how we met
We met at NAIT in 2010 when we both started school for Architectural Technology. In the first couple of months we became really great friends – we always helped each other with school work, we hung out at any parties we went to, we chatted all of the time, we would sit in the back row of our least favorite class and play Life on his phone – it was pretty obvious to everyone else that there was something there, but for us we just let everything unfold naturally. Halloween rolled around, and this would have been the first party that we both weren’t at – he went to his friends outside of school, and same with me. We were texting the whole night, and he decided to come get me from the party that I was at since I wasn’t having the best time there. That’s when I knew. For him to leave his party just to come hang out with me since I was having a bad night – he was someone special. He asked me to be his girlfriend, and nearly 7 years later we’re about to be husband and wife.
how they asked
Jennine: It’s not often that I’m in front the camera – but in this case I was! As a photographer, I always want moments documented – I can’t help it. I love looking back on photos and remembering those special times. Thankfully, I have a boyfriend, now fiancé that understands this. Rob does wedding photography with me, and normally on a weekend we might be doing someone else’s photos – but this particular weekend he had something else planned. He suggested that we go out to the mountains, and do some practice photos – of course I said yes, I’m always up for that. So we head out to the mountains – it’s freezing cold! I’m complaining, my dog is crying, and little did I know he was trying to propose. So ultimately I ruined the moment and we head back home. Later that day he says hey the weather is a bit better, let’s go out and try again – so why not! We head back out to Nose Hill in Calgary just to find ourselves in a wind storm. Once again, I’m complaining and I want to go home. So he suggests that we go out for a nice dinner. We had the most delicious dinner, and it was a nice ending to a cold, crappy day – but it was about to get better! As we were driving home he took a different route than normal, and went to the Peace Bridge in Calgary, he suggested we go do some night shots since we still had the camera equipment in the back of the car. So we went, and he was saying how he wanted to try out his new timer for the camera. He got it all ready, came over to me, and the moment happened!
To be honest, I barely remember what he said – he says all I did was cry and squeak. He claims that I didn’t even say yes, but in my mind my squeak was a yes! It was so beautiful, and I couldn’t be more thankful that he got photos of it. It went by so fast, just like a blur, and now we can always look back on that moment and remember that excitement.
Robert: Ever since I got the ring in September, I had been trying to plan how, where, and when I would propose to Jennine. So many different thoughts went through my mind but what I knew was that no matter what, I wanted the proposal to be unique and reflect us. I had contemplated proposing on the slopes while snowboarding, in Mexico on a day trip, or in the mountains on a walk. One day while getting ready to go photograph families in Jasper it dawned on me, that in a place that means so much to us, I could capture the moment and photograph our own story as we had done for many others! It was the perfect plan, Jennine always talks about how she loves capturing moments and emotions of people’s lives and how photographs bring back memories. Unfortunately, a couple days before the shoot, one of the couples had planned a surprise re-proposal for his fiancée, and in the exact spot I had been planning… So, I needed a new plan. Week after week, I tried finding opportunities to bring Jennine out to the mountains, but fowl weather or work had been interfering; until finally, in the middle of January, the weather was forecasted to be beautiful in mountains and I had come across the perfect place – the Canmore Engine Bridge. With the pretense of wanting family photos and a little bit of not-so-subtle coercion, Jennine agreed that photos for ourselves in the mountains would be a good idea.
Everything was on track; I had the perfect day, location, and a viable excuse to have all this camera gear with us. However, as luck would have it, there was a freezing wind that had picked up right when we got to the bridge. We all started shivering ceaselessly, and my plan had quickly unravelled. So, we packed up and went back home. The weather in Calgary, for all appearances, was looking better and I convinced Jennine to try one more time for family photos out on Nose Hill. Another great location, overlooking all of Calgary’s downtown core… But the icy wind found us yet again, and brought snow with it! Frozen in minutes for the second time, we had to pack it up and head home. By this point I was feeling a little bit defeated and like this proposal was not going to happen; but luckily I can be persistent when I believe in something. Back home I had told Jennine to leave the cameras in the car, and I would get them later, and suggested we go for supper at a nice restaurant to end of what was otherwise a miserable day. On our return home, I had the sudden realization that I could detour down the river valley instead of the taking usual route without raising too much suspicions; and along that drive was the Peace Bridge. This is the first place that Jennine and I had visited when we first arrived in Calgary, and on that visit we had witnessed another couple’s proposal and thought how we wished we would have known so we could have taken pictures for them. Well, little did she know that this time, four years later, she would be getting just that. I set up the camera for the third time, set the timer, posed, and when I heard the first of the shutter releases go off, I started my speech and got on one knee. Jennine started to tear up instantly and when I asked her to marry me, all she mustered was a barely audible squeak… I took that as a yes!