1. Proposing during a photoshoot - the easiest option! You just book a regular photoshoot and warn your photographer that you are planning to propose, so you can pick the best location and get clear instructions how to place yourself in the shot to get that iconic pose perfectly. If your partner booked the shoot and you’d like to propose during it, still find a moment to warn your photographer to help you out with the best position.
A cute example below - we scheduled to start the shoot at Bir-Hakeim bridge just before sunset, then walked around, went to a cafe, explored little streets and only after sunset I've guided them to the spot that Christian choose for the proposal. Extra special part - their families came to Paris is secret and followed us throughout the shoot and showed up cheering right after she said "I do!" It was legendary!
The PROS - your other half will be glammed up and ready for photos. You'll be less nervious after spending some time taking photos and getting used to the camera. You'll be able to check out the location and adjust to a better spot in case the one you've picked is unexpectedly blocked, which actually happened in the example above, so we walked to our backup spot.
The CONS - they might guess what you are up to. If it was your partner bo0king the photoshoot you might not get to pick the location you'd prefer for the proposal and would need to do it along their chosen photoshoot route. Finally, you wouldn't be able to get your photographer to bring surprise flowers and/or champagne and glasses to celebrate - your partner would notice the photographer carrying a big bag around for no apparent reason :)
2. A total surprise - your photographer meets you at a time and place you discuss and pretending to be a random tourist taking photos in the area would capture the proposal. This is the most popular option (although personally I'd pick the first one and be ready for the shoot). One of tricks I've been doing with my couples is I'd be standing in the exact spot where I want them to stand and once we make eye contact I walk away into photography position and let the couple walk onto the spot I've kept clear of tourists for them. This trick especially works well for the popular locations like Bir-Hakeim bridge and the quai right in front of the Eiffel tower.
The PROS - a total surprise if you play it cool and you get to share that special moment more intimately.
The CONS - your partner might not be ready to be photographed, so it’s totally cool that after the initial candid proposal you can redo the pose and get that print perfect shot. Since they didn't know what's coming it's usually either the coat or the scarf or a bag that was not ideal but it's an easy fix, and you get to experience the proposal moment twice, so it's really not a CON but peculiarity to keep in mind.
This is also the way to go for night proposals - candid moment before sunset, then one more pose with a flash after sunset. If a photographer starts flashing during the total surprise proposal that will ruin the moment, so opt for before+after sunset option or plan 1 when you start the photoshoot and propose after sunset when there is no question why your photographer took out a flash.
3. An elaborate decor proposal - for those who want to make it bombastic, please ask your photographer for a contact of the best planners in Paris. They are the ones who can put the whole team together and organize a boat, private château, flower arch, neon sign, candles, carpet with petals, big MARRY ME letters etc. The 2 proposals below were both organized by our favorite planner service CTH Events Paris.
The PROS - you can make your partner’s dreams come true in a unique way while the team of professionals makes it happen.
The CONS - you are looking at a much higher budget.