There is something so serene and hauntingly beautiful about a snow-covered winter landscape, when the air is still and crisp and glistening with light. For Alyssa Smirnova of Smirnova Photography, such a backdrop recently became the perfect location for a winter wonderland photo shoot, with her sister Julia Hermes channeling the beautiful snow queen Elsa from Frozen. But it was also the perfect setting for something even more special — a surprise wedding proposal, orchestrated by Alyssa and Julia’s boyfriend, Vitalii Kolomiiets.
Smirnova writes on her photography website that it has long been a dream of hers to photograph at Big Four Ice Caves in Granite Falls, Washington. “This was on my bucket list for locations to photograph based on landscape pictures I’ve seen,” she tells Babble. And it is easy to see why; the fog-covered mountains and snowy caves make the location appear straight out of a fairy tale.
Smirnova says that she needed models for the shoot and decided to ask Hermes and Kolomiiets if they would be willing to pose. As it turns out, they were not only willing, but Kolomiiets privately told her that he wanted use the shoot as an opportunity to propose!
In the photos, Hermes is wearing a stunning gown with a fitted bodice with an intricate design around the neckline. The skirt, designed by Xiolin Design, fans out in an array of feathers that progress from white to icy blue to a deep robin’s egg hue. As for Hermes’ hair, “I knew we had to do an updo so it would last through the winter snow and cold hike,” says Smirnova.
It wasn’t until Hermes’ hair was styled that everyone involved with the shoot began to notice something: “When she was all dressed up, we all realized she looked just like Elsa, and how perfectly it matched the snowy mountains,” Smirnova explains.
The resemblance may not have been planned, but it certainly was uncanny, and the two sisters were pleased with the result.
“We have two younger sisters and we are all big fans of the movie Frozen,” Smirnova shares. ” We’ve gathered together to watch it several times and then we always get the songs stuck in our heads and sing along together.”
When it came time for the surprise proposal, Hermes’ shock was evident — and it’s now captured forever in the stunning photos.
“When my boyfriend got down on one knee and I realized he was proposing it was kind of a surreal moment for me,” Hermes tells Babble. “I said yes before he could even finish talking.”
That’s a girl that knows what she wants! Queen Elsa would be proud.
Hermes says the couple has already set a date for their wedding and that they couldn’t be more excited.
According to Smirnova, this photo shoot is her “most favorite” of all that she’s done so far, because the result is “not only beautiful, but also special to me and my sister.” Above all, the two are grateful to have the photos to look back on to remember the special moment in the future.
These stunning photos definitely capture the beauty of winter — and love! — in a powerful and memorable way.
Congrats to the happy couple!