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How to photograph a proposal

How to photograph a proposal

With both Valentine’s Day and springtime just around the corner, we’re nearing that time of year when people like to propose to their significant others. This is, of course, a monumental occasion in people’s lives that they’ll want to remember forever, and that, in turn, means someone is going to have to be there to photograph the moment.

In some cases, though, having a professional photographer on hand isn’t feasible. For example, maybe the presence of a photographer with a myriad of equipment will tip off what’s coming to the person getting proposed to. Or maybe you simply want the moment to be photographed by a close friend or relative. If you’re a budding or aspiring photographer, and you happen to fit that description of being a close friend or relative, this may be your chance to shine- and earn yourself a dose of eternal gratitude.

Here are a few tips on putting together the perfect proposal photo scrapbook.

Scout out the scene before taking photographs

Depending on where the proposal is taking place, you may not be particularly familiar with the environment. So it’s up to you, as the photographer, to do a little bit of recon ahead of time. With even a brief walkthrough of the scene, you can scope out not only potential hazards, but good angles and spots to take some photographs. That way, you won’t be scrambling around in the heat of the moment- a moment that you won’t get a second chance to capture- to try to set up a great picture.

Good lighting for your photographs is a must

Speaking of scoping out the scene beforehand, one of the things you might want to check out is the lighting situation. No matter what type of setting the proposal may be taking place in, there has to be some sort of lighting that makes for a memorable photograph. If you’re outdoors, you’ll want to make sure that you are in an area that gets enough sunlight for the couple to be easily visible; similarly, if the proposal is taking place indoors somewhere, you’ll want to make sure the room is lit well enough for these special photographs. In addition, some angles make for better-lit photos than others even in rooms with the perfect lighting, so feel free to try different angles in order to ensure that you capture a few pictures with absolutely perfect lighting.

The more diverse the photographs, the better

With any proposal, there is one shot that is an absolute must: the moment the man gets down on one knee and proposes. And for this moment, you’ll want to capture at least two different angles, if not more, to ensure that you’ve got the perfect shot. But there’s no limit to the number of shots you should take- nor the creativity you as the visual storyteller can display. Close-ups of the engagement ring are usually a staple of most proposal photoshoots, as are the couple sharing a kiss, holding hands, or embracing. But once the proposal has been made (and hopefully accepted) you gain the power to tell the couple to pose in a certain fashion, or stand in a certain place. Use this moment to your advantage- and as alluded to earlier, planning this out in advance will almost certainly yield better results than not.