What is a Proposal Photo Shoot and Why do You Need Proposal Photographs?

Oct 10, 2023 | Wedding Wisdom

What Is A Proposal Shoot?

So you are planning on proposing and you want to know what is a proposal photo shoot? Congratulations, do you know how fortunate you truly are? Amidst a world of eight billion souls, you have discovered that one person who ignites your heart. The one you yearn to journey through the rest of your existence with. And now, as you select that perfect engagement ring, envisioning a special place where your love story will forever be etched in time. Let this moment become an indelible chapter in the tale of your extraordinary love.

Two Types Of Proposal Shoot

The Elements Of A Proposal Shoot

Afterwards - A Couple Shoot

Work With The Experts

Why Have Proposal Photographs?

Top Tips For Amazing Proposal Photos

How Are The Photos Delivered?

Proposal Shoot Reviews

secret golden cap marriage proposal photo shoot couple

In the grand tapestry of life’s most cherished moments, proposals stand out as a significant chapter. They are filled with excitement, love, and anticipation. Taking proposal photographs has become a cherished tradition, capturing the raw emotions and love of the moment. In this blog post, we will explore proposal photographs and their significance. We will also discover the magical world of secret proposal photo shoots.

secret sunrise proposal photo shoot at old harry rocks dorset
Proposal photographs are a genre of photography that captures the pivotal moment when one person asks another for their hand in marriage. These images immortalize the intense emotions, surprise, and love shared between the couple.
newly engaged couple admires the dorset coastal views from golden cap

What is a Proposal Photo Shoot? The Two Types of Proposal Photo Shoots

These magical moments unfold in two distinct ways. Each surprises the unsuspecting partner who is soon to be asked for their hand in marriage. It is a dance of secrecy and enchantment, where hearts align and love takes center stage.

Traditional Proposal Photographs

The first option is to capture the pure essence of surprise and love with a ‘Traditional’ proposal shoot. Here a professional photographer creates a breathtaking experience where your partner believes they are simply having a couple shoot. They are unaware of the life-changing moment that awaits.

Much of the planning can involve both partners. As they pose for the camera, you can seize their heart and ask for their hand in marriage, forever capturing their genuine reaction.

This proposal option is perfect for those accustomed to professional photography. Whether it be studio visits, previous couple photographs, or an extensive social media following.

traditional proposal photographs during couple photoshoot on chalk cliff beach

The Secret Proposal Shoot

Traditional proposal photographs involve capturing the moment discreetly. Secret proposal photo shoots take this concept to a whole new level. These shoots are meticulously planned and orchestrated with the precision of a heist. They result in jaw-dropping images filled with raw emotion and genuine surprise.

With a secret proposal shoot, your partner will never suspect a thing, allowing for an authentic and unforgettable moment. Whether disguised as tourists exploring a scenic landscape or blending in with a photography tour group at sunrise, a professional photographer can expertly plan and coordinate every detail to ensure truly genuine and emotional images.

This is by far the most popular option. Here natural beauty meets heartfelt reactions. Our couples discover the magic of capturing the raw, unfiltered emotions of a surprise proposal.

marriage wedding proposal photo shoot durdledoor sea arch dorset beach

So Why Have Professional Proposal Photographs?

Preserving Precious Memories

Even with a lot of planning actual marriage proposals are spontaneous and emotionally charged. The photographs taken during this moment capture the genuine reactions of both partners. Professional photographs preserve the memory in its purest form.

Sharing the Moment

Opting for professional proposal photos enables couples to share this milestone with friends and family who couldn’t be present. These images can also serve as a beautiful way to announce and celebrate their engagement.

Professional Quality

Hiring a professional photographer ensures that the moment is captured beautifully. The experience and expertise a photographer brings can turn a simple proposal into a breathtaking visual story.

Creating Lasting Keepsakes

Alongside engagement and wedding photos proposal photographs often become cherished keepsakes, displayed at weddings and in family albums for generations to come.

Planning and Advice

When hiring a professional photographer, their years of experience should shine through as they guide you through the process. They can effortlessly remove the stress from the occasion. With their expertise, you’ll be able to relax and focus on the all-important question. As we delve into the planning, we recognize the significant role it plays in a marriage proposal. Ensuring every detail is perfectly captured and cherished forever.
reaction to marriage proposal photograph on dorset beach

Expert Advice and the Elements of a Proposal Photo Shoot

Precise Planning: Unleash the Power of Perfect Performance

The journey after establishing what is a proposal shoot begins with careful planning. We join forces with you to assist in every aspect of your proposal, ensuring the selection of an ideal location and time. It’s more than just checking the weather or the timing of the sun’s embrace. We go above and beyond, curating an unforgettable experience that sets the stage for an extraordinary moment.

Your chosen photographer should know your chosen location like the back of their hand. They will meticulously research every nook and cranny. They will map out the perfect proposal and shooting spots. With a keen eye for detail, they can anticipate any unforeseen circumstances by identifying nearby locations as backup plans. From plan B to plan D, rest assured that your photographer will have it all covered.

Before the day comes we get to know how the light works at the chosen location. Intimately acquaint ourselves with the backdrops, and explore the scenery that surrounds it. When the moment arises a photographer should be able to work these elements to their fullest potential.

Keep it Natural

At Secret Proposals, we understand the importance of keeping your surprise intact.

We know that going too overboard can raise suspicion. That’s why we offer unique yet realistic ideas and insights for your special moment.

If you’re the type of couple who enjoys a leisurely weekend lie-in, a sunrise shoot might not be the best fit. It would certainly raise some eyebrows. However, if you both love surfing, imagine proposing ‘out back’ with a ring on a chain around your neck. It’s an idea that’s been successfully done before!

We also know the importance of covert communication with your photographer. That’s why we suggest adding their number to your phone as one of your everyday contacts. Ensuring complete secrecy until the last moment.

Practicing something as simple as “You know I have always loved you with all of my heart, will you marry me” has helped out many a time. When the pressure kicks in, when your hands are shaking as they brandish a ring and you are looking up into the watery eyes of the partner you love and your mind pulls a blank something this simple is a great backup!

Communication is Key

When it comes to planning a proposal shoot attention to detail and understanding your specific needs are just the beginning. Clear and effective communication is incredibly important.

A professional photographer will delve into the finest details, ensuring a seamless experience. Whether it’s coordinating logistics or perfecting positioning, their expert advice should exceed your expectations. Additionally, we offer covert communication guidance and secret signals at the location itself. Both provide you with peace of mind.

Your Considerations For a Proposal

Your chosen proposal photographer should be able to effectively guide you, but the essence of your proposal photoshoot will truly come from your own preferences and decisions. As you embark on the initial stages of planning, there are some important things to consider:

1. The Location Of Your Proposal Shoot

Where do you imagine your perfect proposal? Would your partner imagine a perfect proposal here and find the romance in the location? What is the visual potential for stunning photos? What else does the location offer in terms of backdrops? What does the location offer if the weather isn’t playing ball?

We can recommend a huge variety of locations that cover a variety of needs. We tend to visit them before the big event to help our plan of attack.

2. The Meaning Of Your Chosen Proposal Location

Is the location meaningful to your relationship? Does it hold significance in both your and ( more importantly) your partner’s mind?
This can be something as deep as the place you met or as simple as a location you have always wanted to go to together. Also, think about other meanings the location can provide for your partner – do they love spring flowers, butterflies, paddle boarding, dolphins, dogs, and boats?

We have incorporated all of these into shoots in the past and can recommend many more based on your preferences.

3. The Season Of Your Photoshoot

Are you looking for hot summer sun on a beach, low autumnal rays looking out to sea, crisp winter morning in the forest? Are you envisioning warm winter coats and scarves or shorts and sunhats? What time does the sun rise/ set and where?

Your choice of season can affect so many more aspects of a proposal photoshoot than you may initially consider. Every location we have ever worked at dramatically changes with the seasons. Not only in terms of light but what it visually has to offer.

4. Your Chosen Time Of Day

More specific timings also have to be considered. Are you thinking about sunrise, the bright sun, the golden hour, the blue hour, or a sunset?

This needs to be something not too out of the ordinary to raise suspicion. Would you be likely to head down to the iconic sea arches at Durdledoor for a walk first thing in the morning without it raising an alarm?

The timing of a proposal shoot also needs to be convenient for yourselves. Please don’t try and squeeze it in before a day at work or on an evening when you have a tiring load on in your diaries.

Did you know that a box-shaped square in your trouser pocket can be detected by your partner over 2 miles away? Well, it can! They have a special subconscious ring box radar, so for the love of god, hide the ring box somewhere less obvious!

couple photographs at proposal photo shoot at durdledoor on dorset beach lulworth estate

Top Tips For Amazing Proposal Photo Shoots:

The Secret Selfie

Before heading to the proposal location, we kindly request our clients snap and share a selfie, and we do the same. This thoughtful gesture ensures that both parties can easily recognize each other based on their attire. It’s all about adding an extra touch of convenience and peace of mind to your special experience.

Stop At The Spot

Work out a discreet code with your photographer so they can let you know when you are standing in the perfect spot for the proposal. Whether it’s a cap turned backward or removing a jacket, these clever visual signals ensure that your special moment remains a surprise until the very last second.

Secret Signals

Picture the scene. You and your partner are in the chosen spot, the scenery is looking amazing (as are both of you). At this point, your photographer will want to know when you are about to propose. They will be keeping an eye on you and be primed for the moment.

But let’s face it, proposing is a delicate art. So instead of diving straight in you will want to work up to it. So, keep it natural. Apre-arranged glance at your watch, or a brief scratch of the head, and they’ll know it’s time to focus on the big moment.

Think Outside The Box

Your chosen photographer has the ability to ignite your imagination. They can collaborate with you on innovative ideas for an utterly unique marriage proposal.

We remember a hopeful suitor who made a beautiful photo album of their adventures together. Upon reaching the final page on a serene beach, his partner discovered a photograph of him, down on one knee, a ring box nestled beneath the words “Will you marry me?” As her eyes left the album, he knelt before her, ready with a glistening diamond ring in hand.

The Best Angles

When talking to your photographer, discuss where to stand and how to angle yourselves. . There are some really easy ways of making sure you are at the best angles for capturing the action and the reaction.

Shooting a proposal on a beach we often advise our clients to stand alongside their partner looking out to sea. Point out some non-existent dolphins (once they actually did spot some!). Then drop to one knee, that way when they turn back to you, you are both at the perfect angle for photographs. In the past, we have even gone as far as to share recent dolphin sighting videos with a client so he could ‘plant the seed’!

newly engaged couple embracing black and white photograph in the rain at Man O War bay

So What is a Proposal Photo Shoot? It’s More Than You Think

So, you have proposed, and they have said yes, emotions are running high. Love is in the air, and you are in a beautiful location. It would seem silly to end the photographs there, right?

Therefore, as part of our proposal shoots, we also include a couple photoshoot shortly after. Obviously, we give you some time to savour the moment but will eventually introduce ourselves. This is the perfect opportunity to capture some images of the two of you together beginning the next chapter of your love story.

Now that the camera is in the picture, we encourage a relaxed atmosphere. Capturing the true essence of your love and the stunning surroundings. Our couple shoots not only provide you with a plethora of photographs but also the opportunity to experience the natural joy of being together. It’s the perfect practice for your future engagement or wedding photos. Ensuring you feel comfortable and radiant on your special day.

Making a Day Of It

Over the years we have learned that the best marriage proposals are not in isolation. Many of our couples are on holiday or are making a weekend of it.

Based on what we learn about you and your partner, your likes and dislikes we can recommend local restaurants, cafes, walks, entertainment, venues, beaches, woodlands, etc. All to help to create one of the best days of your life so far.

couple photographs from proposal shoot dorset countryside flowers blue sky silhouettes
couple photograph from lulworth cove proposal photo shoot against Thomas Hardy quote painted on wall

Details of the Delivery

Enjoy the luxury of choosing from a professional photographer’s high-quality photo products. After your photo shoot, we carefully select and edit each image to make them beautiful artworks. The images also tell the story of that special moment.

We’ll provide you with a private online gallery. Here you can immerse yourself in the beauty of your stunning photographs. Why not take a moment together to unwind and enjoy the experience, accompanied by your favourite drink?

Within our elegantly designed galleries, you can experience your beautiful images. You can enjoy a beautiful slideshow, download files, and order prints, albums, and frames. You can also easily share these special moments with your loved ones.

love between couple kissing at dorset countryside photo shoot

To Conclude – What is a Proposal Photoshoot?

In conclusion, a proposal shoot service should go beyond mere planning and capturing the moment of your proposal. We also include a couple photoshoot shortly after, providing you with images of the two of you beginning the next chapter of your love story.

With a relaxed atmosphere, we capture the true essence of your love and the stunning surroundings. High-quality photo products and carefully selected and edited images tell the story of that special moment, and a private online gallery allows you to immerse yourself in the beauty of your stunning photographs.

newly engaged couple kissing spectacular sunrise photo

What is a Proposal Photo Shoot? – Work With The Experts to Find Out

Hopefully we’ve answered the question “What is a proposal photo shoot”. If you’re ready to take the next step and make the perfect proposal, our proposal shoot service is here to capture that unforgettable moment.

Whether you have a specific vision or need some guidance, using over a decade of experience we will work closely with you to create stunning and genuine photographs that truly reflect your love story. Don’t just imagine the moment, let us bring it to life.

Reach out to us at mail@www.onethousandwords.co.uk and discover how we can make your proposal a memory to cherish forever. For a glimpse of the magic we’ve captured for other couples, head over to our proposal photo shoot blog here.

couple photograph from indoor proposal photo shoot at kingston lacy dorset stately home

Don’t Just Take Our Word For It – Reviews From Happy Marriage Proposals

I was lucky enough to have Tom as my photographer for my proposal to my partner at old Harry Rocks. He was super helpful by being flexible with the dates due to potential weather changes, provided exact locations and timings of where I needed to be and also where he would be. He went the extra mile by providing signals, photography options that he could do and he brought coffee. All this made my job all the more easier so that I could just enjoy and cherish the moment.

Everything on the day was fantastic. He was super profesional whilst very friendly and was able to capture the moment and talk to us afterwards. It does help as well when the photos are produced the next day and looked absolutely incredible. We could not be happier with his photos and his focus at 6am on the day.

Dean & Bèlen

We are very pleased with the service we received from one thousand words. I initially saw Tom and Murray’s work online and wanted my proposal pictures to resemble their work so I was keen to use them.

There were a number of delays, changes and cancellations on my end due to Covid however Tom was very accommodating and flexible which made it all the more easy!
On the lead up to the agreed date Tom was very helpful and supportive, he provided plenty of choices and recommendations as to what will make a romantic and scenic proposal which really helped, we agreed on a specific area of Swanage – The Preveril Point.

On the day I was very nervous but felt at much at ease as possible as the plan was carefully choreographed, guidance which I needed on such a nerve racking day! During the proposal Tom, assisted by Hannah were on hand to capture everything. Our moment was captured perfectly and then we had a number of posed pictures in the area to add to the special day.

My partner and I are thrilled with the results and it’s really made the whole experience a whole lot more special. We have lovely pictures to remember the moment forever. Our friends and families also love the pictures, we have already had friends say they wish they had professional pictures taken like us and I’m sure we have spurred on others to plan the same!

We would highly recommend One Thousand Words. Thank you very much!

Tom & Leanne

Just wanted to thank you for the wonderful proposal photo shoot experience.

Both Rizwana and I fully enjoyed the shoot. We shall definitely recommend you. The photos look amazing. We are absolutely enchanted!

We’ve been going through them and selecting/arranging them to share with our families. so excited. Thanks so much again!

Minhaz & Rizwana

one thousand words were extremely professional. I used their service to take some shots for a proposal at Durdle Door.

Great photos and a quick turnaround! Would definitely recommend to anyone looking for proposal photographers.


Thank you Tom, the photos look amazing! You were really a great person to work with, so made it a lot more comfortable for us.

Usually we’re quite camera shy. The gallery and slideshow look awesome!


one thousand words were great.

All the planning beforehand made the surprise shoot go off well and the pictures turned out great! We’ve had a lot of fun looking through them!

They are amazing – thanks again for all the help and for the shoot itself, it’s meant we have some great memories to look back on! Thanks a lot, guys.

Vignesh & Surina

We love the photos. Thank you for capturing the moment so well.

Forever grateful

Nathan & Daisy

diamond engagement ring worn with celebratory glass of champagne at Durdledoor proposal photo shoot

We Are one thousand words

one thousand words Photographers Dorset wedding photographers

Tom Wishart & Murray Lambert

Documentary Wedding Photographers In Dorset & Hampshire

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