As if the wedding industry wasn't enough of an industry already - engagement proposal photography about puts the nail in the coffin and pushes me close to the edge.
I get about one of these emails each week: "I'm planning to propose to my girlfriend in the Boston Public Garden and want photos of the proposal/she told me she wants it photographed." This requires me (photographer) to hide in a bush like a sniper and stalk you, photographing up to the point where she says "yes" (hopefully). Sorry, I will not do that.
ENJOY THE MOMENT. Seriously. You have eyes, ears, a brain and a working memory. This is coming from a photographer whose livelihood depends on people wanting photos but - the "photos or it didn't happen" mentality of millennials and gen-Xers KILLS ME. You DON'T need photos of your proposal. This is supposed to me an intimate, private moment between two people in love. Maybe your family or friends if they HAPPEN TO BE PHYSICALLY AROUND. When the heck did it become customary to broadcast that moment all over Facebook and Pinterest?
Ok - I see nothing wrong with wedding day photography because first of all 1.) you will not be able to experience everything objectively like a photographer can - we can get the groom's reaction at the altar, your mom crying even when your back is turned to her, your friends breaking it down on the other side of the dance floor, all the little details you'll miss, etc etc. 2.) you will be so busy it will fly by, and for a day that you put *this* much effort into, you'll probably want to remember it when you're 80. 3.) to share with friends and family who couldn't make it. 4.) your photographs become a family heirloom to show your kids, grandkids, etc. 4.) they can be beautiful, pieces of art. From detail shots of your dress or centerpieces, or great portraits of the couple that you work with your photographer on - they'll be beautiful.
Proposal photography? 1.) "photos or it didn't happen" - post pictures all over Pinterest, WeddingWire, some snooty wedding blog (which is very selective by the way and will almost definitely not accept another Boston Public Garden Proposal), Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, whatever.
Basically, nope. I can't get behind that.
This is supposed to be an INTIMATE moment. Between TWO people (or more if you're into that kind of relationship triad thing but) - NOT broadcast all over Facebook - do that with your wedding photos so those who couldn't make it can see. Your proposal... let's break it down. One partner is asking (which means they are unsure of the answer) the other partner to spend the rest of their life with them - OK, that's HUGE! Usually along with this there's some explanation of how special and great they are, lots of profession of love, etc - if you aren't a sobbing, snotty mess by the end of this you must have a heart of steel because I'm pretty sure I'd be beyond photographable at that point. Anyway - this is not to be taken lightly! And engagement proposal photography turns this amazing, quintessential, turning-point moment into "just another step in the wedding planning process" and with that, just another fee to add to the wedding tab.
Just because WeddingWire tells you you need something it doesn't mean you do. Actually, you should probably do the opposite, if you want your wedding to be true to YOU. WeddingWire and The Knot are 90% the problem here but that will be for another blog rant.
Maybe someone has a differing view on why they so desperately must have their proposal photographed - if so, I'd love to hear it. Because as of now, I just don't get it, and it makes me cringe every time someone asks me to photograph theirs.
So anyway, let's keep shooting love when it's meant to be shared. Just because the wedding industry is growing every day does NOT mean you have to sacrifice your intimate moments with your partner to keep up with it.
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