Proposing is a huge milestone that is filled with excitement, nervousness, and oftentimes extensive planning. Hiring a photographer to document your proposal is one way to (1) keep your partner in the dark about your upcoming proposal and (2) have the moment documented. Here's how to work with your photographer to do so.
Get in touch with your photographer well in advance, preferably 1-2 months before you are planning to pop the question. Get on a zoom call with them to discuss your plans for the proposal and what elements you want captured. If time permits, you can also schedule time with your photographer to go to the location that you plan to propose at to walk through details such as time, lighting, angling, and set-up (if any). If you want your photographer to hide at the location and jump out when you are ready to get on your knee, you will need to come up with a clear signal so that your photographer has ample time to get set up the shot, come out of hiding, and capture the whole moment.
A different approach to working with a photographer is to actually tell your partner that you have scheduled a couples photoshoot. This method will ensure your partner is dressed up for the occasion. If you are someone that usually doesn't care much for photos, your partner may grow suspicious. Here are some believable excuses that I've told my clients to tell their partners:
You won a giveaway for a free photoshoot
There is a friend of a friend who is starting out in photography and wants to practice on couples
There's a complimentary photoshoot that comes with event x, y, and z
The photos in this blog post are from a client that used excuse number 2 - D told L that I wanted to get more couple photos to expand my photography portfolio. Here are some of the photos that were taken "as part of my portfolio building". I walked them through a few poses at a couple different locations at Queen Elizabeth Park before leading them both to the location that D and I previously agreed upon.
After a while of shooting couple portraits, I led D&L to the designated proposal site at the park. D got situated in the position that we had agreed on earlier. Once I gave him the cue that I was ready, he started his proposal.
In this photo you can see that D had the ring behind him, and L had no idea what was going to happen.
My favourite thing about these photos is all the emotion, joy, and love. L had no idea this was about to happen, and obviously D was very happy that it happened. We took a few more photos after the proposal - D & L's first photos together as fiancé and fiancée.
I freaking love capturing surprise proposals - my absolute favourite thing. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about having your proposal documented!