Army crawling through tall grass, hopping from tree to tree, and playing silent ninja are all part of the job description when you’re photographing the proposal. For those of you who follow me on Facebook and instagram, you know that my sister got engaged over the weekend! We are so excited to add David to our family and I can’t wait to hang with Jaelyn as she plans this fun wedding!! As a way of calming my nerves before everything went down, I made a list of things that every photographer should know when taking proposal photos…
Meet with the groom beforehand
Isaac and I met David earlier in the day to walk through everything. He told me what he was wanted to do and I made my plans around that! This simplified everything and ensured that he could focus on Jaelyn instead of on the photos!
Share location on iPhone
Did you know that you can share your location with another person on your iPhone? This was so handy because David didn’t have to text me and tell me when he was on his way or when he arrived. I knew where they were on the road and it made everything run so much smoother!
Props to David on this one because I didn’t know this kind of technology was available! Just open a text message from someone, click “details” and then “share my location.”
Decide on your angle beforehand
Because I was able to meet with David beforehand, I was able to plan my primary angle and secondary angle! He had two spots picked out down by the water. I selected my angles based on the amount of grass available (for hiding) and where I thought the light would be later in the day.
I planned a backup angle for each spot and this came in handy! David and Jaelyn ended up walking a little further and there were three trees in the way. Because I had walked through everything earlier in the day, I knew where I needed to move so that I would remain unseen and also get the shot!
Hide your car
Even if you don’t think the bride will recognize your car you should still hide your car. Obviously my sister knows what I drive so Isaac hid the car in a parking lot about half a mile from my location.
Use the 70-200 lens
I don’t use this lens very often, but the proposal is a time when it definitely comes in handy! It’s quick and allows me to remain at a distance without losing tight images!
Use two docks
I had the 70-200 on one Mark III and the 50 on the other Mark III. This made it easy to switch back and forth without making a lot of noise or missing a moment.
Related: My camera bag
Use sound wisely
David wanted to propose to Jaelyn by the water because they spend a lot of time at the lake. Since they were standing right by the water, it was really loud. This meant that I could walk through the grass and go unnoticed. If our positions had been switched, I couldn’t have moved around at all without bringing attention to myself.
I can imagine that there would be some nerves associated with proposing. And when you’re nervous, you tend to move quicker. This could mean that the couple arrives before the original proposal time. Arriving early will also help calm your nerves.
Ask people to leave
I arrived 30-45 minutes early because I thought that I would have some time to read! When I arrived, there were 5-6 vehicles right where David wanted to propose. Because I talked to David, I knew that he wanted a private proposal so I just asked the people if they wouldn’t mind making themselves scarce for 10-15 minutes. They did one better: they cleared out the entire area!
So if you find yourself in a similar situation, check the groom’s location on your iPhone. If you still have time, just kindly ask people to leave!
Proposals are so much fun to shoot! It’s so exciting to photograph newly engaged couples. There are so many transparent, raw, and genuine emotions to capture. And you know that’s my favorite! I will be sharing the entire proposal once the film is back (I can hardly wait!!)! What are some things that you have learned when shooting proposals? Leave a comment below and let's have a conversation!