Capturing Marriage Proposals
Preparing to ask your partner to spend the rest your lives together can be quite an overwhelming, yet incredibly exciting time in your life. Asking someone to spend forever with you is a moment that you and your partner will treasure for the rest of your lives and a moment like that deserves to be captured, in more ways than just a memory. As a photographer who has photographed and witnessed multiple proposals over the years (most of which have been organised by “The Perfect Proposal”) I would like to think that I have some sense of the detail and attention that is needed in order to help your day get photographed flawlessly. Capturing Marriage Proposals can be tricky ~ Here are five of my top tips for you to remember when you start to plan the big question:
Location Location Location
It might seem basic, but location has to be one of the most important decisions when planning a proposal, for you and for me (the photographer). I think that the top three things you need to ask yourself when choosing a location would be:
• Is it a place that both you and your partner will be comfortable and happy in? The truth is, you will most probably be overridden with nerves, so you might as well be in an area that doesn’t add to that. Amazing locations that I have taken proposal photos at have been; the beach, in an open field, in a garden OR as extreme as in a helicopter and on the top of a mountain.
• Is the area busy and overcrowded? This obviously depends on your preferences and if you would like a private or a public proposal. However, if you do go with a public proposal remember that you wouldn’t want random bystanders to be in the background of your photos or walking in front of your photographer, so be careful with just how public the area is.
• Lastly, will the photographer be able to hide in a spot that would still allow them to capture the BIG question and not give anything away before the kneel?
As a photographer it is so important to know how the proposal is panned out in your head, in order to help your thoughts and dreams become a reality in the smoothest way possible. Be sure to have a set time schedule and know ahead of time how long it will take to get there, and have a plan of what will happen once you arrive. With this in mind, don’t forget that this is about you and your partner! You shouldn’t feel rushed in telling your significant other how in love you are just because you’re trying to get to the ‘spot’ on time. Try to give your photographer a 10-minute window of when you think you’ll be there. If you can do this without your partner getting suspicious, keep your photographer posted as it gets closer to the proposal time. This helps keep us calm while keeping you calm knowing that we are ready and waiting for you.
Where to kneel?
The kneel, the realisation on her face, the reactions, the YES and the kiss…All of these moments can get captured perfectly if the kneel happens at the best angle and in the best position (mainly for lighting purposes). Know which direction you’re planning to propose so that your photographer can be in the right spot to capture your fiancé’s face during the proposal.
To have props or to not have props…
While this is all up to personal preference, my two cents worth is that it never hurts to get a few extra fun and different photos. Bubbles, rose petals, balloons, maybe even a large picture frame to hold in front of your faces, there are so many fun options but props that hold some significance to you and your relationship will also be a great add- on. Don’t be scared to ask your photographer for ideas, getting creative together can be a fun part of your post proposal photoshoot.
Once the question is asked and the champagne has been popped, remember to soak in the moment with your fiancé. This moment brings a once in a lifetime feeling, and you don’t want to spend it focused on getting the perfect Instagram photo or posting on social media. Rather let the feelings settle and stay in the moment for as long as possible and the photographer will capture it all, raw and candid. Along the same lines, if you’re proposing with family and friends present, ask them to put away their phones, that way, they’ll be completely present too. Picture it this way, it’ll be so much more special to see your loved one’s reactions in your photographer’s professional photos, instead of seeing phones in their faces while they take phone photos that you will probably never see.
Finally, maybe ask your photographer to give you a few minutes alone with your new fiancé before any more shooting takes place. In the same way you shouldn’t ruin the moment getting a picture for Facebook, don’t let the photographer be the one to cut your feelings of taking in the moment short. That rush is a fleeting feeling. Hold onto it as long as possible!
Capturing Marriage Proposals written by Courtney Warren