So obviously I'm not a guy and have never had the experience (or stress) of planning the perfect proposal. But let me just tell you that this groom-to-be thought of everything, including the fact that his girlfriend would love having the moments documented by a photographer.
If hiring a photographer for your perfect proposal is something you've considered, you'll find the following tips helpful for how we pulled off this session so flawlessly! Or if you're a girl WAITING on that perfect proposal, maybe you can drop a hint or two about how amazing it would be to have a professional photographer capture the amazing moments!
Here are my tips:
1) Plan ahead on a different day
Michael planned the date specifically as one that would surprise Charlotte (and it's pretty obvious from the photos that he was successful there!) But we met at the location the week before at the SAME TIME the proposal would occur to scope it out and clarify our game plan.
As the photographer, meeting at the time it would happen was vital. Your photographer will want to see how the light hits the location and should be able to help guide to an ideal spot where the actual proposal should take place based on that light.
We also had an optional spot we decided to use in case the weather was bad, so I highly recommend this if rescheduling is not an option (which is was not in our case.)
2) Be specific in how it will all go down
We decided the priority was to see her face at go time. So we actually had Michael go during our pre-planning meeting and kneel down in the exact spot where we agreed on so he could get a feel for it. (I won't include that photo here of him proposing to the fence, haha!)
Being specific helped ensure we got the just right angle we were looking for when it was time!
He also told me what they would be doing the moments before the proposal. This helped me immensely in knowing when to be in position. He also had my phone number and texted me what she was wearing and when they were heading outside.
3) Figure out how to keep your photographer secretive
Our first thought during our planning session was that I'd sort of hide behind some bushes so Charlotte wouldn't suspect anything. But as we were walking around our location, we actually met up with an employee who assured us photographers are around all the time, and that I could be out in the open without anything looking suspicious.
That employee ended up being totally right. The night of the proposal, there was actually a wedding rehearsal going on at the same time with another photographer. So I didn't feel the need to hide. After asking Charlotte later, she said she assumed I was with that group and thought nothing of it!
Obviously this won't always be the case with every situation. So you'll have to think through how to keep the photographer either out of sight or at the very least, not suspicious looking.
4) Think through things that will make the girl happier for photos
Since ideally she is going to be totally in shock and not expecting to be photographed during that time, you'll want to think about what she might wish she had with her. Does she keep lip gloss in her purse? Extra mascara in case she wants to reapply after the tears? If not, you may have to be sneaky to have these things on hand for her. A mom or one of her girlfriends can help out with this!
5) Plan on going ahead and having more photos taken after the "yes" occurs
I can say I don't know if I've ever photographed happier people than after a proposal. It's such a joy to capture more moments of the couple being together so incredibly happy about this amazing life-changing event.
This could happen in so many ways. Some couples like to include family in these after photos. Some couples just want the time to themselves for more photos just of them. Either way, take advantage of the joy and plan for more photos!
Now on to this sweetest couple's images. It was a total joy to be invited into this precious space of their lives! I am so happy they have these memories in print to share for years and years to come.