When in Yosemite National Park, it's pretty much a given that you're going to be taking pictures. But when photographer Mike Karas saw a bride and groom atop a cliff on the next peak at sunset, he knew he had to capture the moment, even though he wasn't shooting their wedding.
Karas, who was visiting the national park from Hawaii, was enjoying a captivating sunset on September 1 at Taft Point along the Pohono Trail. As the sun was setting in its perfect orange glow, he just happened to see a couple dressed in wedding attire on the next cliff, The Daily Mail reported. Luckily, Karas had his camera in tow, so he did as any smart photographer would do — took a photo. And that quick decision is now a viral wedding photo circulating around the world.
'I was just snapping away trying to get them,' Karas told Oregon Live on Sunday. 'It was just unbelievable. The sunset that night was awesome.'" It was surreal," he said. "We had seen the bride and groom walking down, but all of a sudden we saw them out on the ledge as we were shooting other photos and that 'Eureka!' moment just unfolded." The photo shows a striking orange sunset with a couple standing on the cliff in an embrace, perfectly silhouetted for the shot. In a word: STUNNING.
In an effort to find out who the bride and groom were so that he could share his awe-inspiring capture, Karas shared the photo on Instagram and Facebook. It took a few days to get ahold of them, and in the meantime, the photo went viral (for obvious reasons). But once found, their wedding photographer, Derek Copenhaver, told NBC Bay Area that they wish to remain anonymous.
Copenhaver was one of the photographers that actually captured the wedding (for a fee!), and he shared a few details of the nuptials. The ceremony was performed in Yosemite Valley, after which the bride and groom hiked up to Taft Point in their wedding attire (kind of reminds us of our volcano wedding couple, just saying...). Adventurous brides FTW — and best photographs.
Regardless of the couple's wishes, it's an experience — and photo — that Karas will never forget. "Thanks for adding to an already amazing sunset photo opportunity and I would love to be able to share this with you," Karas said on social media. "As much of an amazing moment it was for me to capture, it was clearly an even more special moment in your life."