Edinburgh Botanic Gardens Secret Proposal

Secret proposals? What are they?

I recently had a client who wanted to clandestinely photograph the moment he proposed to his girlfriend at Edinburgh Botanic Gardens. This involved a little subterfuge and a good deal of nervousness on the part of both me, the photographer, and the potential groom to be.  It meant setting up beforehand, being relatively hidden and then waiting for the couple to arrive and then capture the exact moment when the ring was brought out and the proposal made.

It’s the sort of thing that makes your heart miss a beat. What if it all goes wrong? What if she says no? Of course, it all went brilliantly and we finished off by taking some more formally posed images in the Botanic Gardens. Despite the subterfuge, the couple did go onto get married and are starting their new and exciting life together.

What Are Secret Proposals?

Basically, it’s where the proposal is kept a secret from the person who is being asked. It’s been made popular in recent times by loved ones proposing in some pretty public areas like sports venues and concerts.  It’s actually becoming increasingly popular for the person asking someone to marry them to make it a surprise and have the event secretly photographed. Of course, you have to be sure that your better half is likely to say yes in the first place but it’s a great way to record an important life event and the reaction to it.

As a photographer, there’s something fun about setting up a secret operation like this. A lot of thought needs to go into the logistics. What’s the best location? How is the person going to pop the question? How close can I get with my camera without being noticed? How do I make sure that I capture the expressions at just the right second? What happens if someone walks past the lens at the vital moment?

The Edinburgh Botanic Gardens secret proposal was a really fun day as it turned out and the images I managed to take were emotional and engaging, something the happy couple will be able to look back on with fond memories for many years to come.

How to Set Up Your Own Edinburgh Botanic Gardens Secret Proposal

Of course, it doesn’t have to be the Botanic Gardens. You can choose any time and any location but the big thing is having the right plan in place. You also need to find a photographer who is prepared to hide in the background and not attract attention.  I did contemplate donning camouflage gear but finally realised that would look odd for anyone passing by. People are used to others wondering around with cameras nowadays so as long as you have the right lens you can keep your distance and remain unobtrusive and still get great results.

It is a little more challenge to capture amazing images when you have a situation like this. I found my journalistic style of photography put me in good stead and allowed me to focus on the composition almost automatically and find the right position to stand.  If you are arranging a secret proposal, wherever it might be, it’s a good idea to work with a professional photographer. That way you increase your chance greatly of getting a really memorable record of the event.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Luke Bennington

    Hi. I’m looking to arrange a proposal at the botanic gardens in December. I nice location with the Christmas lights would be ideal. A photographer to be hidden and capture the moment would also be a nice idea. Do you offer any sort of packages like this

    1. Tom

      Absolutely get in touch via contact page with date and which botanic gardens you have in mind and I will give you quotation. Best regards Tom

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