The couple, who are actually elk-hunting enthusiasts, thought that it would be fun to incorporate the pastime into their save the date cards. However, fun was not exactly how photographer, Rainey, described the situation. He told Cosmopolitan, "The framing and composition was really tough because the tractor was so distracting, being orange and all. I shot the image right before sunset to get the softer tones and even lighting." Hogevoll made sure he could tie knots tight enough to hold his weight and borrowed the bright orange tractor from his parents. During the shoot, he could only remain upside down for short periods of time, otherwise he started to get light-headed (shocker).
The resulting image, however, seems to have been well worth the trouble. When Beard got the photo, she sent it to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, a hunting advocacy group, which, in turn, shared the image on their Facebook page. This one share somehow accumulated over 163,000 likes and 6.4 million views, and as a result, the couple became overnight local (and not-so-local) celebrities. Beard was interviewed by several media groups, including Oregon Live, where she said, "At first, it's really shocking… you don't ever expect for your face or your picture to go all over the country." Rainey, too, received a great deal of attention over his viral photo. His professional site even crashed several times due to high volumes of visitors.
There was some negative commentary circulating about the photo due to how it depicts hunting, but Beard is too busy planning her impending nuptials to worry about that right now. And rightfully so. After all, the hunt and capture of the groom is only the first in a line of difficult tasks a bride must get through to make it to her wedding day. Well, at least she's got that one tied down.
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