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Secret or not secret proposal

Hi, everyone! My name is Yuliya Zakharava and I'm a professional photographer based in New York.
Every year I get a lot of messages “I want to do a surprise proposal! I would like to get photos of this moment. Can you help me with that?”

My answer: YES!
But I want to tell you my vision of this kind of photoshoots.

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Spoiler: I don't take photos “Behind the bushes and following clients.” I think you know this situation: you booked a photographer, you are going to a special spot, start proposing and at the same time a photographer appears from the bushes and starts taking photos or maybe not!
Yes, this option has a place to be and if you like it, just find a photographer who can help you. 

Why I don't take photos “Behind the bushes”? 

I’ve had bad experiences with this way!
•  Once tourists stood in front of my camera (I think they wanted to record this moment too and they didn't see me), so I took not good photos, I lost some moments. 
•  Proposals are always nervous events and I'm nervous too. When I can't control a lot of moments such as sudden people in front of my camera, I get nervous and may make mistakes.
•  We don't know each other. And yes, we can share our photos to recognize each other, by the way, sometimes you are so nervous and you can't find your clients or your photographer. Or one of you is late. 
•  Once, my clients have gone to the wrong place and I was running to them! I almost lost these moments. It wasn't my mistake but my work is great photos, and if you lose moment, you lose a moment! 
•  And the most main thing: when you book a photoshoot as a regular couple photoshoot both of you will prepare for that (clothes, make-up, your mood). When you go for a walk and then it will happen, your partner is dressed as usual in most cases, but this is still a special moment. But if you ask your partner to dress up I think it's suspicious! You will lose the effect of surprise and the most sincere emotions.

However, I have the best alternative options for you!
This is my opinion and my experience as a photographer.
Keep reading!


2 options 


How does it work? 

•  Your partner thinks that it will be a regular couple photoshoot. But it's not! 
•  We will meet and start our photoshoot like a regular one. 
•  Sure, we talked about everything before the photo shoot (special spot, our code words, etc.).
•  If your partner asks you why did you book a photoshoot? You can say to her/him: this is my present for your birthday, for example. 
•  Usually, this happens after 10-15 minutes of shooting.
•  Your partner will not guess about the proposal! I promise!
•  After this impression moment we will continue our photoshoot. 
That's it!

I don't know how it works but if you book a photoshoot, your girl/guy doesn't think about a proposal!
Why I knew it?
I asked all of my clients after a photoshoot and they didn't think about a proposal, they thought it should be a regular photoshoot.

I know this feeling when you are waiting for a proposal. You think: “Maybe today because we are going to my favorite cafe”, “Maybe it will happen at New Year or on his/her birthday”!
Sooooo, this “maybe” is always in our minds! But I say again: I don't know how it works but if you book a photoshoot, your girl/guy doesn't think about a proposal!

Second option

How does it work?

  • We discuss all details before a session.

  • I pretend to be a tourist with a camera.

  • You come to me and ask to take a photo on your phone.

  • I start to take photo on your phone and you start to propose.

  • I take photos on my camera and after all we continue a photoshoot. 

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It always works!


Proposal "secret" photoshoot

1 hour

(deposit for booking a photoshoot - $200)

  • includes 1 hour of shooting

  • 1 or 2 small locations nearby (you will get the list of locations with examples to choose from)

  • 40 edited photos

  • professional retouching temporary skin defects (photoshop)

  • professional exclusive color correction, light correction (lightroom)

  • can change up to 2 outfits

  • you will get the exclusive personal gallery with your photos 

  • editing time is 2-5 days 


  • 1 hour of shooting - $600

  • personal assistant for you (help with your bags, clothes) - $25

  • makeup, hair: $350-500 (it can be change)

  • extra edit - $20/pic

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