It’s October once again, the start of engagement season, which means that our inbox is starting to fill with requests for proposal photography — that special sub-genre of wedding photography which involves us photographers springing out bushes the moment future grooms take to the knee and future brides tearfully say “Yes!”.
Proposal photography requests are unique in that they are almost always made by guys who are approaching professional photographers for the first time. And while the ring and the proposal itself might be long planned, the idea of bringing in a photographer is usually spur of the moment. With these two factors in play, it’s not surprising that there are often misconceptions about what proposal photography really is.
Here are three things every guy should know about proposal photography before contacting a pro, and these tips will give you a better understanding of what to expect from a photographer after you’ve hired one.
It’s More Than Popping the Question
Our proposal inquiries 99% of the time go something like this: “Hi, my name is ____ and I’m coming up to _____ this weekend to propose to my girlfriend. I’d like you to be there undercover and pop out as soon as I give you the sign. I expect I’ll only need you for about five minutes, so would you be available for that time?”
This makes perfect sense from the perspective of the future groom. But from the prospective of the future bride no sense at all.
One thing for guys to keep in mind is that a wedding proposal is one of the happiest moments in a woman’s life, right up there with the wedding itself and the arrival of a child. And once she says yes, that is not the end of things: it is the start.
Once your photographer springs out of the bushes for a proposal, it would be awkward to simply send them on their way. And you shouldn’t, because you’ll be missing out on the imagery that you and your bride will want to enjoy and share with family members for years to come.
It’s All About the Afterglow
Your bride will want to remember the afterglow of your proposal, the moments you hold each other and share your tears, or maybe laughter, and you begin to talk about all your plans for the future.
Emotions will be high and you’ll be saying things without even realizing it. You’ll be uninhibited, sharing your love without a shred of the self-consciousness you might experience on your wedding day when you pose for bridal portraits or family formals. The moment after a proposal is quite unique and can never be re-staged or repeated.
Our advice to those planning proposal photography is to contact a photographer after you’ve chosen a great location. You’ll want somewhere without restrictions on your ability to move about with your photographer in tow. For instance, popping the question at the start of a five course meal at a formal restaurant would lock you and your photographers into a location, surrounded by a lot of strangers. Proposing at Mohonk Mountain House / the Walkway Over the Hudson / Kaatterskill Falls etc. would present you with plenty of opportunities to stroll and to be alone.
Choosing your location wisely is the first, best step to creating awesome proposal photography. And here’s what to do after those images become a reality.
Using Your Proposal Photography
Once your photographer delivers the images from your proposal photography, you’ll want to display them and share them with your friends and family.
Typically, most men inquiring about proposal photography are intent on using their smartphones as the primary display. But future brides are likely to take issue with their important proposal photos consigned to the same device where all those selfies and throwaway shots reside. If your proposal location was a spectacular view in the Hudson Valley, your bride will no doubt want to show that off as a large size canvas or metal print. Or perhaps she’ll want to remember the story of your proposal with an album of select photos.
Another great way to use your proposal photos is to create a guest book for your wedding. At Duetimage Photography, our proposal and engagement photography packages start at $399 with a guest book included. It’s a great way for your wedding guests to see and enjoy your photos from the very moment your wedding story started, plus you’ll get to take home their good wishes in the same book of imagery.
Getting Started Is Easy
So gentlemen, now that you know what to expect, you’re better equipped to get that proposal photography all planned out.
Call or text us at (845) 905-6323 to begin discussing your proposal photography with us. We’re looking forward to being there and documenting one of the happiest moments in the life of you and your future bride.