With a proposal photo, it’s easy to memorialize the exact moment you pop the question. There’s no better way to capture the raw emotion of a proposal than having a photographer stashed nearby, capturing every second. If you’re ready to take the leap and want to have that moment frozen in time forever, here’s how to plan the perfect proposal photo.
- Pick the Perfect Ring
It does all start with the ring, anyway. You don’t have to spend lots of money on the ring to get the perfect proposal reaction. You can get the same genuine reaction with a good-looking, affordable engagement ring as a much more expensive one. Whatever you choose, this is where this all starts.
- Make Sure the Photographer Is Set Up…
The worst thing possible is you propose too quickly, and the photographer hasn’t gotten fully dialed in yet. Take your time with the proposal and make sure you have some cue that says the photographer is ready and you’re cleared for takeoff.
- …But Don’t Think Too Hard About the Photographer
As hard as this may be (and you want to do your part to help get a good shot), you want to be in the moment. Create a plan ahead of time and trust the photographer to execute it. If you’re too worried about how the photos will turn out, you won’t be fully present with what’s happening.
- Scout It Out
Ideally, this is a spot you’ve been to before. Whether it’s a place you two visit often or just one you think will be perfect for photos, do a walkthrough first. Consider where your photographer will be and what area is going to be conducive to the best shot possible. If you can, bring a photographer along and get a professional’s opinion on how to set it up best.
- Hire a Pro
If you take one tip from this list, make it this one. You don’t have to have a pro do it (especially if you have artistic friends), but it really is worth it. Like going cheap on a wedding photographer, you get what you pay for. This isn’t the place to pinch pennies if you can avoid it.
You can get creative and save money in lots of other ways when it comes to weddings and engagements, but you tend to get what you pay for with a photographer.
- Make It a Normal Photo
This is the maximum risk, maximum reward option here. If you get a stranger to take the photo in a place that’s a common photo spot (think tourist attraction, scenic overlook, etc.), you can up the surprise factor.
Now, note that you risk quality for surprise. If you happen to hand your phone over to an avid shutterbug, awesome. If you hand it off to someone who’s asking what button to press, you may be risking a bad photo. Pick your person carefully — that’s all we’re saying.
This isn’t the most advisable option, but it will net you the most genuine reaction. Even if done perfectly, a casual yet romantic walk through the park may subtly hint at a proposal. Make sure to weigh the surprise-to-quality ratio when deciding who will take your proposal photos.
- Time It Right
Another reason you want to have a pro with you to scout out locations is lighting. If you aren’t a photography pro yourself, you’ll want to get tips on when the lighting is best. This is going to be dependent on geography, time of year and the makeup of the local area, among other things.
If you have a specific time in mind, a professional photographer may be able to recommend some good areas where the lighting is going to be ideal. Whether you want it at sunrise, golden hour or anywhere in between, always get a professional’s opinion for the best results.
- Consider a Second Photographer
The classic proposal photo is a great shot of the proposed, but not the one proposing. If you don’t mind only getting one of the two reactions, you don’t need a second photographer. However, if you want to have your reaction immortalized in a photograph, stashing a second photographer to get your reaction is a worthwhile strategy. It also means you’ll get some more photos of the moment. You can use these extra photos to put together a photobook that you can keep forever. In it, you’ll have many photos immortalizing the occasion. You can put a mixture of photos in there from the two photographers which can really help you bring the moment to life.
- Know When to Stop the Photos
Maybe after the proposal, you have a little photo shoot. Get some good shots of that new halo style engagement ring! However, know when to call it quits on the photos. You have the rest of your lives to take plenty of photos, so don’t get too caught up here. Get a few different shots, spend some time working with the photographer and call it good.
After all, you want to spend time together after the proposal. While photographs are awesome, there are just certain things you can’t capture on film. Take your time to experience those intangible moments, just the two of you, and those memories will live on even after the pictures have faded away.