Engagement Proposals | Planning Guide
Getting engaged in Colorado? Considering proposing to your girlfriend in Denver or in the Colorado mountains?
If you answer YES to one of those two questions then this is for you. Over the years proposal photography has become one of our specialties. Most often when we are shooting a proposal in Colorado it is while you are on vacation. Often you as the guy have the idea but are not sure where to start with planning how to propose to your soon to be fiancé.
Step 1: Determine the Type of Proposal You Would Like
Method A: Hidden Photographer Proposal + Engagement Photos Afterward
This is the most common method of photographing an engagement proposal. This is where your photographer goes photojournalistic paparazzi style and hides in bushes, on rooftops, and in sewer drains – well maybe not the sewers. The key idea is they are hidden enough or blend into the environment that your girlfriend will not suspect something is going down. Lets face it, she likely will suspect something already since you are going to be nervous and trying not dropping any hints while planning the proposal. The perk about this method is that you capture the proposal and get emotion laden candid pictures after the getting down on one knee. This allows you to get save the date cards out quickly and have something to get up on social media once you let your family and close friends know. The reason why we believe being truly hidden is essential is to get the true candid emotion and not put pressure on her decision.
Here the more popular locations: Sapphire Point (Dillon/Breckenridge), Flagstaff Mountain (Boulder), Downtown Denver (Denver). All of these locations can work year round. A favorite place is Brainard Lake (Ward) but it is only open seasonally. We have other locations we have planned out (currently 50+ locations) that could also work well so feel free to reach out and let us know what your looking for in a proposal.
Method B: Couples Photo Session that Turns Into an Engagement Proposal
This works well if you are the kind of couple that gets pictures professionally taken from time to time, are both super passionate about photography, or have some justifiable excuse to hire a photographer like traveling to Colorado and wanting to capture the beauty. The photoshoot starts off much like our engagement sessions where we work with you to get the true you come out through a natural posing and photojournalistic shooting. We normally like to have the proposal closer to the beginning to allow for more emotional looking candid like photos for the rest of the shoot. At this point we back away some to let it be more intimate of an engagement proposal. Our Sapphire Point Proposal and Red Rocks Proposal are good examples of this type. There are practically limitless ways you can do this type of shoot. As an example here is a Winter Park Snowmobiling Proposal.
Method C: Surprise Fly In Proposal + Engagement Photos Afterward
This works if you do not live in the location you are proposing. For this method you would secretly travel to the location to surprise her and propose. This method takes a lot more planning and coordination on your end as you need to normally have a mutual friend who she is with to get her to the location naturally. This also requires you having a good cover for your not being in the expected location and having the ability to communicate normally. The end result is that if you can play all the cards right you will get to really surprise her that you are there and then roll that into surprising her with a ring. It can be a romantic method of getting engaged but it much harder to pull off. On our end the proposal plan is more simple as we meet you at the location before she gets there. It is therefore somewhat a hybrid of the other two methods as it still requires a place the photographer can hide well but does not require an extremely detailed plan. Here is an example of this method at Sapphire Point.
Step 2: Get Help Planning The Engagement Proposal
You could plan it 100% yourself but you likely would like some help since you haven’t proposed many times. If you have proposed many many times we should meet over some Starbucks or an IPA and talk. Either you have a poor deliver of the ring when proposing or are jumping in too soon. Since we guys drag our feet and women love diamond rings I doubt this is the case for 99% of us guys.
We love to help plan a live engagement proposal. We normally start by figuring out the perfect spot. Sometimes the guy has an idea in mind due to where they will be that day either for dinner, recreation, or for the beauty of the location. We recommend a location that is in somewhat secluded place. It usually has areas the photographers can be hidden and has less foot traffic. As we use 200 and 300mm lenses we are rather pulled back in order to be less obvious. If you provide us a general place we can find a good spot. In some cases we need to give the Plan A and then Plan B depending on the preferred proposal location. We believe in doing things in a predictable low risk way that balances your vision with what will work well for most women.
As many couples are on vacation in Colorado when they propose this level of planning can really help. We take pictures, compile a map along with recommended routes, angles to stand, and tips on how to make everything work out smoothly. In the example below the couple was coming from Denver and wanting to propose somewhere in the Boulder mountain area. We then recommended two locations within the spot in case people were hanging out in the area. We are the red dots, you follow the blue line, you are the green dot and she is the pink dot in this example. There are angles at which to stand and our puppy to model where to put their dog they wanted to bring along.
We also will ensure we know where each other are so that the proposal doesn’t happen without us present in the Method A. We setup a temporary location sharing connection the day before the shoot through simple methods everyone has on their mobile phones. This allows you to see us and us you without texting and all.