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Marriage proposal photographer

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For this Marriage proposal photographer,  I must say I live in a state that is perfect place for couples to propose.  What can be more exciting and romantic than proposing by the ocean in this picturesque wonderland.   The perfect warm weather, beautiful beaches,  luxury hotels and spas make South Florida the perfect place to ask, “Will you marry me?”  

Over the past few weeks I have been hired as a marriage proposal photographer more than ever.  Now that coronavirus vaccines being distributed, many people have already recovered from having the virus, and lots of people have received their vaccines doses, couples are feeling more confident about the future and making big plans.

A brides expression when she realizes he is proposing
This Florida marriage proposal started with a walk on the beach. When she realized there was a beautiful display of flowers, on the beach with a sign asking, “Will you marry me?” she became very excited!
Recently engaged bride with her hand over her mouth.
When she arrived at the display of flowers, pillows, candles & fresh fruit she was in awe!

ABOVE:  This marriage proposal happened in Palm Beach on a stretch of beach around the corner from Worth Avenue.  The set was arranged by an event planing company in South Florida.  MJ Events  In order for the groom to get his future bride to the beach, he told her they were about to leave on a romantic dinner cruise.  Since they were out of town and staying at the Colony Hotel, in Palm Beach  she had no idea that there was no boat dock in off the beach.  At first she saw something set up on the beach, but she could not tell what it was.  As the hired Florida proposal photographer, I hid on the beach behind a wooden beach access ramp.  Through the lens I could see them waling toward the beach set up.  I know if would only be a matter of time until she was able to read the lit sign that said, Will you Marry Me?”  As they approached I was able to she her face become excited.  I just kept shooting and shooting.  This marriage proposal was a big of a challenge because the stretch of beach was located in a popular South Florida location.  At one point a family came down the stairs and walked over to out marriage proposal set up.  We had to ask them politely to leave because this was a surprise.  Of course when something like a surprise proposal happens others want to witness the moment, the problem is, there are also in the shot.   After she said YES, we did an engagement photo shoot around Palm Beach.  You can see more from this Florida marriage proposal here: “She said YES”

Over the past few months I have photographed more marriage proposals in South Florida than ever!

There is no question that the years 2020 and 2021 have been the most difficult in history.  Couples who have planned their weddings were either forced to down size, or push back their wedding dates.  However, now the future is looking much more positive.  One of the results of this positive outlook is apparent by all the calls from couples looking for a marriage proposal photographer.  Now, It’s become apparent that more marriage proposals and new weddings will soon be planned.

Marriage proposal photos taken in Boca Raton, Florida
Capturing the expression on a girls face when her boyfriend asks, Will you marry me? is one of the most exciting parts of photography. These proposal pictures were taken on the beach in Boca Raton, Florida.

Since I have been hired as a marriage proposal photographer so many times over the past month,  I have built a large collection of new proposal images.

One of my favorite aspects of photographing marriage proposal pictures is capturing the moment and the  engagement photo session that follows.  The pictures from the engagement photo session can be used for save the date cards, wedding display pictures, and for course they almost always appear on social media.

As a South Florida wedding photographer, there are several parts of the wedding day that I enjoy the most.  While I love photographing every part of a wedding, I really love capturing the parts in which you don’t entirely know what will transpire. For example, The first look,  Will the groom cry?  Will the groom use hand gestures to convey his emotions?  What about the bride?  The first look is meaningful to her as well.  What will her reaction be?  Tears, laughter, romance, it is all up for grabs and as a South Florida photographer, you never know what will happen.  The same is true for proposal photography.  In the case of marriage proposal photography, the unknown factor is amplified times ten.

Unlike the wedding first look, in a marriage proposal the future bride has no idea this moment is about to take place.  Sure most future brides know this is coming at some point, however, I don’t think any future bride knows when.  Also for this South Florida photographer, this is almost a completely un-posed moment.  Sure, you can coach the future groom in terms of where to stand and in what direction to stand, but no one has any control over her position or what she is going to do in the moment.  Will she cry, hide her face, laugh and turn, bring her hands to his face, it’s anyone’s call.  This means the photographer needs to act fact.  Move quickly and be ready for anything.  In addition a photographer has no control over the lighting when the proposal happens.   Sure a photographer can gage the lighting in a general area, but what if they move or turn toward in an unexpected direction.   Working as a South Florida photographer I find this aspect of proposal photography exciting.    Let’s add the fact that when the couple arrives on location for the proposal, the photographer can’t be visible, or at least shouldn’t be noticeable in any obvious way.  If a couple arrives at a certain location and there is a photographer in clear sight, chances are one of them is going to think, something is up.  This is especially true if one of them is hoping for a surprise marriage proposal.  As a proposal photographer, I need to be at the location, with my camera, and ready to jump into action at a specific moment.

So what makes South Florida the perfect place to propose marriage?

Just over 16 years ago I moved from Los Angeles to South Florida.  When I relocated, I knew that South Florida was considered by many to be the wedding capital of the world.   Don’t get me wrong; Los Angeles has a fantastic wedding market.  The west setting sun, the mountains, and great weather provided me with the ability to photograph plenty of weddings.  In my 20 years working as a wedding photographer in LA I must have photographed over one thousand weddings.  However, what makes South Florida unique is the fact that there are thousands of luxury hotels and upscale properties in South Florida and the Florida Keys.  Furthermore almost all these hotels are perfect for planning an unexpected marriage proposal.  I have also found that almost all the South Florida hotels and venues offer some sort of marriage proposal package.

Lets not forget, a marriage proposal can take place anywhere.

As a South Florida photographer, I have shot marriage proposals at hotels, beach locations, picturesque gardens, on boats,  I have even witnessed marriage proposals underwater during a SCUBA dive.  As an image-maker looking to create beautiful proposal photography, there are unlimited beautiful locations to ask the question and present a wedding ring.

Noland and Lindy’s South Florida marriage proposal pictures.

When extraordinary event planner Anna Hess told me she was planning a marriage proposal and needed photography, I was ready.  Marriage proposal photography here in South Florida always results in awesome pictures.  The beautiful ocean, picturesque beaches and the excitement of a future bride saying, “YES”. For a South Florida photographer this scenario has everything needed to take the best emotional pictures ever.  When you add the talents of Anna Hess into the mix, there is no question that the visual is going to be awesome.  Not only is Anna an expert at planning the perfect moment, she is also great at choosing the best location with the perfect lighting to display her work.  If you would like to see more of her great talent, check out this maternity photo session which was styled by Anna Hess.  This very colorful and very fragrant floral arch was created by Betsy Doyle from Hydrangea flowers and events  I know you can’t actually smell the flowers, but if your had actually been there, you would have.  Maybe if you really look closely, you may start to imagine the floral smell that was present on the beach during this emotional afternoon.

Asking,  “Will you marry me?’  at your private home has it’s perks.

If course it doesn’t hurt when your family home happens to be on a magnificent stretch of beach.  By proposing at a private home, the groom did not have to be concerned about unwanted visitors or onlookers standing in the background of the pictures.  In this case, the marriage proposal was much more intimate.  In an article written by   for Porch she talks about all the benefits of proposing at home. you can read this very informative article here:  Home Proposal Tips and Ideas: How to Get Your S.O. to Say ‘Yes!’


Kissing on a South Florida beach after a marriage proposal
For this marriage proposal photographer, the moments following are the most fun to capture.

To capture this first view of Lindy, I had to hide with my camera in the tall grass waiting for her to arrive.  I’m not sure I did a great job of being invisible, however I’m sure her attention was on the arch and her future husband, and not me trying to hide with my camera.  Capturing special moments like this is one of the reasons why I became a photographer.  Being successful at proposal photography requires special planning, the best professional camera gear, and the patience to lie in wait until the moment happens.

A surprised future bride arrives to see this beautiful will you marry me arch.
Lindy was told to go to the beach because a special family picnic was planned on the beach by the ocean.  When she arrived and saw this arch made of roses and other exotic flowers she knew something is up.  When she saw Noland standing by the arch her heart started pounding.

Lindy wasted no time getting to her waiting fiancé.  The ocean breeze, the scene with her family waiting in the background.  When it comes to event photography, this is as good at it gets.

A future bride rushes to her waiting boyfriend
Photographers note: If you are a photographer who is reading this, you may be wondering, what camera, lens and settings were used to get this surprise action shot? I shot this proposal photo session with a Canon 5D Mark 4 and a Nikon D810. This image came from the 5D with a 210-2.8L lens. To freeze the movement, my shutter speed was 1/400 sec at F7.1 the iso was 320. Generally I try to keep my iso as low as possible because the lower the iso the higher the image quality. In order to get flat lighting on Lindy’s face I had to bump the iso to 320. I decided on F7.1 because I had no idea how fast this situation would unfold. If I had to move and reposition myself I wanted a more forgiving F-stop.

In a matter of seconds the engagement ring was presented and they were engaged!  The moment was filled with cheers from the families, a nice ocean breeze and crashing waves in the background.  As the emotional marriage proposal happened I just hung back taking pictures throughout the entire exchange.  All this action took place on a private beach in Jupiter Florida.  The grooms parents own a lovely beach house which provided the perfect beach setting for this fun and romantic get together.

Groom proposing to his girlfriend on a South Florida beach.
At the sight of Noland standing by the floral arch Lindy rushed to him. I don’t believe anyone actually heard her say YES but it was pretty obvious the answer was yes.
A soon to be fiancé tries on her new engagement ring for the first time at the romantic Florida beach location
After a few moments of hugging and kissing, Lindy tried on her shinny new engagement ring. By the way, yes it fit perfectly.

Watching a memory making event unfold in front of my lens is what I consider to be the best part of being a marriage proposal photographer.  As the hired photographer, this moment comes with lots of preparations that start well before I leave for the job.  The day before the photo shoot is spent charging batteries, preparing memory cards, and looking at Google maps satellite images so that I have a clear understanding of the shooting location.  By looking at a satellite map of the spot where the boyfriend will propose, I can tell where the sun will be, and  the direction of the shadows.  When preparing for  a photo shoot in which I have only a few seconds to get the shot it’s helpful to gather all the information possible.

Picture of the soon to be bride and groom surrounded by beautiful flowers.
As the day progressed into evening the lighting because softer and prettier. This picture was one of the last pictures taken at the end of a very exciting and fun filled marriage proposal.


BELOW: As a South Florida photographer who shoots, weddings, marriage proposals & engagement sessions, I really enjoy wedding ring photography.   Photographing engagement rings requires the ability to be creative while working with small and very valuable items.  One thing to always remember, if you are photographing wedding or engagement rings, especially on the beach be careful!  It’s very easy to loose a ring in the sand.  I once shot a wedding in Delray Beach in which the best man dropped to brides ring during the ceremony.  After looking through the sand for hours the ring was finally found with the help of a metal detector.  I’m always super careful when ever I handle a wedding or engagement ring.  This fear doesn’t stop me from photographing rings in creative ways.  Here are some links to a few of my favorite wedding ring shots. This shot was taken at a wedding that featured a cigar roller.  Since the cigar roller had the ability to make any sized cigar, I asked him to make a custom one for this photo. Check it out here:  An outside the box wedding ring shot.     Setting up this unique wedding ring picture drew a crowd if spectators.   Normally I photograph the wedding rings during the dinner as the food is being served.  Being creative with the wedding rings requires extra time and patience.  It’s very difficult to make a cool ring photo quickly.  This shot required a martini glass, perfect olives, and lots of extra time.  It’s another one of my favorite pictures.  Check it out here: Olive this wedding ring shot!  My hands were a bit sticky after taking this ring shot.  A very unique ring picture. I had fun making this wedding ring picture.

wedding ring photo taken during a South Florida marriage proposal.
The ring is a huge part of any marriage proposal. One of the best aspects of wedding and marriage proposal photography is the fact that so many different types of photography needs to be addressed. In this case, I’m a small product photographer. When the boyfriend asked the bride, “Will your marry me?” I’m a photo-journalist, after she says yes, I turn into a portrait photographer.


BELOW: After she said yes, I photographed the posed family pictures, the happy couple celebrating with some champagne and a few pictures under that beautiful arch.  As the sun was setting, I took the newly engaged couple to the ocean for some fun, engagement pictures.

Beach engagement picture taken in South Florida
Whenever I photograph a couple for an engagement session of for a marriage proposal, I always make sure to take a combo of casually posed and action pictures. I also provide my couples with a variety of color, sepia and black and white pictures. If you like the pictures in this article, call me at 561 737-5561, I would love to be your marriage proposal photographer.

Marc has a question for Samantha.

Working as a South Florida Proposal Photographer, I get to experience all types of unique ideas.  

One day I’m photographing a unique elopement session, a special birthday party with a unique guest, even a crazy off the wall Bar Mitzvah guest. You name it, I have photographed it.

An airplane flying with a banner that reads, Samantha...Marc has a question.
When this plane flew by the crowd at the beach couldn’t help but cheer. Then Marc took a knee and presented a beautiful engagement ring.

When it comes to asking, “Will you marry me?”   Doing it in a unique way that gets attention is very common.  In the past I have photographed and witnessed marriage proposals at sea, in stadiums, on video billboards and underwater while SCUBA diving.  The underwater one is a very popular way to ask the question given the large SCUBA diving community here in South Florida.  As a South Florida photographer, it’s pretty much a given that any marriage proposal I photograph is going to have a unique twist.  Normally someone who is proposing hires a photographer when something special and unique is happening.  In this case Marc, the proposer, chose to ask the question by having an airplane fly past their beach hotel where he planned on taking Samantha for drinks and dinner.  We arrived about one hour early armed with still cameras and video cameras.  The hotel, the Boca Raton Beach Club, set up a special place for the couple to sit and look out at the ocean.  The beach side of the resort is the perfect place for photographers to take ocean scenic pictures, there are always photographers there, shooting boats, surfers, birds and other stuff,  so Samantha had no clue that we was a marriage proposal photographer there waiting to capture the special moment.

This surprise marriage proposal came in the form of an airplane flying up the Boca Raton shoreline.
Everything was relatively calm, aside from the usual poolside guests relaxing and enjoying their afternoon at The Boca Raton Resort Beach Club. There was a slight breeze, and the setting sun provided perfect lighting for a spur of the moment photo session. THEN, a propeller plane could be heard arriving from the South. If course no one noticed the sound of the airplane, except for us. As the plane approached, we gripped our cameras and casually looked over at Samantha and Marc sitting on their beach chairs. Then Samantha looked up, just as Marc stood up and took her hand. As a huge smile came across her face, Marc dropped to a knee and presented an engagement ring. At that point the crowd of hotel guest started cheering. Over the cheers, we could hear Samantha saying, “How the fu(K did you arrange this?


Shooting action scenes like this required flexibility on the part of the marriage proposal photographer.  It’s impossible to know exactly which direction the couple will face in the key moment.  From experience I can tell you, as a photographer, your can plan and plan, talk with the guy, make special hotel arrangements, even set up the beach chairs for the perfect shot.  When the time comes, a photographer and videographer, will need to move quickly to get the best angle.  In addition the lighting may change and a camera setting adjustment is usually needed.

During this South Florida marriage proposal we really focused on her expression.
In marriage proposal photography, concentrating the focus on the unsuspecting person’s face is most important. It’s the facial expression combined with the hands as they slip on the engagement ring that conveys the emotion of the moment. The beautiful setting at the Boca Raton Resort and Club made for perfect pictures.  If you are a photographer reading this, here’s my camera setting info.  I shot this with a Canon 5D Mark 4, the lens was a 70-200 F2.8, I shot this at F5 because I wanted to have some leeway in regards to focus depth of field.  The shutter speed was 1/250th, fast enough the freeze the action and prevent any unexpected camera shake.  The iso was 500, given the F5 and 1/250th, combined with the flat lighting I needed to bump up the iso to compensate for the action and lighting conditions.

After Samantha said, Yes, I will marry you, we spent some time taking couple pictures both on the Boca Raton Resort Beach Club property and on the beach.  The airplane flew around for about 15 minutes giving us plenty of time to get picture with the newly engaged couple on the beach and on the pool deck.   If you are planning a marriage proposal in South Florida then you should definitely consider planning the special moment at The Boca Raton Resort and Club.  This entire surprise proposal was orchestrated by the Boca By Design with is part of the Boca Resort.

You can check out their website here:  Boca by Design  The event planner at the hotel who arranged this moment was Mariel Mackintosh-Eldridge, CMP  In case you are wondering what CMP stands for, its Certified Meeting Professional.  Boca Resort, has an extensive department with the best wedding and event planners in South Florida.   This couple found me when they asked the hotel staff or a great marriage proposal photographer,  I’m so happy they gave out my name as a preferred photographer.   If you are staying at the Boca Raton Resort Beach Club and would like to  arrange for a flying banner for your marriage proposal, birthday announcement, or any special occasion reach out to Boca Resort’s event staff.  They are amazing at making this sort of stuff happen.  They are also fantastic at planning entire events.

Newly engaged couple photo session at the Boca Raton Resort and Club.
After Samantha said Yes, I will marry you. We were able to take some pictures with the airplane flying in the background.

The Boca Raton Resort and Club features both a Beach Club and a main hotel.  The grounds around this South Florida venue are perfect to Weddings, Corporate events and even Family photo sessions.  A photographer can always find the perfect place with a beautiful background to create an amazing picture.

Just engaged at the Boca Raton Resort and Club.
Once Samantha said “YES, YES, YES, she was presented with her new future last name embroidered in this jean jacket.

When someone hires a marriage proposal photographer, they should also consider hiring the same photographer to capture their wedding day.  The beauty of hiring a proposal photographer is that the couple gets to test their photographer for future events.  Questions such as, can the photographer capture action?  or, will the photographer make us look good? or, is the South Florida photographer dependable?  There questions could be answered during the marriage proposal shoot.    After the marriage proposal I get to shoot an engagement session.   Click the link to check out some of my engagement sessions.

A recently engaged couple walking on the beach at the Boca Raton Resort Beach Club.
After the she said “I Will marry you” I get to shoot some fun engagement pictures.  For this one I asked the couple to walk down the beach while holding hands.  By having one person lead and the other follow I’m guaranteed to get both faces.  As a marriage proposal photographer, who also captures, engagement sessions, family portraits, and all other types of event and photo sessions, I’m skilled at making people look their best.

If you would like to see more of my engagement pictures check out my engagement photography page Here

Kayla says, “Yes I will marry you” at the Boca Resort Beach Club.

If you are a planning to ask the big question “Will you marry me?” then asking at the Boca Resort is a great idea.  Having photographed several marriage proposals at the hotel and the beach club, I can tell you, it’s a great place to ask this once in a lifetime question.  During the planning of this marriage proposal the, now groom “Dimitri’s mother called me to check my availability for the special day.  Once she learned I was available Dimitri called me and made the arrangements. Working with the hotel staff they selected a special more secluded part of the Beach Club.  After a few phone conversations and a marriage proposal timeline provided to be by the hotel, we were ready to go.  Then Mother Nature decided “Not today”  With rain in the forcast, the special day got pushed back until the next day.  On the staff at the Boca Raton Resort created a beautiful “Will you marry me?” display in the sand on a secluded part of the beach club.

A very surprised girlfriend puts her hand over her mouth when she sees the, Will you marry me? message.
This priceless, emotional photo was taken to moment Kayla saw the “Will you marry me? sign in the sand.
After she said, I will marry you, we spend some time taking romantic marriage proposal pictures at Boca Resort.
Once Kayla realized she is a soon to be bride, we spend some time taking pictures with the will you marry me sign.

Hiding at the back of the beach club I was positioned far away with a long telephoto lens.  When Kayla first saw the message in the same, her reaction was priceless.  As a proposal photographer in South Florida, I just love it when emotions are conveyed with hand gestures.  Kayla’s hands tell the viewer everything in these shots.

Wedding ring photograph taken just after a marriage proposal in South Florida.
As a wedding event photographer, I love photographing wedding rings. After all, how can a South Florida photographer, cover a marriage proposal and not photograph the engagement ring?
Tips for planning a marriage proposal in South Florida.  

 If you are thinking about proposing marriage here in South Florida here are a few tips that will help make for a romantic and memorable event.     

First tip – Choose a venue that features awesome scenery.  Fortunately South Florida and the Florida Keys have more upscale beach hotels than any place in the world.  As a matter of fact, there are various hotels up and down the entire coastline.  I happen to be located on the South East coast of Florida.  However the west coast of Florida is also loaded with beautiful luxury hotels as well.  If water views are what you desire you can also check out the Florida Keys.  A drive down the Overseas Highways will provide you with wonderful views of the Caribbean in almost every direction.  If you are not into ocean views, you have additional options.  For example the Morikami Museum and Gardens is a beautiful Japanese inspired property which is beautiful and could provide a private location to ask, Will you marry me?

Just engaged at the Boca Raton Beach club, this couple share a kiss against an ocean view.
Showing off her new jean jacket embroidered with her new last name Kayla shares a kiss against The Boca Raton Resort’s beach club ocean view.

Second tip – Enlist the help of the hotel or venue.  Almost all the hotels and venues in South Florida offer wedding and event planning services.  The Boca Raton Resort and Club has a huge event planning department.  When it comes to marriage proposals, weddings, engagement parties, bridal showers, the team at this resort are inspired by the romance and beauty of these types of events.  By enlisting the help of the hotel you are guaranteed to ask the question in a beautiful private location.  If you are proposing in a less popular location, reaching out to an event planner is another option.  In the post above the couple enlisted the help of Anna Hess, one of South Florida’s best event planners.

Engagement photograph taken on a Boca Raton Beach.
At one end of the Boca Resort Beach Club’s beach is a rocky inlet. This is the perfect place for taking dramatic posed pictures. By having the additional rocky scenery more interesting pictures could be made.

Third tip – Choose a sentimental location.  For many people the Boca Raton Resort and Club and the Boca Raton Beach Club contains special memories.  Many people have attended weddings, vacations, birthday parties, bat and bar mitzvahs at this very special venue.  Recently I photographed a sunrise marriage proposal at the Ocean Reef Club.  The Ocean Reef Club has a special place called “The Point” which holds many memories for those guests.  I have also photographed marriage proposals and engagement shoots at Disney World as well.  For may Disney World holds special memories.

Posed fun engagement picture taken on the beach at the Boca Raton Resort and Club.
This is one of my favorite posed couple pictures to take. I always get odd looks when I ask the guy to lay in the sand and then his fiancé or girlfriend to lay on top of him. I usually have to provide an extra dose of encouragement when doing this shot. However, even with the “Really? ” lay on the sand, and you want me to lay on top of him. This pose always looks great.