The Best Tips for Photographing a Wedding Proposal in Columbia, MO


We have been photographing tons of wedding proposal sessions in Columbia, MO lately! Tis the season to get engaged and having photos that document the occasion is something you won’t regret. Proposal sessions are a bit different than standard engagement sessions as they require some planning and organization upfront.

There are two kinds of proposal sessions we typically photograph. There is the one we call by its very official name, “The Hiding One”, and the other we call “The Surprise One”. The Hiding One is where someone is planning to pop the question immediately and they want the photographer to be hidden while documenting the moment. The Surprise One begins as a regular couples portrait session, but five or ten minutes into the shoot, someone gets down on one knee!

Regardless of which type of session you are wanting, there are logistics to work out before the shoot that can make a big difference in how the photos turn out! Here are some tips we’ve found to be super helpful when planning to have your proposal documented:

1. Meeting in person before the session

Meeting in person at the proposal spot before the session is especially important if you are wanting the photographer to be hidden from view when you get down on one knee. Knowing where the photographer will be hiding and which direction people will be facing is important to make sure we are able to document the emotion of the moment and not the back of someone’s head! These meetings typically only take 5 or 10 minutes and this is included in the standard proposal session fee!

2. Choosing a location for the proposal

Most people choose a location that has sentimental value while others go for a scenic backdrop. Either way, our goal is to find the most flattering light possible when the moment happens. If you choose a lakeside type location, we would schedule the session for 30-45 minutes before the sunsets so we can have the best light possible. If you choose a woodsy spot to pop the question, we might schedule the session earlier in the day so it’s not super dark.

If you are wanting a Hiding Session, we also want to make sure there is an object nearby for us to hide behind!

It’s also nice to have a backup plan in case of rain, although we’ve dreamed of capturing an engagement in the pouring rain, so I’m not going to call this one a requirement.  :)

3. Outfit choices

This tip is last on my list because I feel like people should wear whatever they feel best in! That said, no one wants the moment they say “YES!” to be immortalized by an unflattering outfit they never would have chosen to be photographed in!

Scheduling a Surprise Session takes care of the outfit challenge because both of you will be expecting to be photographed and will be sure to wear certain outfits for the occasion. The Hiding Session makes the outfit issue a bit more challenging. We’ve found that telling your person that you have a date at a fancy restaurant later (or anywhere that a nice outfit might be required) usually solves the outfit conundrum.

If you are wanting specific outfit ideas that photograph well–we always suggest solids with a bit of pattern thrown in here and there. For example, one of you could wear nice jeans and a white button up shirt, the other could wear a blue dress. One person could wear a pair of wide leg navy pants with a patterned floral top and the other could wear a simple pair of linen pants and solid colored shirt. Here’s a selection of engagement sessions we’ve done where you can get more of the best outfit ideas for a proposal session!


Proposal Session Packages

• Mini Proposal Session – $350

This session lasts 30 minutes and includes photography of the proposal and then a mix of candids and portraits. This session allows for one outfit and one location

• Standard Proposal Session – $650

Our standard session is 60 minutes and includes photography of the proposal and a mix of candids and portraits. This session allows for two outfits and two locations (depending on distance). This session also includes an in-person consultation at the proposal location.



If you feel ready to set a date for your proposal and want the moment documented, reach out to us via our contact page! We would love to chat about the details and capture such a huge moment for you!!


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    We're based in Columbia, MO, but we love to travel for weddings and engagement sessions throughout the midwest! From elopement photography to estate weddings, we offer a variety of package options and love to talk about photography. :)

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