When you know, you know.

“So how’s this gonna go down?” I asked Krista on our second date.

Her reply: “It’s gotta be romantic. It’s gotta be a surprise. And you’ve got to talk with my Dad.”

Check, check, and check.

On Monday, May 30, 2011 at 6:30am, standing in a very special place on Bad Medicine Lake, MN, I surprised the woman of my dreams and asked her to marry me.

And she said Yes!
wpid-rj_krista_engagement_01-2011-06-2-22-10.jpgwpid-rj_krista_engagement_02-2011-06-2-22-10.jpgwpid-rj_krista_engagement_03-2011-06-2-22-10.jpgwpid-rj_krista_engagement_05-2011-06-2-22-10.jpg Krista’s father did a great job taking these keepsake photos of our actual engagement. Her Mom woke her early and told her there was something special she’d never seen before down by the lake. It was me, standing next to a tree holding her five of her favorite flowers I brought from Denver, white peonies: wpid-rj_krista_engagement_06-2011-06-2-22-10.jpg I’ve always wanted to get published in Patagonia magazine, and never in a million dreams would I imagine this image would be the first I’d submit:wpid-rj_krista_engagement_07-2011-06-2-22-10.jpgwpid-rj_krista_engagement_08-2011-06-2-22-10.jpg Pure photojournalism on this next shot as Krista realizes her father is right there, watching the whole thing unfold, with my D-700 in hand (and 70-200 f/2.8 VRII set to Aperture priority at f/4, 1/20 sec)… love the motion blur to match emotion:wpid-rj_krista_engagement_09-2011-06-2-22-10.jpgwpid-rj_krista_engagement_10-2011-06-2-22-10.jpg My future four-legged son, Willy the Labradoodle, liked what he saw. Love the colors and emotion (Way to go, Roger!): wpid-rj_krista_engagement_11-2011-06-2-22-10.jpgwpid-rj_krista_engagement_12-2011-06-2-22-10.jpg A self-portrait in a happy place:wpid-rj_krista_engagement_14-2011-06-2-22-10.jpg We savored the experience with a yummy home-cooked lunch on the dock of our dreams, a perfect addition to a perfect morning: wpid-rj_krista_engagement_15-2011-06-2-22-10.jpg
When you go through hell and back, you guard your heart closely. But then again, when you know, you know and you should celebrate it like everything else in life!

Krista, I would go to the ends of the Earth for you!

43 Responses to “When you know, you know.”

  1. Fotografii Aniversari — June 3, 2011 @ 1:43 am (#)

    Happy engagement! Emotion in motion, I should say. Simple, sincere and beautiful.

  2. mary beth graff — June 3, 2011 @ 3:50 am (#)

    so stinkin cute! congrats!

  3. Kathy Ellingson — June 3, 2011 @ 4:46 am (#)

    What a great story to go along with some wonderful pictures–the perfect combination. Congratulations!!!

  4. Taylor — June 3, 2011 @ 5:13 am (#)


  5. Rob Kern — June 3, 2011 @ 5:14 am (#)

    BRAVO ZULU!! (Well Done in Navy parlance) Forwardlooking to meeting you both in Carmel this weekend! Love, DAD (proud papa)

  6. becky g. — June 3, 2011 @ 7:44 am (#)

    Great to see those big smiles on your faces! Congrats!

  7. Rachel — June 3, 2011 @ 7:52 am (#)

    Tears of happiness are in my eyes! I couldn’t be happier for the two of you! Can’t wait to have you as my brother in law!! And as you know, B has been looking forward to calling you “uncle RJ” for awhile. We love you both very much!!! Congrats!

  8. Linsey Wilt — June 3, 2011 @ 8:50 am (#)

    So cute, congratulations to you both!!! Thank you for sharing your precious moment with us, it was perfect!

  9. Carole & Roger — June 3, 2011 @ 9:30 am (#)

    What a thrill to have been privy to this thrilling event! Thank you, R.J. for choosing Bad Medicine Lake for this most important day in your lives. Couldn’t be happier for you and our dear Krissy Joy. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!
    Carole & Roger (AKA Krista’s parents) Loved the symbolisim of new life from the birch tree.

  10. June — June 3, 2011 @ 9:59 am (#)

    Wow, just wow! Congrats and thanks for sharing. Love is great and glad you found it! Wishing you both all the best in the world!

  11. Brooke — June 3, 2011 @ 10:05 am (#)

    Wow RJ, that is amazing!!! Congratulations to you both, how very exciting. 🙂 It is amazing to have photos, I’m sure she will treasure them!

  12. [ b ] — June 3, 2011 @ 10:08 am (#)

    congrats bro! way to lock that down!

  13. Tony Bisson — June 3, 2011 @ 10:40 am (#)

    I am smiling ear to ear! This is a big surprise but somehow it isn’t. Congratulations.

  14. adam houseman — June 3, 2011 @ 10:53 am (#)

    Congrats RJ. You deserve all the happiness in the world. Happy for you dude.

  15. Kevin — June 3, 2011 @ 11:15 am (#)

    weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! happy ponytails! : ) see in sf tomorrow!

  16. Robert Pell — June 3, 2011 @ 11:25 am (#)

    Congrats Man…. very classy

  17. Stacy — June 3, 2011 @ 12:08 pm (#)

    Thats awesome RJ! Congrats. 🙂 You both look super happy!!

  18. Chung Nguyen — June 3, 2011 @ 12:23 pm (#)

    Oh my flippin’… WOW! Congratulations, RJ!!!


    (That’s the sound that people make toward super-duper cute animals but I think this situation warrants an enthusiastic squee for sure! :-D)

  19. Samantha Randall — June 3, 2011 @ 2:08 pm (#)

    Holy Cow!!! That’s awesome!!! Congrats!!!

  20. Marnie Kern — June 3, 2011 @ 2:10 pm (#)

    Thank you RJ for the lovely post. I loved sharing the pics from the very special morning. We are very happy for you both! May God bless you in your days , weeks, years ahead! Love, the proud and very happy momma.

  21. Chris and Barbara — June 3, 2011 @ 4:03 pm (#)

    We are soooo happy for the two of you and proud to have RJ added to our family!!!

  22. Cheryl Kelly — June 3, 2011 @ 4:10 pm (#)

    I’m writing this through tears of happiness for both of you! What a romantic and perfect way to pop the question…thanks for sharing it with us! I love you for the way you love her!

  23. Anna Legreid Dopp — June 3, 2011 @ 5:59 pm (#)

    Congratulations! What a special memory. Krista, you are an amazing person and you deserve all the happiness in the world. You are the person I think of when I picture our 16-month-old Krista, all grown up.

    I am so very happy for you. (P.S. guys who use initials for their name make really awesome husbands!)

  24. Rachel H — June 4, 2011 @ 10:37 am (#)

    Congratulations! Seeing these pictures brings tears to my eyes! You are marrying my dear little cousin Krista! You two are both very lucky to have found each other!

  25. Trish Wheaton — June 4, 2011 @ 3:47 pm (#)


    Guess Britta was right back in February when she said . . . “I think we’re going to have a new uncle named R.J.” You’ve set a new bar for romance. You’ve won Willy’s approval. Oh and, that woman on the dock in the green Patagonia jacket. . . well, I don’t have to tell you what a fortunate man you are. And she too. Can’t wait to meet you.

    “Auntie” Trish

  26. Ryan and Temple — June 4, 2011 @ 6:17 pm (#)

    Congratulations you guys! Pictures are amazing. We wish you all the best.

  27. Don Haugo — June 5, 2011 @ 7:36 am (#)

    Congratulations to the two of you! You look great together! With Colorado’s Rocky Mountains and Minnesota’s lakes, you will have many places in nature to enjoy your fun times together. Uncle, Don

  28. Kyle — June 5, 2011 @ 2:52 pm (#)

    A hearty congratulations is in order to RJ and Krista. I love the fact that white peonies were the central flowers in our wedding that was happening at the same time. Enjoy that sweet engagement bliss.

  29. Anna Kuperberg — June 5, 2011 @ 7:20 pm (#)

    Congrats to both of you! Roger did a great job. And I also love Patagonia, cornbread, and dogs.

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  31. Mary aka Russian River Mom — June 11, 2011 @ 11:25 am (#)

    Congrats RJ and Krista–sooo happy for you. How timely to have picked peony season to spring the big question!

  32. Lori Huskins — June 12, 2011 @ 8:51 am (#)

    RJ – this is amazing! Congrats a thousand times over… I’m glad you are happy! And what an incredible way to capture this very special moment. Props to her dad, and very best wishes to you both!

  33. Kjersten and Andy Skatvold — June 17, 2011 @ 1:11 pm (#)

    So happy to have seen the two of you just a few hours after the great news! It was a very memorable morning for us too seeing the two of you so happy and giddily in love! Many more happy memories to come on Bad Medicine!

  34. Karin — August 4, 2011 @ 10:45 am (#)

    OK. I’m sitting here at Bad Medicine looking at these pictures with tears in my eyes. WOW! Love it! May you two be richly blessed and have many, many more years together!!! Remember the song “God blessed the broken road that led me straight to you!”

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  40. Julianna Rennard — January 4, 2012 @ 7:52 pm (#)

    I’m so happy you both! I have been following your blog for a year now and one of my goals for 2012 is to start showing people who I really am as a person not just a photographer. I think you do perfectly in your blog and that’s why people are drawn to your work. Your an amazing photographer and I always look forward to reading new post!

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