Thinking about popping the question and hiring a professional photographer to document the occasion? It’s the perfect balance between keeping your proposal intimate and private while also documenting highlights to share with friends and family (as well as your future self and children). Here’s the ultimate guide to help you nail the most important aspects of an on-camera proposal.
The glue that ties all of this together is working closely with your photographer. He or she is your right-hand aide to pull this off. Here are the 5 important but often overlooked things to consider and discuss with your photographer.
Choose a time and place with good light to pop the question. Your photographer will give you advice about this very important aspect. If your proposal is in a sunny and bright location, coordinate with your photographer so you know exactly where to walk, where to stop, and what angle to ask the question to allow the camera to capture your and your partner’s emotions. If you decide to propose in a dark alley with no street light at midnight, your photographer should know in advance in order to bring lighting equipment. (That’s an extreme example, but you know what I mean.)
The emotions you and your partner both feel during a proposal are precious and cannot be replicated. Help your photographer capture them by agreeing on and using signals to alert your photographer right before you pop the question, and wait for his or her confirmation. Your photographer will probably hide behind a bush or some barrier with long zoom lens on the lookout for your signal. Choose a signal that is discreet but can be seen from afar.
This is for the ladies, but if you’re a guy proposing it’s part of your planning too. There might be tears of joy. It’s a proposal, after all! Your partner will likely cry. And so will you. Her mascara might run. Even if it doesn’t, she’ll want to touch up her makeup and look ready for post-question engagement photos. Be prepared by bringing her makeup bag. Your photographer can keep it in their gear bag to help you avoid looking suspicious.
This matters for the person who will wear the ring. Naturally, there will be pictures of the ring, pictures that will be posted on social media and sent to almost everyone you know. Close-up ring shots inevitably also show off your partner’s hands and nails. This is a small but important detail: make sure your partner’s nails are in a condition that they would want them photographed. Everyone’s taste is different. If you know this is something your partner cares about, treat them to a manicure 1-2 days before the proposal.
Start with a photo shoot
If all of this sounds like a lot of coordination and secret-keeping, make it easier by doing a regular photo shoot with your partner. That way, both of you will be camera-ready and can speak about these things openly in preparation for a romantic, unsuspecting photo shoot. Then, midway through the shoot, surprise your partner by popping the question! (Don’t surprise your photographer, though, all of the above points still apply lol).
The story of your proposal will be told to all of your friends, family, (future) children and grandchildren, future friends you haven’t met yet, pretty much anyone who asks…for the rest of your life! It’s a special event that deserves special photographic documentation. Love is in the air, that’s for sure. Just relax and breathe. You got this.
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