Kenny Lovelace proposed to his girlfriend, Molly Ryan, at a Colorado Rockies home game on Sept. 20, and photographer Kerinsa Mullins was there to document the couple’s special moment at Coors Field.
At the time, everything seemed to go perfectly — Ryan said yes, of course — but when Mullins uploaded the images from the game to her computer the following Monday, she noticed that one of the shots included a special salutation from an older woman sitting between her lens and the couple.
“I knew she wasn’t happy just because they were yelling at me,” Mullins said of the woman in the photo above and the man sitting to the woman’s right. “But I was really just focused more on the proposal because it’s such a short moment, and that’s what I was there to photograph.”
According to Mullins, the finger got flipped during the fourth inning of the Rockies’ 9-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. She had planned to slide down a few seats during the proposal, so that she could get just Lovelace and Ryan in the frame. But a family moved into the open seats to her left during the inning, so she was forced to shoot from right where she was.
“So I stood up, and it was actually the guy next to her who yelled at me to sit down,” Mullins said. “I quickly responded, ‘There’s a proposal going on behind you that I’m photographing,’ and they essentially just said, ‘We don’t care, sit down,’ and kept yelling. But I ignored them — not because I was trying to be rude, that certainly was not my intention — and I really got out of their way as quickly as I could.”
“It couldn’t have been more than 20 seconds at most,” she added. “It was so incredibly short, though I will give her that the Rockies were at bat . . . There was literally nothing special going on, but she’s a super fan, so I give her that.”
Fortunately for Mullins, she got plenty of other photos from the proposal, so the woman’s one-finger salute didn’t ruin the moment — but even if that had been the only photo taken, Mullins says it would have been just fine.
“I know that some people see this as a horrible way to ruin a proposal photo, but Molly and Kenny and her parents and I all agree that she makes the photo better for being in it,” Mullins said. “It’s just an indication that no matter what you do in life — no matter how amazing it is or how happy you are — there’s going to be somebody around you who is not happy about what’s going on in their life.
“And it was just funny to see the range of emotions all in one photo. Kenny’s so nervous and Molly’s mother, sitting beside her, is just ecstatic. The stranger above them is so happy, and then there’s the curmudgeon giving me the bird.”
Lovelace and Ryan are planning their wedding for some time in 2015, and, to show that there are no hard feelings, they say they’d love for the woman in the photo to come. So if you know who she is, drop me a line on Twitter or at email@example.com so we can get her a save-the-date.