A magical wedding proposal in Eze
When Trim contacted us saying he wanted to propose in Eze we knew it was going to be something special! There are two ways proposal pictures can be taken:
- Plan a surprise romantic photo session for your significant other and then top it off with a proposal at the end.
- Have the photographer tag along as a tourist (discretely) taking pictures along the way that lead to your proposal and then have some extra pictures of the two of you taken afterwards
He opted for the second more discrete version.
To help out with this I (Robin) took along a friend who often posed for picture allowing me to take pictures over her shoulder of Trim and Jeannette. For anyone who hasn’t been to Eze yet, it’s a must go to destination. It’s magical, cute, beautiful, romantic, and above all, a pleasure to stroll through and get lost! When Trim and I caught up to one another his unknown girlfriend was not allowed to know what was going to happen, nor of my presence (other than a random tourist). While they were sipping away some drinks before entering the exotic garden where it all was going to happen, Trim winked at me to indicate we’d found each other and immediately realized he might have given too much away too. This blink of the eye was quickly disguised as something which got stuck in his eye.
A few minutes of walking through the gardens, finding a beautiful spot with no other tourists around, calming his heartbeat, getting all sentimental with Jeannette, and then it happened. He went on his knees and popped the big question. Their reactions were wonderful to watch (and to capture) and it’s been a real honor and privilege having experienced it and to have shared it with them. A few minutes later we all cheered together, we explained to a confused bride-to-be who we were, Trim stopped shaking, Jeannette was still in a daze of what just happened, and we went on for a tour of Eze and the magnificent gardens of the Chèvre d’Or (which can be entered only after getting special permission). We all made new friends and memories for life.
As a photographer there are two “challenges” when taking pictures, first of all the technical side of things and on the other side there are the people you’re taking pictures of and making sure they are comfortable and enjoying themselves. Working with Trim and Jeannette was absolutely fantastic and a pleasure. Everything was as natural as it could feel. What touched me most as a photographer was seeing the sheer joy they had together and the emotional and physical connections that were constantly present between the two of them. The pictures here show exactly what I mean and pay attention to the many subtle signs : the looks and smiles towards one another, the hands in constant contact, the heads tilted to one another, and the eyes going in the same direction.
Trim and Jeannette, thank you for this wonderful experience and I’m REALLY looking forward to seeing you two again (as soon as posssible!!!!), be it in Norway or here in the French Riviera for a barbecue or some sight-seeing!
The pictures can be viewed here (password protected).
Tips for grooms
- Location: Establish a location where you want to pop the question but don’t fix yourself on that exact location. The feeling has to be right and sometimes there are more people around than you’d wish. Keep things flexible, and if possible, inform yourself on the options (by contacting hotels, gardens, a tourist office, or as in this case, a photographer).
- Plan: When you’re meeting a photographer keep a backup plan in mind in case it’s difficult to meet one another. You want to keep things discrete and spend a minimum of time on the phone.
- Dress up: Let your photographer know what you’re wearing and send him some pictures of the two of you so you can recognize each other.
- No box or a bag: This was a tip from Trim. Having a chunky square box with you at all times without your sweetheart finding out is a very big challenge. It’s amazing how big the box suddenly feels! Alternatively keep it wrapped somewhere discretely in a bag.
- Relax: Asking your sweetheart the magical question can make any man very nervous and bring him to his knees (pardon the pun), no matter what happens: the weather turning, the clouds rolling in, girlfriend having to go to the toilet just when you want her attention, etc, etc, just keep smiling;)
Tips for photographers
- Zoom: Bring along a good zoom lens in order to rest discrete and of course for the portraits (which are the main pictures to be taken). The 70-200mm is a great choice for this, in particular at f2.8 to really make the subject pop.
- Polarizing filter: Use a polarizing filter to make the colors, sea, and sky pop.
- Plan: There quite a bit of extra planning that goes into these sessions and it’s really important to help out your client: check the weather, check alternative locations, suggest time and locations, check opening hours, plan backup plans (I once had to shoot in the dark after sunset and use an iPhone to find the way around because the guy couldn’t pop the question in time. The eighth and final location was the one that felt right!).
- Give them space: Give your clients time together and let them enjoy each other and the moment together as much as possible. Make them feel comfortable with your presence, but otherwise keep your presence and guidance to a minimum as much as possible. Be a discrete tourist guide for them that happens to take pictures. This is a sight-seeing and holiday experience for them as well and your goal is to give them amazing pictures and memories.