Tips for Surprise Proposal Photography in Tokyo

Planning for once in a lifetime, surprise proposal?

Having photographed many surprise proposals and dealt with the various unexpected aspects of the moments, let me shred some lights from a photographer perspective so that you get the perfect one!

Quiet OR not Quiet

I know many guys are tempted to keep everything quiet, hoping me to appear out of nowhere taking your picture of ‘the moment’ but that won’t work well in my experience for many reasons - including me not being able to appear quickly enough to take good photo of ‘the moment’ or shoo away other strangers from the shoot unless we’re together. Also consider your would-be fiancee’s feeling: how would they feel that when, during one of the most important moment of their life, suddenly there’s this random stranger coming up close taking the pictures non stop from all angle?

So for the sake of both the photo and your partners’s feeling, I think it is of utmost importance that you introduce me/ your photographer to your partner before the moment. My favorite way is either to tell your partner we’re planning a travel photoshoot (of course keeping the proposal thing secret). This also has an added benefit of ensuring that they will be well prepared in terms of outfits, make ups etc. Another option when it involves tourist places like historical places, parks, etc, is to introduce me as the guide you hire to show the place around. If this does not work, another way is to tell her that you just got in touch with an old friend/ colleague etc, although we might have to modify the story a bit depending on your background. One last option, which is not always viable, is to agree with me on exact coordinate/spot where you will propose; I will stay around and pretend to be a stranger taking photos; You can then just pretend to ask me as as a random stranger to help you two take photos with your smartphone/camera, and after the first shot or two, you can drop down on your knees while I take photo of the moment with my camera.

If you insist on doing an absolutely surprise proposal that you agree to meet a photographer at certain place/ time, the location should be easy enough for you to find and not getting lost. If you travel with a group of friends/ family, please ensure that they are fully informed about your plan.

Pick a Realistic Location

It is not about the photo, but it is about your surprise proposal! You might become more stressful planning for the perfect location to photograph ‘the moment’ but forget all about the importance of ‘the proposal’ itself. I have read some online recommendations about proposal locations in Tokyo that makes me laugh. E.g. in the middle of Shibuya Crossing, hell no! Awesome in movies but not realistic in a real life, you will have less than one minute to knee down, say your lines and even before she accepts it, the cars would be honking at you. Not exactly romantic. Consider somewhere less crowded such as parks/ gardens or evening hours at some landmarks; they would would be ideal locations. Please consult with your photographer with regards to the best location, and listen to our advice as the locals who have witnessed these moments many times. Trust us, we consider surprise proposal as something special since it will never be repeatable, unlike a normal photograph. We want to ensure you get the best overall experience and capture this memory for the rest of your lives!