New York City, the city of love. Did I make that up? Maybe. But really, NYC is such a romantic place. Especially when you go across the water over to Brooklyn, with the most beautiful views. I'm lucky I have a good friend that moved to NYC a few years ago, so I try and visit her as often as I possibly can.

Last Fall, I went down to spend the weekend with her. We were wandering around Brooklyn for sunset, when we ran into a photographer. We started to chat and he mentioned that he was going to be taking photos of a surprise proposal. Who doesn't get excited to catch a surprise proposal? Especially when you're a couples photographer for a living. So of course I had to wait and watch the magic go down.

Unfortunately the couple was late, and it started to get really dark. Long story short, the photographer was not well equipped to be shooting in the dark, and his practice photos were coming out completely blurry. I was sick realizing that he didn't know how to use his camera manually, not allowing him to capture the photos he needed to in this moment. I kindly asked him if he would like me to take the photos with my camera, and I would send him the files to send to the couple. He was beyond grateful, and it worked out well.

I write this post because I was sick to my stomach with the thought that this couple wouldn't have had the pictures they were hoping for, especially for one of the most amazing moments of their life. I know photography is generally up to females, so I wanted to write this post with the men in mind.

Tips on how to pick your proposal photographer

Tip #1: Do your research

How to find your perfect photographer? Do some research. There are so many talented photographers out there, they are not hard to find. You just have to look in the right places. Here are some starting points:

  1. Social media: Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest are amazing places to search for a photographer.
    • Instagram/Facebook: Search hashtags. For example, #nycproposal, #nycweddingphotographer. There will be tons of photographers who pop up. Head to their websites, check out their work, see if they are in your budget and reach out to chat.
    • Pinterest: Another amazing platform to find photographers. Simply type in keywords such as NYC proposal, NYC wedding photographer, etc. Click on the images that look exciting to you and it will bring you to the photographers website.
  2. Google search: Search engines aren't dead, so don't be afraid to search for your photographer here either. Search keywords once again such as NYC proposal photographer. Just don't forget to check their website and view their work!

Tip #2: Check their work

Any good photographer is going to have a solid portfolio on their social channels and website. If they don't, I would recommend continuing on your search. Things to look for:

  • Do they have a variety in their portfolio? Meaning, do they have a lot of images for examples? The more examples they have, generally means the more experience they also have. This of course is completely up to you, but usually remember, that you get what you pay for.
  • Look at their blogs that include more images from a gallery. Try and make sure you like a full gallery rather than just one photo of theirs on their site.

Tip #3: Make sure you like their "style"

Today, there is a huge variety of photography styles out there. And everyone is drawn to something different. If you don't have something specific you are drawn to, then you could also look to see if your significant other has a preference. You can check their own Pinterest (many people have a "future wedding" section). Or even look to see if they follow any photographers they love. If not, then hopefully you can use your best judgement!

  • Their photography style: Every photographer is different, which is great! Some love posed, serious looks. While some like authentic movement.
  • Their editing style: There are a lot of editing styles out there. There is dark and moody, light and airy, saturated colors, etc. During your research, what style are you most drawn to?

Tip #4: Don't cheap out on this moment

Once again, this is totally your preference. If you just want some nice photos, and you don't care how they look, then totally support a new photographer trying to build their portfolio! I was once that photographer as well and it's much appreciated. However, if you want the confidence that the photos are going to be out of this world and ones you can have forever, then don't get afraid of that higher $300+ number. Photography is expensive for a reason. The equipment is extremely expensive. The education and marketing tools are expensive. And don't forget, we are our own business, which means we have to pay 30% taxes. This is the moment you both have been waiting for - make sure you have amazing photographs to remember it by!

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Adventure elopement photographer team

A New Hampshire + Vermont based adventure elopement and intimate wedding photographer team for the adventurous souls. We specialize in New England and destinations worldwide, empowering you to create the most beautiful, adventurous day and give you the memories you'll be able to look back on for all the years to come.


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