How a Photographer Captured His Own Marriage Proposal

How a Photographer Captured His Own Marriage Proposal

Couples spend a lot of time, effort and money to make sure their wedding day will be captured the best way possible - after all it's one of the most important days in their lives. But what about another major life event, like the proposal itself? Most times, unless it's meant to be a viral proposal, the proposer is not thinking of documenting it and the moment will never be shared or shown to family and friends. Wedding photographer Richard B Flores proposed earlier this week, and he knew he wanted to have this memory documented forever. He did it for himself, for his future wife, for the family and for their friends. This is how he did it.
FS: Why did you choose documenting the proposal yourself?
Richard: "This past weekend I asked my partner to marry me. After weeks of planning, the time had come to decide how I was going to capture the moment. Unfortunately some of my colleague photographers were unavailable and so the thought of doing it myself crossed my mind. I felt ready for the challenge: photographing my own proposal! (As if it wasn't enough to plan for the actual proposal, I now had to plan on how to capture it.) One way or another, I couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to capture this special moment in our lives. "

RBF-prop-8

FS: What equipment you chose to use for this task?
Richard: "To start, I needed to find something that would trigger my camera wirelessly and that was reliable and fast. Fortunately one of my buddies let me borrow his Vello IR-C1 Infrared Remote Control which he raved about. I picked it up and tested it by enabling the wireless option on the 5D Mark III. It worked perfectly and shot as fast as you can press the shutter button on the remote. Next, I decided to use a tripod to get my camera ready for the big moment. It isn’t rare for me to carry a tripod and camera with me whenever I go into the city, so she wouldn’t have any suspicions."

flores-proposal-remote

"Finally, choosing a lens was very important. I wanted something that would allow me to capture as much light as possible since it would probably be night out and I didn’t want to sacrifice shutter speed or depth of field. I also wanted something that wasn’t going to be huge and something that was wide enough for safety. So I decided to use a 35mm f/1.4. The most important factor of this all was 1) using a DSLR of course, and 2) using a remote to trigger the camera. So I tested the remote quite a few times before the day of the proposal. I tested it indoors, outdoors, and at variable distances and it never failed."

FS: How did you manage to set up the camera without making her suspect?
Richard: "Using the excuse that I wanted to test this “cool little remote my friend had given me,” I suggested we take a walk through the park. We walked in and I was looking for a nice little quiet spot that had some sort of lighting. There were a few light posts so it wasn't pitch black but still a little dark. I found the perfect walkway and stopped there and got my camera all set up. After taking a few photos of the walkway itself and showing her “how cool it looked” LOL, I told her to stand in the photo. This is when I got my camera settings all ready. I had an f/1.4 lens and I wanted a shallow depth of field so it would look at least a bit interesting. I set my aperture to 2.0 which was safe enough for me just in case she moved. I bumped my ISO to 5000 which would help out a lot since it was dark and thankfully the 5D Mark III can handle high ISO. And lastly my shutter was set to 1/40 sec. This was fast enough for my lens and so that my shot would have the least amount of motion blur. I pre-focused on the camera and was all set.

Once my camera was all set, I walked into the shot a few times to get some “test” shots and waited for some people to pass us by to steal a moment alone. Once everything aligned perfectly, I lowered myself down onto one knee, all while aiming the remote at the camera, to ask the her to marry me. At that moment I wasn't even thinking about the camera taking photos and just trusted that it was working. Thankfully, after all was said and done, the moment was captured perfectly and I couldn't have asked for anything better."

FS: Why it was important for you to document the proposal? What was the reaction to the results by friends and family?
Richard: After having photographed numerous proposals, engagements and weddings; for the first time in our lives, my fiancé and I had the opportunity to experience this special moment for ourselves. The proposal is where all of the wedding stages begin and I want to be able to look back at this moment and tell my family how amazing we felt that day. All of our friends and family were going crazy about the photos and commented on how my fiancé's reaction was captured perfectly. This is exactly what I wanted. I want us to be able to look back at these photos and feel exactly what we felt in that moment in time. The excitement, the surprise, the nervousness and the love we have for each other.

RBF-prop-7

RBF-prop-9

By the way, she said YES! Congratulations to Richard and Andrea from all of us here at Fstoppers!

Log in or register to post comments

15 Comments

This is great and very clever. I was able to capture my proposal in a similar fashion. It was mid-December, and my then girlfriend was insisting we take our photo to send out holiday cards. I picked the most memorable spot for us and setup the camera on the tripod. Using the timer, we took a few photos. I went to the camera and told her we should take one more. I started the timer and sat down with her. As I counted down from 10, I reached into my pocket and got the ring ready. At 5, I took the ring out and told her to look down. The camera snapped a shot perfectly to capture her reaction. That photo hangs in our home today!

So cute! Will you send it over to us at HowHeAsked.com?

Congrats to Richard and Andrea great article and a good feel good story !

Richard B Flores's picture

Thanks guys. @disqus_3wvmekr3Wl:disqus so many people don't think about photographing this moment but I'm happy we did. I'm sure you cherish that photo that hangs in your home today!! ;-)

Wow you guys are really good with the timing. I figure I'd just get a buddy to hide in the bushes to take pictures when I propose. lol
Congrats to Richard btw!

Richard B Flores's picture

That's what I originally had in mind but they weren't available. As long as you aim the remote directly at the camera it triggers as fast as you can press it. thanks @kongmw:disqus

Christopher Sztybel's picture

I hearby rename this web site FLOSTOPPERS! Rich and Andrea are more adorable than a baby bear eating an ice cream cone.

I captured my own proposal, but instead of a remote I had my camera just keep firing (like a time lapse). And I used my iPhone to light the scene on top of Sandia Crest in Albuquerque, NM.

Funny, on Monday I proposed and managed to capture the video myself as well. Being a photographer, I simply told my girlfriend that I was contacted to do a commercial architecture shoot nearby the place we planned to have a nice dinner that week, and it would be nice if I could save the gas and just stop over there after dinner. So she was distracted texting as I set up the camera on a tripod and put it in video, I then asked her if she could step in so I could "see the shadows". I gave her movement directions in a mumbly voice until she needed me to come over and show her exactly how I wanted her to stand. So I came up, grabbed her hands to guide her into position, and boom, dropped to one knee.

I did this for my engagement proposal, except I setup the DSLR and captured video instead, she had no clue. One of those moments that not many people get to capture.

I captured my proposal in the highest resolution ever, with perfect color and from many different angles. For the occasion I used the best lens and memory card possible: my eyes and brain ;-)
But the tripod was a little flimsy I must say!

I did that same thing...Only two years ago set to a self timer and well the rest is history.

Zaid Joseph's picture

Hold on, what if shes a Nikon shooter? I mean, how will the kids be raised? ;) Congrats Richard!

Awesome idea. HowHeAsked.com also shares clever proposals!

I did the same to partner while on holiday in Crete. It was her birthday, she was 6 months pregnant and we had a beautiful location so I thought it would be perfect to pop the question.

Used a wireless trigger to capture the moment.

nobody would have believed i asked if i didn't photograph it :)