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Surprise Engagement Tips for 2024


Black and White image of a couple's proposal at NYC's central park


Turn Off Your Location!


If you're scouting out potential proposal locations, turn off your location services on your mobile device! 


A client of mine recently left his on while looking at locations in Hoboken New Jersey with me. When questioned by his significant other he creatively told her a white lie by saying he was looking at proposal locations and could easily scratch that one off the list. On the day of the proposal, she was surprised that he dropped a knee at that park in Hoboken.


Morale of the story, keep your location off while scouting proposal spots.


Remember, Instagram Fame Isn't Everything:


Certain locations, like The Edge or Rockefeller Center during Christmas, are popular on social media for surprise proposals. While they can be fun, consider the potential downsides like crowds and limited space. 


In one instance, I suggested an alternative location to a client who initially wanted to propose at The Edge. Gantry Park in Long Island City offered a stunning view of the NYC skyline, less traffic, and more options for post-proposal celebrations. The client was thrilled!


Sunset Proposals: Beautiful, but Not Guaranteed:


Sunset proposals are undeniably romantic, but be aware of the limited timeframe and potential for weather disruptions. While I love shooting these, I remind my clients that clouds or traffic delays could impact the "golden hour."


If you choose a sunset proposal, pick a spot with an interesting background in case the sun doesn't cooperate. Remember, a dark background without additional lighting creates a less visually appealing photo. Also, avoid proposing on an East Coast beach at sunset, as the sun disappears behind the horizon, leaving cars, houses, and bars in the background.



Couple at Gantry Park with the NYC Skyline behind them in a beautiful sunset


Be Present and Enjoy the Moment:


My most important tip is to be present and enjoy the magic of the moment. Many clients worry about various scenarios before proposing. I assure them that their job is simple: ask the question. Once that happens, the momentum carries you forward. 


Don't let unexpected circumstances, like rain, ruin your joy. Roll with it and create a memorable experience anyway. One client chose to propose at Gantry Park despite the threat of rain. He and his fiancee shared a laugh, embraced, and kissed as the raindrops fell, creating an unforgettable moment captured in beautiful photos.




NYC's best engagement photographer, photo of couple in rain with engagement ring in Gantry Park



Bonus Tip:


Hire a professional photographer to capture your surprise engagement and other special occasions. They'll handle the technical aspects, allowing you to focus on what truly matters: your love for your soon-to-be spouse.


I hope these tips help! If you're looking for a photographer to document your surprise engagement or other precious moments, reach out to me using the link below.




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