Lightning adds voltage to B.C. engagement shoot

Alisa Hemming and her now fiancé, Liam Duncan embrace in a traditional engagement photo pose. Courtesy: Danika Camba

Every engagement is special, but few get as much voltage from saying “yes” as one Osoyoos, B.C., couple did last week.

In an image now circulating widely online, Ailsa Hemming and her now fiancé, Liam Duncan, embrace in a traditional engagement photo pose.

Behind them, however, is where things amped up.

A massive lightning bolt appears to Duncan’s left, turning what photographer Danika Camba described as a “chill” engagement shoot into something electrifying.

Camba, the couple and some friends and family hiked up to Magic Estates in Kelowna on Aug. 22 for the surprise proposal photograph.

And while Camba had some picturesque views in mind, she had no idea what was in store for them.

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Click to play video: 'Timelapse of Friday night thunderstorm in Okanagan'
Timelapse of Friday night thunderstorm in Okanagan

“I had them turn around for a pose and then he got down on one knee and she turned around and he asked her to marry her,” Camba said.

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“And then she stood up to pull him in for a hug … but right at that point when she said ‘yes’ was the biggest strike of lightning and biggest boom I’ve ever heard. It was pretty surreal.”

While they immediately ran for cover as the storm began to build, Camba checked her camera to make sure she got “the” shot and wasn’t disappointed.

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“I sent it to my friends that night and I was like, ‘Holy crap, this just happened like this,'” she said, adding that the really cool thing is that it was just a real chaotic moment frozen in time.

Since then, it’s travelled the internet like wildfire, collectively racking up tens of thousands of views on TikTok and Instagram. It’s been a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Click to play video: 'Environment Canada issues severe thunderstorm watch for most of B.C.’s Interior'
Environment Canada issues severe thunderstorm watch for most of B.C.’s Interior

It’s a moment Duncan and Hemming will never forget either.

“What was already obviously a very special moment became 100 times cooler thanks to the surprise thunderstorm,” Hemming said in an emailed statement.

“We were expecting sunshine and Liam was very worried that the shoot he planned wouldn’t happen due to the adverse weather conditions. Now we know that sunshine is overrated.

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“We feel so incredibly lucky that we had Danika there to capture it … we can’t think of many photographers who would be willing to keep shooting in the middle of a huge storm.”

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