Photographer Proposes to Girlfriend in a Darkroom

With the rise in online video popularity, people all over the world have been recording and posting their elaborate marriage proposals for years. From choreographed flash mobs to personalized movie trailers, some of the most creative ideas have gone viral, touching the hearts of millions. Inspired by the love of photography he and his girlfriend share, musician and hobbyist photographer, Paul Fehr came up with his own creative proposal. Watch how he uses crafty darkroom techniques for an amazing surprise proposal:

Couple Paul and Ale are both analog photography hobbyists and recently started developing and printing film in their own home darkroom. They basically taught themselves how to use the equipment through online tutorials and articles, and as they got better at it, Fehr came up with an idea.

In the video, he prints a hidden message on some transparency sheets and does a test run before taking the plan further.

transparency film developing

Darkroom Secret Message

Fehr prints the words “¿Te casarías conmigo?” on the transparency film. That’s Spanish for “Will you marry me?”

He uses the transparency message as a mask while exposing a photo of the couple. Fehr knows the message won’t appear here because the light shines through the transparent areas and later turns black in the chemical bath step of the developing process. He exposes for about 10 seconds.

exposing photo darkroom

Next, Fehr runs the paper through the developer; after about 15 seconds in the chemical bath, the image starts to appear.

darkroom developing process

It is exactly what he is hoping for! So, the next day, he packs up his portable darkroom and heads to his girlfriend’s house. Fehr’s sister comes along as photographer and the three of them go out on a photo shoot after arriving. They take pictures of the couple around town, Ale thinking nothing more of it the whole time, and return to her house that afternoon to print the pictures.

photographer marriage proposal

In the darkroom, Fehr repeats the steps from the day before. But this time, Ale is the one doing the developing.

darkroom proposal photo

The reaction is priceless! And if you want to find out her answer, you’ll just have to watch the video!

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One response to “Photographer Proposes to Girlfriend in a Darkroom”

  1. Wendy says:

    I presume he was careful to make sure all the pics were horizontal rather than vertical, but how did he make sure she wouldn’t get the paper upside-down?

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