So far 100% of the proposals I have photographed have been at the Biltmore Estate. It is a super romantic place that anyone can appreciate. The nice thing about getting your proposal professionally photographed at Biltmore Estate is that there are so many gorgeous locations to choose from. I recently did a 3 part series on how to plan for your proposal session. If you want more in depth goodies you can check out the links within this post. This is essentially taking everything we learned, combining it all and putting it is a super simple format that the fellas might actually read. 90% of my audience is female, so I’ve got to keep it simple to get the gents involved. We like things cut and dry and to the point. If you know of someone who is thinking about proposing, send them this link, as it is a super helpful tool to understand how much planning needs to happen.
If you do those 3 things, you will absolutely crush your proposal session. If you want more information and want to see more beautiful proposals just click on one of the 3 links above. If you are itching for more treasure now, I’ve got the booty right here…
- Plan Ahead – I don’t ever want to be seen or give away what is about to happen when someone proposes. This is why it is so important to have a good plan in place so I don’t give away the goose. Is that a saying? I think it’s totally a saying now. When planning to propose and having a professional capture the moment, it is imperative that you have a solid plan in place. This is not one of those things you can simply wing and hope for the best. The way to get the best angle and reaction is for both people to be facing each other and perpendicular to the photographer. That quintessential shot is a profile of both people facing each other as pictured above. As the photographer, I have to be set up and ready to capture the moment as it is happening, so I can’t really run over and change my angle at the last second. The two biggest factors for getting professional looking proposal photos, is 1. Lighting and 2. Location.1. Lighting…Amazing photography is always about great lighting. I will have the preposer (not really a word) set up in a way that gives me the best lighting I can possibly get. If you just go out at a time where the light is super harsh and stand wherever to propose, it will just look like a snap shot and won’t look like a piece of art. This is why planning is so important.2. Most proposers have an idea of where they want to propose and they trust that I know the lighting and everything else. Most people are open to suggestions, which is helpful in getting the best shots. I like to give people options and let them make up their mind. The most crucial factor for location is that you don’t want a place in which there is a lot of foot traffic or people. So the subway might not be your best option for a proposal. The reason you don’t want a ton of people around is because there is the potential for someone to get right in front of me as I am trying to capture the shots. It is just an ordinary day for everyone else and they have no idea that you are getting ready to propose, or that I am capturing it. This is not to say, that you can’t change it up. With Connor and Courtney, there were tons of people around because it was the Biltmore Estate around Christmas time. This is where having a professional who knows what they are doing and gets the shots no matter what comes into play.
- Communicate – As with anything in life that you want to go smoothly, communication is key. Communication is one of the biggest pieces when planning to have your proposal professional photographed. So don’t wait until 3 days before you plan to propose to get a solid plan in place. Hire early, at least 2 weeks, but 1 month is better if you can.You already have a solid plan in place, now STICK TO IT. I know this sounds obvious, but all that planning will go to waste if you decide to go rogue in the final minutes. Try not to deviate from all that was discussed regarding the game plan . Remember, the lighting and placement is important, so if you decide that you’d rather stand somewhere else, or in a different lighting set up, it will be much harder for me to capture the moment in the BEST way possible. I am set up in a location out of site and I have gotten some test shots with that specific lighting, so going all cowboy at the last second will not be super helpful for anyone Jack. HOWEVER, should there be a need to deviate slightly, it is super important that we are in communication with one another leading up to your arrival (via text message). Homegirl may decide that she doesn’t want to go up to that specific location that you have picked out, or there could be a huge mass of people. Play it cool, let me know what’s going on, and try to make your way back to the intended spot. This is where a contingency plan is nice to have in place. This is different for every proposal, which is why it is important to hire a professional who knows the landscape, and knows how to deliver under pressure and on the fly if necessary. Sending me a RECENT photo of you and your significant other will help me to spot you and to be ready to capture that amazing moment. I will send you a photo of myself as well, so you can kind of be on the lookout for me, so you know that I am in place before you pop the question. I recommend taking a knee. You will look like a bonafide stud. It shows that sweet lady that you are there to serve her. Plan out what you want to say as well. “I love you, will you marry me?” works, but we can do so much better than that fellas. If we want to spend the rest of our life with this person we better have some solid reasons. So share one or two of your top reasons for being crazy over this gal (or guy if that’s how you roll). Rehearse your proposal out loud beforehand (preferably with her not around), because in the moment you may just default to, “I love you, will you marry me?” You got this, and I am there to support you and capture a memory that every time you look at will transport you directly back that moment in time, to that promise, to that question.
- Take a Minute to Yourselves – This is one of my favorite parts. You need to make sure you have a moment to yourself without the photographer around. A moment where you can take it all in. A moment that is just between the two of you. One of the great things about a proposal session, is that it immediately turns into an engagement session. Unless, of course she says no, and then I sheepishly walk away. I’m totally kidding. Before we roam around taking photos for the next hour, it is super important that you have your moment together without a photographer dictating what you do. Some photogs have egos and like to make shoots about themselves. This is about your promise and your moment to enjoy, so specify verbally or in your contract that you would like to have a minute alone after you propose. Once you are good, give me the signal and we will go create some magic together.
There you have it. It is a lot of information, but by doing all these things, you will be much better prepared. You are about to make one of a the biggest decisions of your life, do a little bit of homework!!