Surprise Proposal FAQ
Everything you need to know about Paris Surprise Proposals and more! Click the + to expand for the response.
+ photo package info & options
What you receive: You'll receive priceless images of your surprise proposal, a moment in time in this beautiful city of Paris to treasure your entire life. You'll also receive excellent customer service and the utmost in professionalism, as well as my expertise on the best places to propose in Paris. I'm a surprise proposal photography specialist in Paris, originally from the United States, but living in Paris since 2014 full time and coming here since I was a teenager. I know the best Paris spots for a beautiful proposal and beautiful proposal images. I love surprise proposals because it allows me to capture the joy and happiness in a moment that people wait for their whole lives. This is an honor and privilege, and I can't wait to work with you!
Details: Within 24 hours to 3 days after your surprise proposal session in Paris (depending on your package), you'll be directed to your personalized and private online portrait gallery. Here you'll see your beautiful high resolution images, which you can have professionally printed for display in your home, or share with family and friends on social media or email. You select how many images you'd like in your package when you book.
- Images provided in black & white (color is the default)
- High quality print packages for your home, canvas, and professionally designed photo album
+ what are your rates?
Rates depend on the package you select, however, all surprise proposals start at 325€.
+ great! how does it work?
1) Start with selecting the location of your dreams. You don't have to have all the details worked out before booking. For example, if choosing the Eiffel Tower, I'll send you more information on exactly where at the Eiffel Tower you'd like to propose. We'll confirm your location after booking.
2) Decide if you'd like just the proposal captured, or a proposal + engagement session. The engagement session can be done the same day or the next day.
3) Then, you'll choose the photo package that suits your needs, there are a variety to choose from.
4) After you've chosen your photo session and photo package, it's time to reserve your date and time online, with a 50% deposit, payable by credit card or Paypal (refundable within 10 days' before your surprise proposal if your plans change).
5) You're all set for the perfect Paris surprise proposal!
+ how to select a paris surprise proposal photographer
Surprise proposals are my specialty, I've done tons of them in Paris and it gives me great joy to be a small part of such a significant moment in two people's lives! Because I'm a sensitive type, I'm the perfect candidate for your surprise proposal, because I care about it as much as you do. I'll photograph your moment beautifully so you can remember this moment the rest of your lives.
Before you select a Paris surprise proposal photographer, ask a few questions:
- Does this photographer seem reliable? Can I trust them to show up for my big moment?
- Does the photographer have a good body of work in a portfolio that they can show you their distinct style?
- How is the photographer with communication? Do they respond promptly to your emails, are they helpful?
- Does the photographer seem discreet, and that they will be able to keep your secret?
- Does the photographer offer the option to purchase prints, get your images in black and white, and offer expedited service?
- Is the photographer polite and professional? How well do they know Paris? How well do they speak English?
- Is your photographer classy and dignified? I've seen Paris surprise proposal photographers literally scream at tourists to get out of the way of their surprise proposals. I find this unprofessional and never do it myself, which is why I developed many scenarios so I don't have to scream at tourists to get out of the way, and potentially embarrass you or spoil your special moment.
- Does the photographer provide a stress-free, calm, fun and memorable experience?
- I care about you as PEOPLE, not a number, and I'll do everything in my power to ensure your proposal is amazing.
+ determining paris surprise proposal pricing
I understand, Paris is an expensive city and you've already invested in your airline tickets, your hotel, and your activities. But what could be more important than capturing your surprise proposal, a once-in-a-lifetime event? It's not like you propose in Paris every day, so it's an investment for sure. Plus, if you don't capture it, how will you share your great news with friends and family? It's definitely a worthwhile investment, and even more so, your significant other will respect and thank you for thinking enough about them and your love story to capture it in images to love forever.
I'm not the "cheapest" Paris surprise proposal photographer in Paris, but I'm nowhere near the most expensive either. If you find a cheap surprise Paris proposal photographer, that's what you get, a cheap service and questionable quality. Whether you choose me for your surprise proposal or another photographer, please ensure they love and care about your surprise proposal. The investment is worth it.
Please note: part of my service is the planning of your surprise proposal and all the moments leading up to it.
+ best time of day for your proposal
After successfully photographing many many Paris surprise proposals (my favorite), I've come to the conclusion that morning proposals are the absolute best for several reasons. First off, there's usually less tourists out and about, so your proposal will be a bit more private. This also means that there will be less people in your images. Win!
You can tell your loved on a variety of things to get them out and about in Paris earlier rather than later. You're going to a nice lunch, a brunch, or you need to get to the Eiffel Tower early before the tourists get there.
At this time, I'm recommending surprise proposals (especially at the Eiffel Tower Trocadero) between 8:00 am and 10:00 am. You'll see this reflected in my calendar.
But your loved one isn't a morning person? They'll be suspicious in the morning? Perfect! Then I also offer a late afternoon/evening surprise proposal ). This is perfect because you can tell your loved one that you're going to a nice dinner, and then they'll be dressed up for the dinner. We'll capture your surprise proposal, and then indeed, you can go and have a fantastic dinner!
None of these times work for you? Then feel free to contact me with inquiries.
Night photos with Eiffel Tower lit
Please note, at this time I do not do night photography (total darkness). The lights come on the Eiffel Tower around 9:00 or 10:00 pm in summer and around 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm in winter. I can do a dusk proposal, but I prefer late afternoon and early evening for the best light. I do not like the quality of photos when there is not adequate light, and in an effort to be discreet for your proposal, I do not carry flash equipment with me.
+ what's the best place for a proposal?
A lot of clients ask, "What's the best place for my proposal"? I can't really answer that, as I don't know your dreams, what your ideal proposal looks like, or what you think will make your partner happiest.
I will say that most people prefer to propose at the Eiffel Tower. The most popular spot for an Eiffel Tower proposal is the view from Bir Hakeim bridge, one metro stop over from the main Eiffel Tower area.
The second most popular spot is Trocadero, which gives a very good overview of the Eiffel Tower, but is very busy later in the day. Morning proposals is really the only time the Trocadero works. It's just too crowded in the afternoon.
Some people still want a view of the Eiffel Tower but don't need to be that close to it, so for this type of proposal the Bridge of Alexandre III (Pont Alexandre) is the idea location, as the bridge is quite beautiful and you can see the Eiffel Tower from it. It's also near the Tuileries Gardens and not far from the Louvre, which are also excellent locations.
Some people select either the area around Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Courtyard, or the charming village on the hill known as Montmartre. These areas are also special, charming and have their own brand of Paris magic, and are highly recommended!
The choice is really yours, but this is Paris, so you really cannot go wrong no matter what you choose.
+ i looked at the site but don't like any of the locations for a surprise proposal
The locations listed here on the Picture Me Paris site are the very best locations for surprise proposals in Paris. Not only are they the most scenic, they're also the best for photography. The locations listed are the major locations for proposals at the Eiffel Tower. If none of these locations appeal to you, please contact me to discuss.
+ i'd like to propose at the chateau of versailles
The Chateau of Versailles is beautiful, however, I do not do surprise proposals at Versailles for several reasons. First, it's quite a bit of travel time involved to get there and back and takes the better part of a day. Second, there is an entrance fee to the gardens and also the property is so huge it's almost impossible to find each other. As much as I love Versailles, I do not offer surprise proposal photography there.
+ i'd like to propose on a terrace, maybe in a restaurant, with a a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower, just the two of us looking at it, no one around
Paris is the most visited city in the world, with 40 million visitors a year. It's really not possible to have a view of the Eiffel Tower from a restaurant etc all to yourself, as there are always visitors in Paris. Maybe from your hotel room this is possible, for example the Shangri-La Hotel has balconies with views of the Eiffel Tower, but it's not possible in general to have no people around in this setting.
+ i really want to propose on the Eiffel Tower itself, or in a restaurant with a view of it
I do not recommend proposals on the Eiffel Tower itself, at least for the photography part of it. The are 25,000 people a day that go up on the Eiffel Tower, logistically there is a lot of security and hassle to go up, and of course, there is a fee. Also, the view once you're on the Eiffel Tower is not that great as you're on the Eiffel Tower itself. So between all the tourists, the lack of good photography opportunities and the fees to go up, I do not offer proposal services on the Eiffel Tower itself. You're more than welcome to ask your loved one on the Eiffel Tower and I can photograph you outside afterward.
Also, I do not provide photography services in private, commercial establishments like hotels or restaurants. These places often charge commercial photography fees for photography on their premises, and therefore, I do not photograph in hotels or restaurants.
I also do not photograph in private hotel rooms.
To me the beauty of Paris can be found outside on its streets, at its monuments, and in its parks. These are the most beautiful places to propose.
+ how does my proposal session work?
After booking, I'll send you the Surprise Proposal Checklist, where you'll confirm your proposal location. The checklist explains the various locations with photos and you'll choose the one you like best. It will also help us determine our "scenario".
Capturing your proposal is really simple and does not require me to use a super zoom lens or hide behind a tree. I like to be closer to my clients to ensure I'm capturing the moment perfectly. Also, because Paris has so many tourists, establishing a connection between us also helps me to establish a "photography zone" so that we have as few people as possible in your images.
Therefore, here are the most common scenarios for how we can ensure your surprise proposal is amazing:
The easiest thing for us to do is meet at a popular spot. This may be at the Eiffel Tower, or another location we will arrange together in advance.
As Paris has a lot of tourists, it's very believable that I should be at our meeting spot as a tourist taking photos, just like you'll be. I'll give you the exact meeting spot and tell you what I look like so you can spot me quickly. Then, you just approach me and ask me to take a picture of you and your significant other with your cell phone. I’ll take your picture, hand your phone back, and from there you can propose. Then, I take images with my professional camera. It's an easy and very successful way to propose and have your images captured without spoiling the surprise.
Why do I recommend this scenario? It's a good one because it allows me to establish my "zone" so that people are not walking in front of you, ruining the proposal images.
For example: We meet at the Bir Hakeim bridge, which has a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower. You casually approach me and ask me if I would mind taking your picture. As this happens all day among tourists, it's nothing out of the ordinary and your significant other will not find it odd. I'll take your cell phone, and take your couples photo. I will then give the phone back to you, and ask if the photo is ok. From there, you'll put your phone away, turn to your significant other, say your words, and get down on one knee to propose. During this time, they are paying attention to you, not me. I am capturing everything that is happening with my professional camera. When your proposal is over, I'll introduce myself and congratulate you!
You Hired a Photographer
Another idea that some clients prefer is to hire a photographer for a photo session to capture your Paris memories. It is Paris photo session, but with a proposal thrown in! You just tell your significant other that you thought it would be nice to have some photos taken together in Paris.
For example: You tell your girlfriend Monica that wouldn't it be nice to have some nice photos in Paris to remember your vacation by a professional photographer. Monica thinks it's a great idea and wears her best dress because after your session, you're going to have a nice lunch or dinner in Paris. We all meet and start our photo session, but during a portion of it, you propose!
The Tour Guide
I'm also a former tour guide, and you might tell your significant other we're taking a Paris tour, and the tour guide also takes photos. I've done this with great success as well (and yes, I'll really give you a tour!).
For example: You and your significant other want a nice tour of Montmartre. So you hire me as your tour guide to give you a tour and during your tour, you propose. Congratulations!
There are a few locations and situations where I don't need you to employ any of the above scenarios. Honestly, they work the absolute best, but if you're concerned about them, don't hesitate to let me know. The most important thing for me is to capture your proposal beautifully, so I'll do everything I can to ensure your proposal in Paris is the absolute best.
+ planning your location
When you book with me, I'll send you a Surprise Proposal Checklist which will help you determine where you want to pop the question, if you're not sure.
+ proposal extras
The Picture Me Paris Surprise Proposal Plus package includes a professional violnist to serenade your proposal, plus a delicious bottle of fine French champagne and two glasses to toast your happy moment!
+ about the photos
When your images are ready, you'll receive via email a private link to a personalized online portrait gallery. These will be professionally edited and high resolution proofs, with watermarks. You'll select as many that coordinate to your photo package, by saving them to your favorites folder. Those images will then have the watermarks removed and be available for download. Your professionally edited images are high resolution and in JPG format, which allows you to download them to share with family and friends on social media or email, and also to print to display in your home as beautiful wall art or a photo album. You can access your photo gallery from a computer, tablet, or mobile phone.
+ nervous? anxious? worried?
One of the most important moments in a couple's life is the moment you decide to propose marriage. After all, you're asking that person to spend the rest of their life with you! We women, and of course some men, dream about this moment our entire lives, how our loved one will propose to us. It's a memory we want to have and cherish forever.
Many clients who I work with for surprise proposals are nervous, anxious and sometimes even worried. How will this moment play out? Will it be as perfect as they dreamed? Will my loved one suspect anything? From being in the surprise proposal business, I can tell you the following for sure:
- You're going to Paris. Of course your loved one may think maybe you'll pop the question, after all, Paris is the most romantic city in the world! Their friends may even say, I bet he's going to propose to you in Paris! This is a pretty normal statement as everyone knows Paris is a city of love. However, even if your loved one may have it in their mind, they don't know for sure, they don't know where, and they don't know when. So you have that going for you! Never has a person said, Oh I knew it! I knew that was happening! People are always surprised!
- A lot of my clients fret over the actual moment itself, they want it to be perfect. Of course we want it to be perfect. We can't control life, Paris of course isn't a movie set, it's a city and a busy one at that. So we plan our proposal the best we can, and understand there are always a lot of tourists in Paris, traffic etc. But despite it all, we always, always have a memorable proposal! There has never been a time where a person who was proposed to said, Gee, that wasn't as great as I thought it would be! Or, Wow, I just got engaged in Paris, I'm so disappointed! You just proposed to someone with a view of the Eiffel Tower, or on the hill of Montmartre, or by the Louvre Museum. They're living the dream and you made that dream possible! How many people can say they became engaged in Paris? It's very special!
- A lot of people also fret about the proposal itself. Remember, you'll be on one knee for less than three minutes, maybe not even a minute. The important thing is the sentiment, the moment, and the love you feel for each other. Try not to fret about the details. I'll be there to capture it in images you'll look back on forever!
+ a word of advice on your loved one's appearance
There are many things to take into consideration during your surprise proposal. One of the items that you may overlook, is the appearance of your significant other during the proposal. As it is a surprise, you don't want to create any questions and want to maintain the surprise. On the other hand, there have been many cases where the person behind proposed to (often a female) has expressed dismay and satisfaction that they "didn't know" they'd be photographed that day, or that they didn't wear makeup, do their hair, or wear a nice outfit. For many people this is really important, and can detract not only from your proposal but also from the images we take if your significant other is uncomfortable with their appearance. Yes, we want to surprise, but it is more difficult to enjoy the images of this special time of a person feels uncomfortable with the way they look.
So, what can you do? You know your loved one better than anyone. If it's a morning or late morning proposal, you can tell him or her you booked a special lunch or brunch at the Eiffel Tower and they have a dress code at the restaurant, and both of you will dress up. That way, especially the women, will do their hair and makeup if they wish. If it's an afternoon or early evening proposal, the same holds true, you can tell your loved one you've planned a special dinner to celebrate your time in Paris.
If none of these scenarios work, do your best NOT to give away the surprise, but take the lead. You can say, hey, we're in Paris, I feel like dressing up! This is quite natural is Paris is a dressy kind of city. They may take your lead. If you think that will totally tip your loved one off, you have to tread with caution. But try to give gentle pointers, as there's nothing worse for them than being photographed and not feeling or looking their best (even if they're super happy you proposed!)
Also, if it works best for you to do your proposal one day and an engagement session the next day, the Surprise Proposal + Engagement Package can be split into two days. That way the we still capture the amazing proposal, but your significant other can be prepared for the engagement photos.
+ i'm here for you!
Consider me your friend in Paris, your Paris "connection". I love my clients and it's important to me to be courteous, polite, professional and create a really wonderful environment that you will always remember, as well as beautiful photographs to cherish. So, do not hesitate to reach out if I can help you in any way. I will also provide you access via Whatsapp if you wish so that we can plan your proposal!
+ how to find me for the session
We agree on a time and place to meet. I always ask my clients if they can send a picture so that I know who I'm looking for. I recommend taking a taxi or Uber to our meeting location. Traffic in Paris can be heavy, so please allow more than enough time to get to the location. If you're going to the Eiffel Tower, allow 45-60 minutes for traffic.
During our session, for transportation we usually take a taxi, which is fastest. Please note that transportation costs are not included in your session. Please make sure to bring enough euro cash with you, as many taxis do not accept credit cards.
Would you like a lovely violinist to serenade your beloved when you propose? I'll put you in contact with an amazing violinist that will create a memorable moment. This is separate from my services and payable directly to the musician. I also have a network of makeup artists to recommend, if you'd like that for your engagement session.
+ what if it rains?
You should expect that it will rain on your surprise proposal, then you'll be surprised if the sun is out! Truthfully, it rains a lot in Paris and is often cloudy. The good news is that the city is beautiful in the rain, it actually shimmers. It's always a good idea to take an umbrella along with you, especially in the winter. Our sessions are done rain or shine, but I'll send you more information on weather options. In the meantime, check out the rainy day gallery here, and you can see how beautiful Paris is in the rain. A lot of my clients get really worried about rain, they worry their photos won't turn out, they worry they may get wet. As it rains so much in Paris, we have to work with the weather or we'd never get out if we never went out in the rain. Instead of fearing the rain, think of it as a romantic Paris adventure, to be able to share an umbrella with the ones you love in the Paris rain, it's distinctly Parisian. Last winter it rained every single day in Paris. I shot beautiful, romantic surprise proposals of couples in the rain, so don't fear it.
+ cancellations & deposit
Each photo session is booked with a 50% deposit. You may pay via Paypal or credit card. Final amount will be due the day of your session, you'll be invoiced and can pay the same way you paid the deposit if you wish, via Paypal or credit card.
If your plans change, and you need to cancel your photo session, you may do so without penalty with at least ten (10) days' and your deposit will be refunded in its entirety.
+ i'd like to propose in a Paris restaurant, hotel, or hotel balcony, can you help me?
I'm sorry, my services at this time are focused on outdoor locations with the magnificent backdrop of Paris at your feet. I do not do surprise proposal photography at hotels, hotel balconies, restaurants, or other commercial establishments. That said, if you have a request outside of my proposed services, please do contact me.