Finding a Proposal Photographer

Making sure you’ve chosen the right photographer for any job can be a difficult feat, let alone choosing one to capture a split-second, once-in-a-lifetime moment! With all of the choices out there, the question “how do I choose a proposal photographer?” can be an overwhelming one.

Believe me, no one knows the struggle of this question better than Sarah Arnold Photography. I’ve photographed dozens of engagements/proposal sessions in Colorado and beyond, timing shots just right to capture candid engagements (with just a bit of direction). 

If you’re trying to choose a proposal photographer and need a little guidance, I’ve come up with five simple questions to steer you in the right direction… 

1. Does the photographer do proposal photography?

You probably wouldn’t hire a brand photographer for a family portrait, right? So why hire someone who specializes in something else for your proposal? You definitely don’t want to risk this moment, or choose someone who will miss the magic as you drop to one knee. Make sure you go with a proposal professional with experience snapping precise pics before the moment is over (proposals go by so quickly!). So when you’re planning your big moment, look specifically for a wedding & engagement photographer, or for someone who advertises themselves as a proposal photographer on their website and social media accounts. 

Still not sure? Search Instagram for hashtags like #Coloradoweddingphotographer #Coloradoengagementphotographer and so forth. 

2. What’s the quality of their work?

After you post these joyous photos to Instagram, you’ll probably want to print them out for your save the date cards or engagement announcements. So, in addition to being top of the line, professional quality images, they also must be high-resolution files.

Your proposal photographer should provide all of your images to you in high resolution, since the whole reason you have the moment captured is to share it! (This is also a great reason to hire a proposal photographer instead of relying on a friend and their phone!)

3. How many images will you get?

Your proposal photographer is there to capture your story, but you should be the one to decide which images you want to use to tell it. That’s why you should have a large and diverse gallery of photos to choose from! Your proposal photographer should provide at least 100 images from your session, capturing all of the moments before, during and after you pop the question, as well as a portrait session with the remainder of your scheduled time.

That way you have photos to remember the entire day, and beautiful couples’ photography as an added bonus! Plus, you get to choose which photos are your favorites. Who knows you better than you, right?

4. How discreet will your proposal photographer be?

Surprise proposal photography is all about the element of – you guessed it – surprise! The last thing you want while you’re trying to propose is a photographer standing two feet away firing off a flash. That ruins both the surprise and the romance. 

Have your moment and your photos by opting for a proposal photographer who is both professional and discreet in his or her approach. Your partner should have no idea that a photographer is there… A genuine reaction makes for the best engagement pictures! Someone who understands how to hide behind a bush, but be close enough that they can jump into some closer shots after the proposal, is key. Be sure to ask their general approach for proposal sessions. This will give you an idea as to whether or not it’s a good fit for what you’re planning!

5. How quick is the turnaround?

Besides wanting your photos before the wedding day, let’s face it, she’s going to want to share this moment with the world ASAP! Your proposal photographer should be able to do basic color correction and other edits within a reasonable time frame. I offer sneak peeks within 24 hours so you can announce your proposal to all your friends, family and on social media with the best and most high-resolution photos possible. The rest of the gallery is normally delivered with 3 weeks!


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