How to plan a Proposal Photography session in Columbia, MO

Everything you need to know about proposal photography
Planning to propose and looking for pictures?

It only happens once, let’s make sure you have the best pictures that capture the moment!

How we photograph a proposal

The Process

Proposal sessions are a bit different than standard engagement sessions as they require some planning and organization upfront.

There are two kinds of proposal sessions we typically photograph. There is the one we call by its very official name, “The Hiding One”, and the other we call “The Surprise One”. The Hiding One is where someone is planning to pop the question immediately and they want the photographer to be hidden while documenting the moment. The Surprise One begins as a regular couples portrait session, but five or ten minutes into the shoot, someone gets down on one knee!

Regardless of which type of session you are wanting, there are logistics to work out before the shoot that can make a big difference in how the photos turn out! Here are some tips we’ve found to be super helpful when planning to have your proposal documented.

01 | Inquire & Book

To get started, all you need to do is fill out the contact form and get in touch. I’ll email you back within 24 hours to continue the conversation!

02 | Make a Plan

Meeting in person at the proposal spot before the session is especially important if you are wanting the photographer to be hidden from view when you get down on one knee. Knowing where the photographer will be hiding and which direction people will be facing is important to make sure we are able to document the emotion of the moment and not the back of someone’s head! These meetings typically only take 5 or 10 minutes and this is included in the standard proposal session fee!

03 | Choose a Location

Most people choose a location that has sentimental value while others go for a scenic backdrop. Either way, our goal is to find the most flattering light possible when the moment happens. If you choose a lakeside type location, we would schedule the session for 30-45 minutes before the sunsets so we can have the best light possible. If you choose a woodsy spot to pop the question, we might schedule the session earlier in the day so it’s not super dark.

If you are wanting a Hiding Session, we also want to make sure there is an object nearby for us to hide behind!

It’s also nice to have a backup plan in case of rain, although we’ve dreamed of capturing an engagement in the pouring rain, so I’m not going to call this one a requirement.  :)

04 | Outfit Choices

This tip is last on my list because I feel like people should wear whatever they feel best in! That said, no one wants the moment they say “YES!” to be immortalized by an unflattering outfit they never would have chosen to be photographed in!

Scheduling a Surprise Session takes care of the outfit challenge because both of you will be expecting to be photographed and will be sure to wear certain outfits for the occasion. The Hiding Session makes the outfit issue a bit more challenging. We’ve found that telling your person that you have a date at a fancy restaurant later (or anywhere that a nice outfit might be required) usually solves the outfit conundrum.

If you are wanting specific outfit ideas that photograph well–we always suggest solids with a bit of pattern thrown in here and there. For example, one of you could wear nice jeans and a white button up shirt, the other could wear a blue dress. One person could wear a pair of wide leg navy pants with a patterned floral top and the other could wear a simple pair of linen pants and solid colored shirt. Here’s a selection of engagement sessions we’ve done where you can get more of the best outfit ideas for a proposal session!


Pricing is simple and easy to understand. We offer two different options:

Mini Proposal session $350.

This session lasts 30 minutes and includes photography of the proposal and then a mix of candids and portraits. This session allows for one outfit and one location.

Standard Proposal Session – $650

Standard sessions are 60 minutes and include photography of the proposal and a mix of candids and portraits.

This session allows for two outfits and two locations (depending on distance). Also included is an in-person consultation at the proposal location

Book Your Proposal Session