Should You Hire a Proposal Photographer?

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Photo by Guru Lex

This is a fairly recent thing in the wedding world – prior to a few years ago, few people were bringing a professional photographer to their proposal. It used to be a private event that was shared when the couple feels it’s right. These days the photos and video are on social media almost immediately!

I got engaged on the Pickering beach while eating a McDonald’s Caesar salad when my now husband popped the question with a big diamond ring. We had canoed down the Rouge River and since this was long before cell phones and digital cameras were in everyone’s bag, we had to paddle all the way back, get the canoe out of the river and onto the car, then drive home to the land line to call and tell our parents. The beauty of being a GenXer is that my life prior to 2008 wasn’t captured digitally and there is no evidence of the mischief I got up to in my youth!

It’s different today and although nobody forgets the day their partner asks them that life-changing question but it’s only natural for some of the details to fade over time. What were you wearing? What was your expression when it happened? Some people would really love to remember these finer details but is a proposal photographer truly necessary? The answer depends on you but here are a few pros and cons to consider before you make a decision.

Pro: This will be a truly special moment you can remember after your big day

Your partner will experience a mix of emotions once you pop the question, which means you will probably tune out everything around you. Having a photographer there means you can capture your surroundings as well as the finer details.

Con: Your partner might not love the idea of having a photographer there

Your partner is not going to have the time to prepare for their shining moment on camera so they may not feel too confident when they notice a photographer has joined the day. You know your partner best though and know how they will react. It might be a good idea to fib a little about where you are going so they are dressed up with hair and makeup done.

Pro: The photos can be used on your save the dates

Proposal photos are always touching and special, which is why couples like to use them on invites, ceremony programs or save the dates and you can have your first engagement shoot right away!

Con: Your schedule is set in stone

Your photographer will need to know when to be at your proposal venue, which means you can’t be late. This could cause your partner to be slightly suspicious, especially if they are the one who usually makes the plans, so think it through carefully.

Pro: Share the moment with the people you love

The people closest to you will naturally want to share this moment with you and having a few photos on hand will help them do just that and it’s a great way to announce your engagement to the world!

Con: Picture perfect is not a guarantee

There is a chance that your proposal might not work out in the way that you’d hoped for. Something might come up on the day, the weather may take a turn for the worse or your partner may be ill. Hiring a photographer means you might need to reschedule for another day. There is also a chance that random people walk through your proposal and will be in your photos at the big moment. There is nothing your photographer can do to stop that from happening if they are hiding in the bushes or are at a distance. Trust me when I say people generally have little respect for these sorts of moments. I recently performed a quick 5-minute ceremony on a bridge in a park in Toronto and wow…there are many people who are obviously so important that they couldn’t pause for a couple of minute without walking or riding their bikes right through the ceremony with some snarky comments about being in the way for good measure. It’s best to be prepared to accept the best your photographer could capture in the moment with lower expectations than you might have for a styled shoot in a secured location.

A proposal photographer is a very personal choice and depends on how much you and your partner love to capture the big milestones in your lives. Reach out to a few photographers to ask about their style and if they have ideas for proposal locations!

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