How one groom-to-be captured a moment to remember.

How one groom-to-be captured a moment to remember.

It's an intimate moment brimming with unfiltered emotion. Yet Dillon Klein chose to pop the question to his unsuspecting girlfriend while a professional photographer lurked nearby, visually documenting the entire event.

"I've always wanted to capture our moment together," explains Klein, who proposed to Natalie Wares, his girlfriend of seven months, in June 2016 on the Main Street bridge Downtown. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime moment that we will always be able to relive together through our photos."

His fiancee loved the idea.

"To have those moments captured so well is such a special gift," says Wares, who moved to Columbus from Spokane, Washington, just two months after she and Klein began exchanging messages through the Tinder app. "Every time I look back at those photos, I am immediately back in that moment when Dillon was asking me to spend the rest of my life with him."

"Proposal shoots are a little more rare and exciting, though it seems to me that they're on the rise lately," says Benjamin Derkin, chief visual director and principal photographer at Derk's Works Photography, who photographed Klein's proposal. "The concept has been around for awhile, but the stealth, pre-planning and detail involved with setting this kind of thing up is a layer of complexity that's not for everyone."

Klein met with Derkin for a couple hours about a week before the big day, planning out the proposal and sharing background about himself, Wares and their whirlwind romance. When June 17 arrived-a date selected by Klein because it would've been his grandparents' 65th wedding anniversary-Derkin did his best to blend into the background.

"Looking like you're not paying attention is a tricky skill to acquire," Derkin says, noting that in some situations hiding in plain sight is the only viable option. Being an unfamiliar face also makes it easier to remain unnoticed, he says, unlike family members or friends trying to discretely take photos.

"He just let us interact as if he wasn't there," Wares recalls. "After awhile, Ben came over to introduce himself to me and share in the moment with us."

Hiring Derkin cost Klein about $700 and included all the pre-planning time, a two-hour shoot and a flash drive with all the photos.

"It's the best money I've spent-besides the ring, of course," Klein says. "He captured our raw emotions in the moment and it was like time stood still."

Derkin says couples typically use proposal photos on save-the-date cards, wedding announcements and large canvas prints for their homes.

"When I talk to my friends, so often they say, 'I wish I could have seen my reaction,' or 'I wish I could remember that moment better but I was in such a daze,' " Wares says. "Those photos make it impossible for me to ever say that … That's what is so special about those photos. When I see them, it's [our] relationship to its absolute core."