How to Plan Your Bay Area Proposal Session

And just what is the difference between a proposal and an engagement phototshoot?

Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco Proposal Session

You may have heard about “Proposal Sessions”. But just what are they? Aren’t proposal and engagement sessions the same thing?

Not at all! Engagement sessions typically happen between 12 to 6 months before the wedding, and are planned out and scheduled with the couple. They may involve a couple of different outfits and locations. While engagement sessions are a great tool for myself and the couple to get to know one another before their wedding day (and get those Save the Date photos!), a proposal session is quite different.

Proposal sessions are much more secretive. They are planned out in advance between the photographer and the person who plans to propose. Usually we will meet at the location beforehand to plan out exactly where both the photographer and the couple will stand, in order to capture best surprised expressions. I do not charge extra for this meeting, as I find it’s very helpful for both myself and the person proposing.

Land’s End San Francisco Proposal Session

However, San Francisco is quite a tourist destination. I’ve shot quite a few proposals of people in town for a vacation. In that case, we typically don’t have a chance to meet before the proposal. And that’s fine too!

Golden Gate Lookout Sunrise Proposal

The biggest part of a surprise proposal is the secrecy. I pose as a photographer taking landscape or other photos nearby, and wait for the couple to appear. Once the proposal begins, it’s over very quickly (although I tell everyone to take their time, I find nerves often speed things up quite a bit). After the proposal, I give the couple a moment to themselves, and then I introduce myself. After that, we do a mini-engagement session nearby.

San Francisco Proposal Session

Unlike engagement sessions, a proposal session is a unique, once in a lifetime event. You can go down on one knee, but you’ll never get those genuine, joyful emotions again. Book a proposal session and you’ll never forget the look on your partner’s face when you ask them to marry you!