Proposal Ideas | Photography
Looking for Ideas on How to Propose?
We hope this can be a help to guys planning to propose to their girlfriends. Since we cannot address all the potential ideas out there we will focus on ideas with regards to capturing photos of you proposing. The reality is that most guys fall into 1 of 3 groups:
- Romantics. They have a lot of ideas and a clear vision for how they will propose.
- Normals. They are looking for ideas but are not 100% sure how to make it special for her.
- Non-Romantics. They would rather deliver the ring during a football game halftime with a ‘Wanna get married’ line.
Before addressing the 3 groups further we will describe in general what most women recount about their proposals. We believe that will help give a baseline on what to focus on in the proposal planning.
Key Elements of a Proposal:
- The Time and Place. This is the context for the story. Typically all the minor details are lost in the excitement of the event.
- Their Surprise (Or Lack of Surprise). The key principle is that the more extravagant the plan the less likely she will be surprised. We however don’t want to encourage you toward popping the question at a mundane random moment like during half time.
- How They Felt. This is the big one – lets face it the reason why the proposal is so special is because it is you proposing to her. The event, the planning you do, the ring all is meaningful because it is you not because it is epic, unheard of, completely unique. If it takes a crazy epic event and a 5 carat diamond ring to inspire the ‘Yes’ are you sure you would want to marry her?
Crazy Example of a Proposal:
I know the movies will show you all the crazy ideas and describe these extremely minor details about how the guy cut up little heart confetti in a box with a clue, have her follow a treasure map all across the city to get her hair done, pick up a gorgeous dress, see all the spot you first met, and then to end at a field with a road petal trail leading to where in the distance you come floating in on a hot air balloon at sunset in a tuxedo as the hidden orchestra begins to play the song you were dancing to when you told you love her when you get down on one knee in front of the table that miraculously appeared with roses, candles, and champagne as your dog comes running in with the 5 carat engagement ring. Oh – and all of this secretly capture by a photography team using 400mm lenses and hiding in the ceiling tiles of the hair place and dress store.
The Key Idea: Keep it Simple and Document it via Photos
If you are reading this post you are likely in the 2. Normals group. The 1. Romantics know exactly what they are doing and are looking forward to the wind blowing through their hair as they descend in the field to their soon to be fiancé. If you are in the romantics category and want photography we will share some key common risks below to your plan. The 3. Non-Romantics likely are not reading this unless a friend or family member is telling them its a bad idea to give a multi color ring that matches your sports team colors. If you are reading this as a non romantic at your own initiative please know we love to help you look good by coming up with a planned location, way to surprise her, and helping capture the memories.
We believe keeping it simple is the best way to go because what matters most is how you feel about her and how she feels about you. We believe documenting with professional photos is the best compliment to capturing her reaction, expression, and being able to retell the story. We specialize in proposal photography partly because of our love for telling this story. You could do it via video but it would make it a little harder to get audio and get angles of both you and her.
We have a post that describes the two types of engagement proposals. Most guys will go for a hidden photographer type of proposal but we also do shoots that have a proposal in them. We see variations of these but essentially it comes down to if she knows about photos. We have tons of location ideas on our website in the proposals section. We also have a wish list of places we have planned out but not used yet as we are always looking for new ideas. Below are some of the more popular or unique spots:
Notice how in giving ideas we didn’t list out go to X spot at X time of day during X time of year? The reason is things can change with each season with lighting and weather. There are also the variables of events, permits, overhead costs. Here are some universal limitations on doing hidden photographer proposals:
- Proposing inside a small quiet building. It would be hard to not be seen or have your camera shutter be heard. You could use something like an iPhone but in reality the images would have some blur. There is also the strong potential to need to use flash to get the best photos.
- Proposing at night in the dim light or dark. We LOVE night photography but capturing moving objects with no flash in the dark is a recipe for blurred images. We think the best time of day to propose is mid afternoon or in the morning as it allows you to enjoy the rest of the day in celebration!
- Traveling progressive proposals. Your girlfriend is smart. The surprise is lost when you go from place to place. It also adds in many new variables outside of your control.
Our Story: We Believe In Making it Special
When Joe proposed he used published a book of the Joe and Robin early dating writings. The couple hundred page book was divided into multiple chapters and ended with an ‘engagement requested’ chapter in which was written the proposal and a hole for the custom designed diamond ring. Joe proposed on a hiking trail in the cold of winter. He secretly took a video by taking pictures using a timer then on the last picture taking a video that continued to run. Robin got that video on valentines day though she didn’t know it cause it was hidden in a box of 85 notes. There was one note for each day counting down to the wedding. As you might guess Joe is the group 1. Romantics person.