Professional Proposal Photography: The First Moments in a Lifetime of Memories
Having a proposal photographer capture the moment you get down on your knee to ask the love of your life to marry you will let you relive and share your happiness for years to come and choosing to work with a professional to capture the big moment is more popular than ever.
Professional photographers who specialize in secretly capturing marriage proposals will know the ins and outs of what works and what doesn’t when planning to pop the question.
I’ve been lucky enough to capture these moments for many couples over the years and wanted to share a few tips to keep in mind whether you’re thinking of making the most of an everyday moment or a planning romantic trip to somewhere new.
Timing is Everything (But Not the Only Thing)
Sunrise and sunset are the most popular times due to the beauty of the natural light available during those “magic hours”, but there are some other things to keep in mind when making your plans. Some locations will be more crowded during those times and traffic may make arriving at exact locations on time more stressful than it needs to be. Especially if you’re going somewhere new to you! If you’re keeping it local and have decided to surprise your significant other during one of your regular outings, changing your usual time may tip your hand earlier than expected.
Your photographer should be able to help you coordinate your proposal’s timing and set-up and they should always factor in minor setbacks to help keep your mind on what really matters when the time comes. You’ll still probably be nervous, but good planning will save you added stress.
Choosing the Spot to Spring the Surprise
The great outdoors will lend you the romantic colors of the sky and will give your photos a warm “feeling” as well as providing your photographer the distance needed to discreetly capture and compose your proposal scene. Always research what the weather average is for the date you are thinking and check again 5-10 days before your proposal so if any changes need to be made you won’t be scrambling at the last minute to come up with alternatives.
Indoor locations such as restaurants, resorts, and museums will need to be scouted by your photographer and many of these sites may require the property’s management approval and/or a fee to use their facilities. Consider making your proposal during a romantic weekend at a resort. Most resorts have no problems with paid guests proposing on their property.
Make and Take the Time to Celebrate
Your photographer will usually be hidden until you’ve popped the question and have had a few moments to yourselves, but most photographers will include portrait and ring shots in your proposal package, so keep those photos in mind when you plan your event!
Tears are not so much the problem, but ungroomed hair, hands, and nails may make for an uncomfortable portrait session. If you’ve decided to do it at a resort you can always ask about salon packages. Planning your proposal as part of an evening out for a concert, special dinner, or even cocktail hour also provides good cover for dressing up and could also help to provide an ever-valuable timing cushion for your proposal.
Keep it Simple & Just Be You
You’ll more than likely be a bundle of nerves when the time comes, so my best advice is to keep it true to you. Practice your words and keep it simple and when it comes time to “put a ring on it” remember that traditionally the ring goes on the left hand! Investing a few bucks on a ring sizer from an online retailer or spending the time to watch a video on string sizing can have big payoffs, especially for those previously mentioned ring portraits.
Choosing Your Photographer
Once you have an idea of how you’ll propose you should find a photographer who can provide the little extras needed for your set-up. For example, a photographer who specializes in portraits may not have the equipment needed to discreetly capture the true beauty of an outdoor backdrop. Maybe you’re more action oriented and require the use of a drone for a dramatic expanse shot. Do you want video? Add-ons like a gondola or helicopter ride? A ring box with a video camera inside? The possibilities are endless and the right photographer should be able to help you pare away fantasy from reality since the end result of your planning will be reflected in your photos.
Your photographer shouldn’t be the center of your attention during your proposal and should be prompt, knowledgeable and efficient. The sooner they wrap up their job, the sooner you can get back to enjoying your very special time together as a newly engaged couple.
The practical side of me always wants to point out that your photos can also be used for more than Instagram or future walks down memory lane. Use them for save-the-date items, your invitations, your wedding website, and at your reception. But the true romantic in me always thinks that proposal photography shouldn’t be seen as a splurge, but rather as an investment that increases in value and meaning as the years pass and your family grows...and trust me you will score major brownie points!