A few tips to plan your surprise proposal photoshoot in Venice!
Do you wish to surprise your love with an unexpected marriage proposal that leaves you both breathless, in the fabulously romantic setting of charming Venice? If you’re reading this, probably it’s because you’re thinking of engaging a professional photographer to capture this unique and critical moment of your future life as a couple: great idea! Photography has a key role in documenting the important stages of life, and it would be a shame to restrict the use of a professional to just the single day of your wedding.
The day of the official request of marriage is one of those moments that needs to be kept as a precious memory and relived with joy and emotion over the years, thanks to images can capture the magic. These photographs will be the most beautiful gift you can give to your partner (after the ring, of course!).
Do you want to be reassured that it is really a good idea and that making it happen smoothly is feasible and not too complicated? Here’s some advice from the photographer’s point of view.
A perfect wedding proposal in Venice
suggestions from your venetian photographer
– 1 ARE YOU SURE?
This is not a tip from photographer, but as a good friend. It might seem superfluous and trivial, but sometimes love and enthusiasm cloud judgment: you love him/her madly, you have been together by months, years, decades, maybe have been living together for some time, he/she is your soul mate, with whom you want form a large family and grow old happily surrounded by a sea of grandchildren.. BUT are you really sure that is really the right time, and that when you kneel excitedly asking his/her hand in marriage, the object of your sentiments ends up not just surprised and with eyes shining with the overwhelming joy that you expect, but rather tied up with a confused embarrassment that could freeze the blood in your veins, and make you wish to throw yourself into one of the many available water channels (in this Venice helps a lot)? Think carefully.. or you will have thrown away not just the ring but also your time, money, travel ..and photographer!
– 2 KNOW YOUR CHICKEN..
Granted you’re incurable optimists, and that the probability of a “yes” should be at least 100%, there is an additional consideration.
Are you really sure that your partner will react well to the discovery that such a private and intimate moment of your life together was documented by a photographer lurking in the shadows, ready to seize the moment? I was lucky to never witness anything but enthusiastic reactions to the surprise proposals, and welcoming acknowledgments of my presence, but it can’t be always taken for granted.
The possibilities are three:
– The most frequent (and the only one I have personally witnessed) is that he/she is delighted by the fact that you had the forethought of hiring a photographer to immortalize a moment so important and romantic of your life as a couple. Your significant other will be infinitely grateful for having secretly made arrangements with the photographer, dedicating a bit of your precious time to plan every detail, because everything happened in the best ways. If your SO is the type who likes surprises and has no problems in being candidly photographed it, keep the secret: it will be a surprise in the surprise, and he/she will be infinitely grateful!
– If he/she’s the type who hates surprises, who likes to participate in the organization of everything or who simply does not like to be photographed if not wearing a favorite outfit and accurate makeup, there is a second possibility: share with them your desire to create a romantic couple photo session on the occasion of your trip to Italy, made by a professional photographer, so that he/she can decide with you the main details, but keep secret your real intention of proposing so that, at the most appropriate time and place you will surprise them! My presence will be justified from the beginning, and when the time comes to kneel and bring out the ring, just send me a quick nod of understanding for me to seize the moment in the best way possible.
– If he/she is really an extremely reserved person, to the point of considering the presence of a stranger at such an intimate and personal an intrusion… It’s probably best for you to pop the ring the night before, by candlelight at a secluded table in a romantic restaurant. The following day you will both wear your beautiful outfits and your best smiles for the already scheduled photo session, which will become a romantic engagement session .. complete with a ring happily received!
– 3 CLEAR IDEAS AND PLANNING!
If you are an exuberant couple, extroverted, with the right touch of madness and you don’t feel embarrassed to be the center of attention, he/she will be happy to see you suddenly kneel in the middle of a crowded St. Mark’s Square among dozens of curious stares, amused or moved tourists from around the world, with probable final applause!
If you are more reserved, he/she would certainly prefer a more intimate situation, discreet and romantic. This solution is definitely the preferred one for the moment of the surprise proposal, because it means less embarrassed and does not necessarily imply the renunciation of a typically Venetian setting. Venice offers plenty of cozy corners that allow some privacy.
If you have never been to Venice, the help and suggestions of a photographer who knows the city will be invaluable for planning the photo session that suits you. If you have opted for a surprise proposal, I’ll give you the instructions to reach the secret meeting location away from your hotel, on foot or by water bus. We will establish the most appropriate time according to your needs and to the light conditions in different seasons of the year. I will propose the best paths to go along, after the proposal has taken place, to explore and document your Venetian adventure. If the time available allows to, and if the idea excites you, we could catch a gondola ride to enjoy Venice from the unique perspective of the water canals.
– 4 THE SECRET SIGNAL!
Once the time and place where you will pop the question is fixed, it will be important to establish a secret signal that makes me realize that you’re ready to do it! Do not worry that he/she might get suspicious of the presence of a guy armed with large professional cameras: even though at that place we were present only three of us (unlikely occurrence), I will remain at a safe distance and pretend to be just another tourist interested to take picture everything of the surrounding beauty except you! Out of the corner, unnoticed, I will keep you both under constant review and when you will send me the signal I’ll be ready to get into the action. She/he will be quite surprised and confused when you kneel at his/her feet, wholly enthralled by what’s happening between you two and most certainly not aware at this time of my telephoto lens now focused on you!
-5 EASY GOING!
Let’s take our time, let’s enjoy the moment.. You’re lovers in Venice! Just a relaxed stroll in San Marco square to take some pictures usually takes quite a bit of time. Then we will want to get away from the crowd and “get lost” in the maze of streets, bridges and small canals to discover the most hidden and charming areas of this lovely city? A relaxed walk, enjoying the beauty that awaits around each corner, takes some time. Then we will probably want to take some photos in more open spaces, rarely visited and fascinating, perhaps with the backdrop of larger views of the sea? We could take a water bus to reach these less visited places and take some more time. If you’re a romantic soul who doesn’t want to give up a gondola ride to delve into otherwise unreachable areas of the city, enjoying a unique point of view? The minimum duration of a gondola ride is half an hour.
It’s not possible to think of spending less than two hours for a photo shoot in Venice (unless you only wish for a small souvenir of a single specific area of the city). Most routes involve long walks and frequent, quick stops that allow me to picture you among the most picturesque corners. The photo shoot will be the documentation of your romantic trip to Venice and you should almost forget about having a photographer in tow, so I need your cooperation to let it happen in the most comfortable and natural way possible. Avoid, for example, to start from the hotel with a backpack or a shoulder strap: the pictures do not like the presence of these appendages: it sounds silly, but it will turn out to be uncomfortable and irritating having to place the backpack out of the frame for each photo, holding it under control for fear that – in the confusion of the crowded areas – someone might just walk away with your property! Before leaving the hotel to go to the meeting secret location for the proposal, if he/she is blissfully unaware, make sure you’re not carrying unnecessary accessories: leave your pricey reflex camera behind, because you’ll take photos of the town at another time; if she is short-sighted, but he/she does not like to be photographed with glasses, tell him/her to wear contact lenses and a favorite outfit because it will be a nice excursion to document with a few nice phone selfies; if, on the way to get to the place of our appointment, they fall in love with lovely pair of shoes on display in the showcase Gucci, tell her that you left the credit card at the hotel, otherwise we would have an unnecessary shopping bag at your feet for the entire shooting time: you know your lover and you’ll know how to find the most suitable excuses! Our photo session will be much more enjoyable and successful the more lightweight and comfortable you will feel!
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