You’re planning to propose, and you know one thing for certain: You want a professional photographer there to capture the moment. But this is a big day for you and your partner, and you may not be totally sure how to choose which of the many talented photographers out there should be the person in charge of making sure your memories last a lifetime.

Here are a few questions you can ask to make sure your proposal is as magical as you want it to be.

Have you photographed any LGBTQ+ couples before?

Luxury lesbian proposal at Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas engagement
Photo by Fabio and Adri

If it isn’t immediately obvious (from their gallery, website, Instagram, or listing here on Equally Wed), it’s worth asking prospective photographers whether they’ve ever worked with an LGBTQ+ couple before. Is this person an ally or a member of the community? One isn’t necessarily better than the other and it’s ultimately your choice, but you might feel more comfortable knowing you’re working with someone who’s supportive and safe. It’s always a bonus if the photographer has samples from a wide variety of different couples.

Have you photographed a proposal before?

Proposals can be different from other photo sessions because of their spontaneity. How experienced is your prospective photographer with capturing moments as they happen? If you’re planning to have this person incognito, hiding while you pop the question, are they comfortable doing that? Have they been a part of surprise photos before? How well do they know the location you’re proposing in, so they can get the right lighting and stay unseen until the moment? If you’re planning on telling your significant other about the photos, with the only surprise being the proposal, you won’t have as much difficulty aligning everything with your photographer.

Downtown Pittsburgh rooftop proposal Equally Wed
Photo by Sandrachile

What are your prices and what packages do you offer?

Although this is an important moment, you also want to make sure you’re hiring someone whose rates and packages match with what you’re looking for. If you only want them there just to capture you popping the question and a few moments after, you’re talking about a different session than if you want an entire photo shoot including a proposal. You’ll want to ask about their prices and what types of packages they offer. Do they offer prints and canvases? Can you have as many high-resolution image downloads as you want? Will you receive a flash drive of the images or do they come via Dropbox, WeTransfer, or an online gallery?

What is your photography style?

You’ll want to know that your photographer’s style matches the types of photos you’re looking for. Are they artsy, fun, moody, creative, colorful? Do they take a lot of candids or mainly posed shots? Do they focus more on the couple and detail shots, or on the big picture and the location? If you look through their gallery and think, “These are exactly the kinds of shots I want,” then this person might be the right fit. It’s also worth talking to them a little bit when you interview them to get a sense of how serious or silly they are, and whether they bring a lot of ideas to the session or expect you to come knowing what you want.

Photo by Elle Photo + Video

How quickly will they give you the photos?

Especially if you’re planning to share the news with friends, family, and on social media, you’ll want to know about your photographer’s turnaround time. You may have to wait a couple of weeks for your entire gallery of images, but are they able to send you at least a few preview shots so that you can use them for announcing the great news? Ask them in advance about their timeline for both previews and the full set of images.

Will they be sharing the photos online or anywhere?

Depending on how out you and your partner are, and how public you want to be, you might not feel comfortable knowing that your photographer is sharing the proposal photos online, on their website, or submitting them to wedding publications. All of this should be included in your contract, but just to make sure you’re on the same page, it’s a good idea to ask all prospective photographers what their policy is and make sure it aligns with what you and your significant other are comfortable with.

Ultimately, your proposal should be all about you and the person you’re asking to marry you. You want to choose someone who fits in with the vibe and emotion that you’re going for during this moment—whether you’re planning a big romantic gesture or going more casual—so that it’s memorable for you and your partner.

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