Planning a Photographed Proposal


Hey hey, it’s engagement season! This is the time of year where I receive the highest volume of inquiries for weddings. My inbox is filled with the cutest engagement stories and it fills my heart with such happiness. Engagement Season lasts until after Valentine’s Day, so if you are hoping to plan a sweet and meaningful proposal, but want it to be done right, stick around. This post will outline exactly how to plan a photographed proposal without spoiling the surprise. Ladies, you have a duty to your friends to send this post to their boyfriends if this is something you know your babe would appreciate. I’m just saying ;)

So where do you start? Let's start with the obvious.

1. You want to spend the rest of your life with your person and you want to show them a sign of your commitment. 2. You have a ring or other symbol of love for your significant other to show off to their friends.

Got those steps out of the way? Good! So if you're here, you're likely thinking about having your proposal photographed. Proposals are some of the most rewarding sessions to photograph. The nerves, the surprise, the happy ending! Trust me, most photographers offered to be your photographer for this moment would jump for joy! 

How to Arrange The Session:

So there are two ways you can arrange this while still keeping the surprise: You can either strategically stage the proposal and have your photographer hide behind a bush or tree until the moment is over, or you can tell your partner you want professional photos for your holiday cards, for a meaningful time in your lives, because your “friend” is trying to expand their portfolio, or you “entered and won” a photosession. You get the picture! (Props to those who get really creative here for less suspicion factor).

Personally, I prefer the latter option as I can get a chance to know the couple better, thus telling a more honest proposal story through my images. Either way, decide what's best for your relationship, and go from there!

The Location

If you don't have one in mind, ask your photographer. Is there a gorgeous park that is empty on weekdays? Is there a hiking spot that's particularly special to you both? There's no right or wrong answer here. Go with your gut and find something that’s going to make the photos even better.

Day Of

If you decide to tell your S.O. that you are working with a photographer, here are some things to keep in mind: 1) Where is the ring? Either keep it in a safe, secret place, or give it to the photographer a few days before. 2) Whatever you’re wearing should look nice, but not suspiciously nice. Say something like “we can go on a date afterwards to a cafe!” to get the right outfit in mind. 3) Keep your chill. It’s just ANY other day ;)

So let's review: 1. You want to propose (✓) 2. You have the ring or token of love (✓) 3. You've asked a photographer to be a part of this moment (✓) 4. You've found the perfect location to pop the question (✓). So what's next?

How to Plan It

Depending on how you want to disguise the session, the two of you meeting with the photographer can be helpful. He or She can help lead the session and keep the secret without giving away the details. Trust me, we’ve done a handful of these and know exactly what to say.

A few days before the actual proposal happens, make sure to discuss the exact spot the photos will take place, the photographer's "cue" word, and any backup plans in case it rains or there are too many people around. Communication is always important, but for a session like this, it's crucial! 

There ya have it! A story to be told AND see for a lifetime.