Tips for proposals: photographer or no?

It's the time of year to pop the question! Soon you'll scroll through social media and see one engagement after another because "it's the most wonderful time of the year!" You want your sweetheart by your side for the holidays. Thanksgiving- Valentine's day is the bracket of the year where most proposals happen.

Proposal photography has gotten incredibly popular lately. It's a big life moment and the moment lasts forever if pictures happen!

Check it out: there are way more proposals this time of year than any other time.

So when you want to propose, I have several suggestions to help you make the memory go smoothly and look good in the pictures you will cherish for the rest of your lives!


After all the crazy planning and secrecy, she said YES and it's the most amazing moment ever. But for the sake of the photos, don't wrap her up in the biggest bear hug ever as you kiss her. At some point give her a few "lower-contact" kisses so you can actually see her in the photos. Otherwise you see man-back in a ginormous hug, and you don't actually see the ecstatic woman he's hugging.

Example of a lower-contact kiss: You can see both of them instead of just Bryson's back!


Stay on your knee for more than .00004 seconds! It's a beautiful moment so make sure you don't hurry to jump up too soon!


Do you want to hide a photographer to catch the big moment? Try to find a spot with multiple options for someone to hide in. Bonus points if your photographer can get photos of both of your reactions to this moment- this is YOUR moment too- your lady will want more than just pictures of her in the album.

After Steph said yes to Kyle, the waterworks sprung loose. I am so glad I had plenty of places to hide so I could have some mobility when I saw a good moment coming!


If you're thinking about proposing outside- that's awesome! Natural light is very beautiful and makes skin tones as becoming as possible. But be careful about the activities you're planning beforehand- if you're spending a lot of time in the cold leading up to the proposal, she might thwart your plan and want to go inside to warm up or call it a day too soon.


Involving a photographer means you need to pick a time of day when there is enough light for a digital camera to actually take a picture. Morning and early evening are prime times.

Example: Great time of day for photos! Great lighting! This was about 3:30pm in late November so it was technically evening light even though that's midday light in the summer.


The cleverest place I've ever seen a ring hidden is in a wallet! (Bryson, I am looking at you.) Pockets are a lot bigger and looser so you might give you anxiety if it's loose in your pocket, especially if she puts her hands in your pockets. Keep in mind that the ring box you get might be way too big to hide on your person so you might want to get a smaller one for the proposal. You can always go the Rom-Com route and hide it in your sock, that's pretty effective too.


Is an engagement photographer worth the cost since you will soon have a wedding to pay for? You can't exactly consult with your girlfriend about if she thinks hiring a photographer for the proposal is worth the investment since you're planning everything in secret- but I can weigh in on this as a proposed-to-woman, I sure thought it was. When Zach proposed to me I was ECSTATIC to get our pictures back so I could see my reactions and experience the proposal again and again.

I have never yet heard a woman hope there is no photographer when she gets engaged, so I say, do it. You can un-do it, but you can never re-do it. I even bundle proposal photography into one of my wedding packages so if you hire me for a proposal, that ends up going towards your wedding if you'd choose to hire me for the wedding. I've been told by my clients that that helps men feel confident about booking a proposal photographer since they know that expense can go towards the wedding.

If you have photos of the surprise and happiness of the big moment when she says yes, you will always be able to see the way you looked at each other that day. Priceless.

Yes, this is a ring-pop proposal. He said yes.

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