10 Tips for Snapping Awesome Proposal Photos

You do not want to mess up this photo assignment.



Between now and the end of the year (and by that I literally mean 11:59 on NYE), there will be many a proposal taking place. (But I will not call it engagement season, I will not call it engagement season.)

And for many of these soon-to-happen proposals, a friend or family member will be let in on the plan, and asked to document the whole thing either through photo or video. It is a daunting task, no doubt, capturing this most huge and emotional and most pivotal of moments in the lives of your loved ones, is it not? I mean, I certainly wouldn’t want to do it. (Friends and family members: Please do not ask me to do this. I’m too scared.)

It’s too easy to screw up! Especially if you’re just a regular ole lay person, and not a professional photographer. (To wit: In discussing these tips this morning, a colleague mentioned that his proposal was not, in fact, successfully captured as requested by his soon-to-be sister-in-law, who didn’t exactly master the flash during the big moment. So, see? Who wants to carry that photo fail around with them?)

But inevitably, some people will be asked to do it, and for those people, we are sharing these tips on successfully capturing the big moment from the lovely photogs at George Street Photo & Video, who have got an outpost right here in Philly. Know someone deeply embedded in a proposal plan this holiday season? Do them a favor, and pass ’em along:

  • Be ready to capture the moment. Don’t start fishing around for your phone after he drops to one knee!
  • Discretely ask any other spectating family and friends to stand to one side so that you can get a good angle. The newly-engaged do not need photo bombers. Do not be Zach Braff. 
  • Be a sly photographer. While the couple is going to love having the photos, remember to stand back and give them their space. That being said …
  • If you can’t see her face, her face cannot see the camera. This is the time that she’ll really appreciate full-on face shots that really capture the moment.
  • Bring props. If you have enough advance notice, make or buy the couple a cute sign or something to hold up for one final photo, officially announcing that they are engaged.
  • Take a lot of photos. Don’t stop. Keep shooting! Then the couple can choose their favorites to share later.
  • Bring tissues. Let the newly engaged cry enough for a few good ah-ha! photos, then hand over the tissues and let her fix her mascara.
  • Light ’em up! You need a lot of light. Light is your best friend. (This excludes candlelight.)
  • Test your flash beforehand to see how bright it is. If it looks bad, don’t use it. And if you do use it, remember that it might take your phone a bit to reload before you’re able to take the next photo.
  • Ask the couple’s permission before posting to any social media. The couple themselves will probably want to be the ones to announce their engagement to the world.

RELATED: How to Tell People You’re Engaged 

RELATED: 5 Tips for Snapping the Perfect Engagement-Ring Photo 

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