The latest thing in marriage proposals is surprise photography to capture the moment. Having a photographer or videographer on hand is a thoughtful and increasingly popular method of adding to the element of surprise. Though you could employ a close friend of family member to film the occasion, professional photographers generally charge a reasonable fee for this short session. Hiring a professional is the best way to make sure your photos or video are top-notch and easy to share with friends and family. There’s nothing quite like capturing the look on her face when presented with a diamond ring!
There are several factors to consider when trying to plan a surprise photography proposal. First you have to make sure this is something both you and your fiancé-to-be are comfortable with. Some people just don’t love being in front of the camera! It’s also important that you have a Plan B in place because let’s face it, if you really want to pull off a great surprise, things don’t always go as planned unless you spill the beans. You should also decide exactly how much of this intimate moment you would like documented. There may be a second here or there that should be reserved for just the two of you. The biggest factor in planning a surprise photography proposal is coordinating with the photographer- have your signals, and make sure the timing is set.
Before you hire a photographer or videographer, take some time to really think about your partner, and how she would react to being in front of the camera with no warning. Even if she’s outgoing and adventurous, it can still be a shock when a lady has no time to prepare. A great way to keep the element of surprise and let her be prepared is to offer another excuse for the photo shoot. If it’s nearing the holiday season, say you’d like to have some nice photos taken for holiday cards. This reason shouldn’t raise much suspicion, and allows your fiancé-to-be the time to do her hair, makeup, and pick an outfit accordingly. If you can’t figure out a legitimate excuse to include your girlfriend in a photo shoot, locations like the beach or a park offer enough space for a photographer to hide-out unnoticed and even shoot from afar.
When you’re trying to plan an elaborate surprise, things usually do not go as planned. Be prepared to employ your back-up plan, whether it be location, timing, or people involved. Make sure you know exactly where you’re going to stash the engagement ring so she doesn’t find it, and how you’re going to get it from that spot. Go over your back-up plans with your photographer or videographer before the fact, so that if something goes awry, you’re both on the same page. This will help you keep your cool and not ruin the surprise. If you don’t plan to let her in on the shoot, sneak a small bag with a mirror, extra outfit, hair brush, and any other essentials into your car a day before. This will give her a chance to touch-up hair or make-up for the rest of the shoot after you propose.
Another detail you’ll have to figure out in conjunction with your photographer or videographer is how much you would like documented on film. If you plan to say something that you would like kept private, just let your photographer know, and work it into your overall timing. Whether you’d like a second before or after you actually pop the question, make sure your photographer knows when to stop shooting and give you the time alone.
Now comes the hard part- working out all of the timing and cues with your photographer! This is especially vital if you plan to keep the entire photo or video shoot a secret from your partner. The surprise can easily be ruined if your photographer steps out of the shadows too soon, or too late. Verbal and body language cues are the best ways to signal to each other without being too conspicuous. You don’t want to go through all of the planning only to miss the moment where you get down on one knee. This careful planning requires in-person meetings with your professional beforehand to make sure you’re both clear on the cues and timing.
Once you have all of your plans in place, the location, hired professional, back-up options, and timing, you’re almost ready! Make sure you have the engagement ring, and making notes for yourself never hurts. While executing a surprise engagement photo session can take a lot of time and planning, capturing her reaction on film will be something to treasure for a lifetime.