There are probably more than one thousand photographers in Paris that would be able to shoot for a proposal. Make a decision is not an easy task!
Here is a message I received a few days ago, that sums up well the question:
“Hello Bruno! How are you? I hope you are doing well! Thank you for speaking with me a couple weeks ago. I’m very anxious going through this process but excited to come to Paris! I have finally spoken to a few other photographers and I am stuck…my preference is to use you Bruno because I enjoyed meeting you, hearing your story and seeing your work. However, the other photographers are offering prices that are much less compared to yours. I am willing to spend a little more with you because I like you and the quality of your work”
Well, of course , I am very pleased to receive this kind of message! But indeed, I would like to share a few thought on the subject. When in position of preparing a proposal, you have to budget many things : travel, hotel, restaurant, entertainment…, but photography will give you the most valued memories through the time.
Do you put value in photography for you in general? Are you sensible to high end photography? Have you ever experienced a high end professional photo-shooting?
If one of the answers to these questions is yes, if your camera is a real camera and not a phone-camera, you can read the following.
Most of the so-called proposal photographers in Paris , like everywhere in the world , are former photography-enthousiasts, who loves taking pictures, and bought a beautiful camera. They will give you an appointment , get there 15 minutes in advance, wait for you to propose and that will be it. Then the images will be sorted and delivered and that will be it. This kind of photographers usually charge between 200-300 Euros.
You may just miss candid photos of the moments before the proposal itself ( which is quite difficult to catch without being seen). You may miss photos in the area with your girlfriend like in Heaven, just after the proposal itself, which requires skills of setting up people and making people feel and look good.
Some photographers pretend they retouch the photos. Retouching is not only darken of lighten the images. It is getting out all the distracting things of an image DURING the shoot itself AND also afterwards, using dedicated softwares, like Photoshop. Photographers who charge less than 500 Euros will not take time to edit ONE BY ONE each photo.
There is a price for just nice photos and there is a price for WOW photos!!!
Don’t misunderstand me. I am not AGAINST some other photographers at all! There are clients that will be happy with a simple photoshooting and don’t put a big value on sharp-tailored photographs. But clients from foreign countries must know that professional photographers are not equal in terms of experience, and will not spend the same time in preparation. Each photographer has his/her own style and retouching skills are very unique.
That is why I strongly recommend to meet their photographer and ask in advance the good questions. I warn future clients about the risk of being deceived by a photographer who showed beautiful photos and will not deliver the same quality, just because the weather was not so good and the light was not perfect.
Using large aperture lenses ( f:1,2) and the latest professional cameras ( Canon 1DXMkII and 5DMkIV) allows us to shoot in very low light conditions.
Coming with an assistant allows to remain discreet, while having a backup camera in case of emergency. Coming by car instead of coming by Metro allows us to have backup equipment, just in case…
So now, before you choose a photographer to shoot your proposal, ask yourself: – What is the photo quality level you are dreaming to cherish all you life from this moment? – Will your girlfriend appreciate to have amazing photographs of that day?