to ABC News. "Since Melissa and I love to travel and hike and the outdoors I wanted to give her an epic proposal photo and that’s how it came about."
On Bear’s Instagram you’ll find tons of nature-filled couple photos, including the original proposal, which happened on a snow covered mountain in Park City, Utah. He was able to add another cute pic to his feed with Dippel's shot, along with a special thank you message. "It us!," he captioned the viral image. "Huge thank you once again to Matthew for capturing this special moment and taking the time to track us down. Also, a big thanks to all of the media outlets and inter-webs for spreading the word and all of the positive well wishes. Success!"