Your marriage proposal story is one that you and your future wife will tell for years to come. But to truly capture the occasion, why not have a professional photograph or film it, so you’ll never forget a single detail and can also share it with family and friends? Headed by veteran photographer — and former paparazzo — James Ambler, New York City-based Pap The Question helps grooms really wow their future fiancées and take their proposals a step further by preserving the special moment forever.
Today, we’ve asked James to tell us a bit more about his company and its services for grooms who are ready to “pap” the question.
What types of services do you offer for capturing groom’s proposals?
We offer three packages — all of which can be tailored to individual needs — that include 1.5 hours of photography. With the Paparazzi Proposal package ($450), we talk with the client beforehand to discuss the location and details, take some candid shots of the couple walking along prior to the proposal, and then capture the moment he drops to one knee, asks the question and her reaction. We then upload the pictures to our site, so that the couple can view them and share them on Facebook with friends and family. We also send the client a CD of the pictures. Our second package ($600) is the same as the Paparazzi Proposal package, with the addition of video footage of the proposal. Our third, elite package ($750) includes photos and video, as well as hidden camera footage. Dropped off the day before, the guy wears this hidden camera in his shirt pocket to record audio as well as video of him putting the ring on her finger. We then edit the audio and video footage together so that you can see the full proposal unfold.
We also offer full consultancy for our clients on customized packages, planning the day, suggestions on location, venue, and bad weather alternatives, as well as an additional posed engagement photography session that can be shot later on. In addition, we work with Brilliant Event Planning, a proposal planning service in NYC that can help guys with ideas or suggestions. We’ve also teamed up with Tea and Sympathy in NY, which can provide a traditional English picnic at your location.
How did you come up with the business idea for “Pap The Question”?
I came up with the idea after I got engaged two years ago and friends asked if we had any pictures of the day. We didn’t, but it planted a seed in my mind. After checking into engagement photography in NYC, I identified a gap in the market in this area. With my experience as a paparazzi photographer, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to offer this service to guys to really take their proposals to the next level.
How do you plan the process with grooms?
We map out the day with the groom so that he knows exactly where he should be, and to determine the best position for us to capture the action. If possible, we like to visit the location prior to the proposal day to get familiar with the area. On the day of, we position ourselves, take some preliminary shots of the couple together, capture the engagement and reaction, as well as get some after shots.
Will the bride-to-be notice that you’re there?
We make sure to stay as far away and hidden as possible, but it depends on the location. We did an engagement recently on Brooklyn Bridge and had to be fairly close to the couple because there were so many people, but with locations like that there are usually hundreds of tourists with cameras anyway, so we can blend in. In Central Park, we can stay 300 to 400 feet away, so you won’t see us.
How soon will the groom receive the photos or video of the proposal?
After we’ve completed the shoot, we’ll edit and send the photos that day. If the client chooses to use the hidden camera option, we have to wait to get it back, but typically edit the video the next day. The pictures are then posted online as quickly as possible, so that the happy couple can share it with friends and family or on Facebook.
What’s the best proposal or reaction you’ve captured to date?
I think the best engagement so far was Matt and Vicky’s. He said some really cool things and the video and photos looked really fantastic. Her reaction was also great. Matt ended up telling her about us being there, which made her laugh, so we did some set up shots afterward. Every engagement is different in its own unique way, which is what makes it so much fun to photograph.
What if things go awry or, God forbid, she says “no”?
If it’s very crowded and we need to be closer so we don’t miss the shot, there’s an increased risk of being spotted. But that hasn’t happened to date, and we plan to keep it that way. If things do go awry and she says no, we offer 75% of the money back and a beer if they want it!
Pap The Question is a New York City-based paparazzi proposal photography company that specializes in capturing marriage proposals in photos and on film. You can connect with them further by following on Twitter and liking on Facebook.
Have you considered hiring a photographer to capture the memories from your marriage proposal? Drop us a message in the comments section below telling us what type of shots you would want and how you would keep the whole thing a secret from the future Mrs.