There’s something undeniably special about the power of photographs and their ability to narrate a story without the need for words. They have the unique ability to freeze moments in time, serving as a portal to revisit places and relive memories, evoking the emotions tied to those moments. Photographs help us cherish special milestones, the presence of loved ones, and our most treasured experiences.
Among life’s most thrilling milestones, getting engaged stands out as a pinnacle moment. It’s a celebration of love’s promise, a turning point brimming with excitement. This is precisely why I believe that hiring a proposal photographer to both capture and help plan your surprise proposal is a brilliant decision.
One superb reason to enlist the services of a proposal photographer is their ability to help you plan the perfect scene to pop the question. Sometimes individuals have a specific proposal location in mind, while others look for expert guidance to select the perfect spot. I was beyond excited when Zach reached out to me for help planning and photographing his proposal to his (now fiancée!) Abbi.
Although he initially had a different location in mind, being a local Colorado photographer, I was aware of several occasions when the city unexpectedly closed off popular overlooks with orange fencing in that area. To ensure we didn’t encounter any unexpected photobombing by the vibrant tape, we decided to brew up an alternative plan.
Proposal photographers typically possess a wealth of knowledge about various locations and their unique quirks. While you might have a particular spot in mind for a secluded proposal, your photographer can provide valuable insights, such as the expected crowds at a given location. They work in tandem with you to find a place that aligns with your vision and resonates with what your partner would want. This is exactly the approach I took when planning Abbi and Zach’s surprise proposal. We discussed what he liked about the initial location and then embarked on a quest to find an alternative spot with a similar vibe.
I shared a handful of Google pins for potential proposal locations with Zach, and he enlisted the help of his wonderful Colorado-based friends, Ryan and Katrina, to scout these locations as well. With the collaborative efforts of our four-person location scouting team, we settled on the perfect spot. Zach ultimately chose Mt. Falcon, a fantastic decision that offered the breathtaking mountain views he had envisioned.
It was incredibly exciting to be ‘in’ on the surprise. I made a trip to Mt. Falcon Park to personally assess the lighting conditions and uncover potential hiding spots. Following that, I shared with Zach a photo marked with carefully designated positions, outlining what I believed would create the perfect setup for the proposal.
Drawing from my experience in capturing couples, micro weddings, and elopements throughout Colorado and the Southwest, I’ve navigated diverse shooting conditions and lighting challenges. While it’s impossible to overstate the importance of proper lighting in photography, when it comes to a proposal, it’s the ‘moment’ that rightfully takes center stage.
I had a hunch that we might encounter slightly less-than-ideal lighting conditions, but, fortunately, Mt. Falcon always serves as an incredibly forgiving location. With an abundance of shaded areas and backlit mid-morning views, we had the flexibility to explore a multitude of photo opportunities, even under the bright and sunny Colorado skies.
At this particular spot in Mt. Falcon, I took the time to meticulously prepare, envisioning exactly where everyone should stand and how everything could unfold when Zach got down on one knee. Once I had my perfect hiding spot all set, I carefully chose where Zach, Abbi, and their friends should be positioned. This plan was specifically designed to capture Abbi in the most flattering light as I aimed to preserve her joyous reaction, all while securing a great hiding spot for me among the trees.
A proposal photographer offers more than just assistance in location and lighting considerations; they can also be your guide in choosing the perfect outfits. I always provide my couples with a style guide to help them coordinate their attire for their photos, and I was delighted to see how dedicated Zach was to this aspect. He managed to coordinate his and Abbi’s outfits flawlessly, which, admittedly, isn’t the easiest task when you’re trying to surprise someone!
Along with coordinating their outfits, he was such a sweetheart and made sure that Abbi had her nails done. Unfortunately, her nail appointment had been canceled shortly before their trip to Colorado, but Zach knew how much she’d want her nails to be in tip-top shape for their proposal photos (especially those close-up ring shots!). He called around and managed to secure her a last-minute appointment, further highlighting his attention to detail in planning this special moment. A+ for Zach!
Having a photographer by your side to help plan and capture proposal photos can do wonders to ease the stress of the moment. It lets you fully immerse yourself in the experience, secure in the knowledge that all the details have been meticulously arranged and coordinated. Plus, it ensures you’ll have some truly stunning proposal photos to treasure and share with your loved ones.
As Zach, Abbi, and their friends made their way up the hike, Zach’s sole focus was getting into position and asking the love of his life to marry him. We had meticulously planned every detail of how this would unfold, so we were all ready. When they reached the designated location, with me already in my hiding spot, their friends casually guided Abbi and Zach to stand exactly where we had arranged. Their two friends played their roles to perfection, pretending to snap a quick photo of the couple, capturing the joy of their Colorado adventure.
We put extra thought into our plan to make sure we captured Abbi’s reaction in the perfect light. Knowing that Abbi prefers to be on a specific side in photos, we were prepared for the challenge of keeping her in the right spot for the best photos. When Abbi tried to switch places with Zach, Katrina stepped in with a brilliant save, noting how beautifully the light was falling on Abbi’s hair from where she was currently standing. It added a touch of humor to those of us who were in on the secret and saved the day. Thank you, Katrina!
Another, and perhaps the most crucial, reason to hire a proposal photographer is to capture the unfiltered reactions and emotions that unfold when you ask that life-changing question. You can absolutely see the moment in the photos, right before Zach drops to one knee, where Abbi recognizes what is about to happen. When he got down on one knee, she was beyond thrilled and lept into Zach’s arms with a resounding YES! And the moment she saw that he had hired me to photograph it all, her expression was priceless.
There’s no way to replicate the genuine feelings and reactions in that exact moment. Proposing and getting engaged are monumental milestones, often happening so quickly and with so much emotion that it can almost seem as if you blackout at the time of your proposal. It’s such a huge whirlwind of emotions, and it is understandably hard to remember every detail. Fortunately, hiring a proposal photographer takes away that concern. They quite literally freeze your authentic reactions, capturing every heartfelt moment of this significant milestone.
It was an incredibly heartwarming moment when Abbi said “yes” to spending her life with the person she loves. Katrina and Ryan were prepared with bubbles to celebrate their engagement afterward, adding an extra touch of sweetness to the occasion. The presence of their friends, there to love and support them, created a heartwarming and wholesome scene. Without a doubt, lasting memories were made that day.
After soaking in the moment for a minute, we set off to capture some more photos. I know I’ve been emphasizing the reasons for hiring a proposal photographer, but there really are so many compelling ones. One of these reasons is the opportunity to not only photograph the proposal but also capture some lovely engagement photos afterward, while you’re still basking in the celebration! By hiring a proposal photographer, you can get a 2-for-1 value in both capturing your proposal and taking engagement photos!
Turning your proposal into a photographed occasion is an excellent way to get a sneak peek of what your wedding day might look like. This experience provides you with an opportunity to not only see how you both feel in front of the camera but also how it is to work with a photographer.
It is also a fantastic time for your photographer to get to know you both better. They can understand your dynamics as a couple, your preferred angles, and the kind of poses that make you feel comfortable. All of this information is invaluable when it comes to your wedding day. It helps ensure that your wedding photos will be a true reflection of your personalities and your love story.
Having a photo gallery from your proposal day is incredibly beneficial in several ways. It allows you and your partner to relive and cherish this moment for a lifetime. Additionally, it provides a powerful way to not just tell the story but to show others how your proposal unfolded. It’s always special to narrate the experience, but there’s something truly magical about allowing your loved ones to share in that significant moment as well.
Not only does it simplify the process of sharing your proposal story, but it can also streamline the early stages of wedding planning. You can utilize your proposal photos for announcing your engagement, creating save-the-dates, and many other wedding-related details. And, of course, who wouldn’t want a stunning photo showcasing their beautiful new ring?
As your proposal photographer, my commitment to making your moment memorable doesn’t end with the photos. I always inquire if there are any special touches or preparations I can assist with. Do you want champagne or cupcakes on hand? Just say the word, and I’ll make it happen! I take great pleasure in going the extra mile to make a couple’s day truly exceptional. When working with Zach on his proposal, I even assisted him in selecting a post-proposal hike. Following the proposal and photos, the happy group embarked on their hike and later enjoyed a delightful brunch at Campfire Evergreen.
A surprise proposal is the ultimate celebration of love, trust, and the promise of a beautiful future together. If you’re toying with the idea of enlisting a photographer for your surprise proposal, my heartfelt advice is to go for it. I will stand by your side to help you plan, blend into the surroundings (whether it’s hiding in the bushes or pretending to be a random bird photographer), and seize every authentic moment. Moments as significant as this are truly worth capturing and cherishing. Your love story deserves every bit of attention, from the breathtaking proposal to the remarkable journey that lies ahead. So, when you’re ready to capture this unforgettable moment, don’t hesitate to reach out.