There are about a million blog posts giving advice on how to propose to your loved one, but I wanted to share with you how to do when you have booked a photographer to capture the big moment.
1) Choose a photographer who has done it before
Photographing a proposal is a very different ball game to photographing weddings or portraits – most often there is the element of surprise which needs to be carefully navigated. The best bet is to book someone who has done it before and knows what to expect. That way you just have to focus on keeping calm to pop the question.
2) Be realistic with what your partner likes
If you or your partner is camera-shy and doesn’t like a lot of attention, organising a proposal in a public place that is going to be busy isn’t going to be easy. Some questions you could ask yourself are:
– Will my partner mind if other people stop and watch me proposing to them?
– What will my partner want to be wearing when they have their photo taken?
– What can I include to make it meaningful? (make this clear to your photographer so that they capture these details)
3) Choose a location that you, or the photographer, know really well
You could choose a location that is well known and meaningful to your partner to make things really personal. Or, if you are on holiday and planning your proposal while on a city break, make sure that you photographer knows your intended location really well. This will help the photographer to plan your proposal around the light. When either you or your photographer know the location well, they will also know if any permits are required, or if there are any restrictions. There is nothing less romantic than a killjoy security guard wading in on your big moment.
3) Have a plan A and a plan B for that location.
You will need two plans to make sure that your proposal is going to happen regardless of the weather and what may be happening at your chosen location. Britain is well known for it’s highly changeable weather! Make sure that you know what you are going to do if it’s raining (although just going ahead and proposing in the rain can be very romantic!) – or if the mood at your chosen location just isn’t right. You will need a backup. Your photographer will be able to help you plan this out so that you both know exactly what plan A is going to be, what plan B is and when it’s going to be reverted to.
4) Think about the available light.
If you want awesome photos of your proposal you will need to factor in what will be happening with the light. Great engagement photos are all about lovely light, so daytime is definitely best. Your photographer will be able to give you some good direction on this but I prefer to photograph a surprise proposal when the sun is low in the sky, roughly 1 hour before sunset – AKA the golden hour.
5) Plan for your partner to be presented the way they would like to be photographed.
You may want to do ensure that your partner feels like they wearing the right clothes and made up the way they would want to be presented if they knew it was going to happen. Some sneaky ways to work around this are:
– organising a lunch / afternoon tea at a fancy restaurant before or after your proposal.
– going for a pampering session before that will result in your partner feeling photo ready (e.g. hairdressers, makeup lesson).
– tell them you are going to meet friends or family somewhere fancy and then go to the proposal instead.
You should also make sure that you look and feel prepared for having your photograph taken. Pick clothes that are brightly coloured, yet complimentary to what your partner is wearing.
6) Spend plenty of time in your proposal position
If you are going to kneel down during the proposal it is best for the photographs if you stay in that position for a good amount of time. This will allow your photographer to move around and get photos that cover the two of you and your partner’s full range of facial expressions. As soon as you present the ring your partner is going to be focussed on you, so stay in that position and make the moment last!
7) Think about what happens after the question
YAY you’re engaged! Now what? You may want to have some more photos taken as a part of an engagement photo shoot – these make excellent ‘save the date’ postcards. Or you may want to go somewhere to Skype / FaceTime your family – if so make sure they are waiting for the call too.
Hopefully, these 7 tips will get you well on your way to planning out your perfect surprise proposal. If you are planning on hiring a photographer to capture the moment thinking about these elements will go a long way to creating some really meaningful proposal photographs.
You can book me to photograph your proposal from just £250. To get started simply contact me here to ask about availability.
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