3 Tips On How To Pull Off A Surprise Proposal

At Kansas City Photography, we love LOVE. So much so, that we’ve had several clients come to us with their surprise proposal plans. Since we’re the photo pros — we wanted to give you some tips on how to pull it off successfully!

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1. Have A Plan

The first step to success is setting up “the plan.” You don’t want them to know what’s coming or that would ruin the surprise, right? Several of our clients have planned the proposal on anniversaries. This way, the two of you were already planning on going out and doing something anyway, so it doesn’t seem as suspicious.

You could plan it around a holiday or special day of the two of you. If that’s not your style, then you could always plan it around an activity the two of you do together often, so as not to raise any red flags.

Take Kyle, for example. He planned a brunch with his now-fiancee Emily. Afterward, he told her they had an appointment to go look at a house. There was conveniently enough time after brunch and before the “realty appointment” that they could go take a walk in Loose Park … where we were waiting. 😉

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2. Find The Perfect Location

Picking the perfect place for the backdrop of when you officially started planning your “forever” is crucial!

But we are here to help! We know people take this one seriously because our “Top 10 Photoshoot Locations” blog gets hundreds of views a day! So, that is our gift to you, dear reader, 10 potential locations all in 1 blog post for you to peruse.

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Get the time, the place, and then …

3. Contact Us!

This is definitely a moment worth capturing and remembering forever! Once you have the plan in place, reach out to us and let us know what you’re planning.

We usually exchange photos so that we know what the other person looks like and will be ready when we see each other.

We arrive at the location 15 minutes early. What we do is pretend to be taking pictures of other things. Roses in the rose garden, a fountain, etc.

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When you arrive at the scene, there is always that brief moment of eye contact before we go back to pretending we aren’t supposed to be there. Once you are on one knee, we turn our cameras around and capture all of the emotions and reactions!

Hats off to Tony & Katie — who had one of the best reactions we’ve ever seen!

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Keep in mind we travel! There is no distance too far for love. <3

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Surprise Proposal at Loose Park!

We at Kansas City Photography LOVE surprise proposals because get beautiful candid shots of the exact moment a couple starts their journey from “you and me” to “we”.

Kyle contacted us about a week before he was planning to pop the big question, with time and location already figured out! Tatiana got to bust out her ancient ninja skills and enter stealth mode as Kyle and Emily entered the scene.

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Although, Kyle ended up kneeling a bit far away since Emily told him she didn’t want to get in the way of Tatiana’s shot. Much to her surprise, she was the main subject!

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And as usual, as Tatiana grew closer and closer snapping away there’s that awkward conversation of “Congratulations! I’m not creepy, I promise. I’m supposing to be here doing this!”

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Emily seriously had ZERO idea this was happening, and Kyle’s planning skills are on POINT- that’ll come in handy for the wedding!

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“I had one of my good friends ask us to go to brunch on Sunday morning. I had mentioned that morning that I wanted to go on a walk and run some errands later that day. While leaving brunch, I had our realtor text us about a “fake” showing she wanted us to meet her at. This was perfect as it left an awkward amount of time prior to the showing from the time we left brunch. I said, “Let’s go for a walk at loose park to kill some time before the showing.” While walking around the rose garden at loose park, I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me! Everything worked out perfectly and she was totally surprised.”

That explains why Emily was so confused asking, “wait… so there’s no house showing today?”

No, girl, but you get a ring instead!

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And what a ring it is!

Seriously, kudos to Kyle! He got everyone in on it, including her mom who took her to get her nails done the day before. He thought of everything!

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Kyle and Emily met in Junior High and were friends throughout high school. They attended Kansas State together when they became a couple. Five years later, they are now engaged!

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Emily was so shocked she almost felt betrayed by how many people knew!

“You all are a bunch of liars!” She proclaimed through the smile that just couldn’t fade away.

Kyle even arranged for their family and closest friends to meet them after the shoot to celebrate. He was pretty certain the answer would be yes!

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Thank you so much to Kyle and later to Emily for letting us be a part of your incredibly special memory! Your smiles are contagious and we can’t congratulate you enough!

We would love to talk wedding photos with you soon. 😉

O-M-G: A Surprise Proposal at Unity Village!

Hey, everyone! Tatiana here to share with you how I, a professional photographer, was accepted into the ancient order of NINJA!

Uhhh … or, how I totally snuck up on Katie and surprised her with an engagement photo shoot!

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More on that in a moment!

Tony Fisher contacted us Sept. 19th after he found us — wait for it — THROUGH OUR BLOG! We’re pretty happy about that, since we put so much work into these.

He wanted to surprise his beloved of almost four years, Katie, when he popped the big question! We suggested Unity Village as the meeting area, and he had to fib a bit to get her to go with him without any questions or suspicion. You could say Tony was Ninja #2.

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He told her they needed to go to a dinner with friends, but it was a pretty fancy place — great cover and excuse to dress up!

We had emailed Tony and we agreed to meet at the big tower at Unity Village. I was “taking” photos of the flowers … this is when I spotted them! #sosneaky

It was abnormally more crowded than usual, so the rose garden wouldn’t do for the big finale! Ninja 1 and Ninja 2 (Tony and I) thankfully linked minds. He didn’t seem to know quite where he wanted to go, so instead of following them like I had been, I veered off course and started moving away from them. I then started taking photos straight ahead — signaling that was the perfect spot where he should get on one knee! He understood and walked right in front of the camera — and bam! She couldn’t even stop smiling enough for that smooch!

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When I stopped and pointed my camera in front of the fountains, Tony brilliantly followed my lead — directing Katie in my line of site. Here is the exact moment when she realized what’s about to happen — so magical!

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I’M NOT CRYING; YOU’RE CRYING!

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I don’t even think Katie noticed me getting closer and closer to them until I said, “Congratulations!” I then felt it appropriate to say “I’m not being creepy, I promise! I’m supposed to be here!” and that’s when Tony explained his master plan to his now fiancée.

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“Well, now that you cried all your makeup off — would you like to do a photo shoot!?”

She said yes to me, too. 😉

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She was so overwhelmed by her gorgeous ring that instead of breathing, she just kept exhaling “OH MY GOD!!!” every second. It was so wonderful I told her that would be the headline for the blog.

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“Oh my gawd, I’m going to wear this for the rest of my life!”

“Oh my God, I can’t believe you pulled this off!”

“OMG, I can’t stop looking at it!”

Tony, make sure your bride-to-be looks up from her hand long enough to cross the street!

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Aw, look at that cheese face! I think in this very moment, on October 9th, 2017 at approximately 6:30 pm — Katie was THE happiest woman in the world. I’m so overjoyed that I was able to capture this incredibly special moment for these two. Plus, they are huge “Game of Thrones” fans like myself … so they are great people in my book!

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We wish you many more happy memories to come at Kansas City Photography — and hope you keep us in mind for a wedding photographer (we travel, tee hee).

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This Dog Posed With An Engagement Ring On Its Nose! A Unity Village Engagement Shoot

We first met Tyler in January, when he called Kansas City Photography about his secret plans for a surprise proposal for his girlfriend (now fiancée), Taelor!

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This was his adorable spiel to me over the phone:

“I’m planning on proposing to my girlfriend, and I want a photographer to be there to capture the moment. But, I don’t want her to know you’re there for us until after I am down on one knee.”

We chatted about when and where to meet — everything was set in place. We met at Kaw Point Park … and then this happened:

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Gorgeous, right?! It has one of the best views of the Kansas City skyline.

Since their surprise proposal session was a mini shoot, Tyler & Taelor decided to bank the rest of their engagement shoot time for when it was a bit warmer outside. Liiiike this Monday! And boy, it sure was a lot warmer. So hot, in fact, everyone at the shoot joked about jumping in the fountains there!

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They picked Unity Village from our list of Top 10 Photo Locations in KC. It’s full of glorious roses, but has amazing architecture as well — as you can see:

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This time, they even brought their doggy, Bentley! Tatiana was thrilled, dogs are pretty much her favorite thing in the world! Miss Bentley definitely isn’t well loved, poor thing!! 😉

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Also, we absolutely have to mention how well behaved she is. Tatiana was able to put Taelor’s engagement ring on Bentley’s nose! She didn’t even try to eat it! Although, they did walk around Unity Village a few laps beforehand to make sure she was nice and tuckered out.

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Taelor met Tyler through her brother, Alex. They all went to UCM together. Props, Alex! You introduced your sister to her future husband. That must feel really awesome!

Taelor also has impeccable taste in clothing. Both dresses she wore were beautiful. One was lacey, with an open back similar to a wedding dress (how fitting since she’s going to be a bride soon!):

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And the other was long and flowy — perfect to twirl in! Also, great practice for their first dance at their reception!

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Taelor, feel free to dress us any time — your taste is amazing! Tyler was dapper himself, don’t feel left out! That yellow was a perfect choice!

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We are so excited for your wedding! To see their surprise proposal shoot, click here.

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A Surprise Proposal At A Winery … During A Tornado Watch!

Bret called me a week ago and whispered into the phone that he needed a photoshoot.

“Are you doing a house burn?” I chimed.

This would sound odd to anyone else, but Bret is a Lieutenant at Orchard Farm Fire Protection District. Sometimes, people donate houses to the firefighters so they can get experience inside a real house while it’s on fire.

“No, actually. It’s me and Hannah’s anniversary, so we’re making a day of it. I plan to …”

“Bret! Are you proposing?!” I cut him off, I was so excited.

“That’s the plan!”

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We worked out a secret spy mission, and even used the code word “firestation” so we could talk about the proposal. When I message him on Facebook, a preview of the message pops up on his phone. That was a problem, because Bret was going to be with Hannah all day on the day! We didn’t want a message about a proposal to pop up on his screen.

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Turns out, we had a tornado watch that night, and the time I had to leave to get to Bret, it looked like this:

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But don’t worry! Hannah still got that ring, and we still got this:

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We met at the scenic Mount Pleasant Estates winery in Augusta — with the most gorgeous overlook. It was at this little gazebo that Bret led Hannah outside to ask her if she’d spend the rest of her life with him.

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Actually, let me correct myself. Bret didn’t ask. Here’s how it went — Bret got on one knee and said:

“I want you to marry me.”

He totally forgot to ask a question, he just … spurted out what was going through his head.

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Hannah told me she had no idea the proposal was coming. And once he was on one knee, she didn’t wait, she accepted right away and put this gorgeous ring on her finger as quickly as she could!

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After some winery shots, we headed to Klondike Park. There was an overlook, but we had to hike up a path that I swear was straight up. I am pretty sure it would have been easier to climb up it rather than walk. But we made it!

We were cracking up at this sign – Bret thought it would be hilarious to take a picture in front of it … Hannah and Bret are officially off-limits, my friends!

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Not too far from there was a beach with pearly white sand. I’m a sucker for water shots of any kind! It’s probably because I was raised at Lake of the Ozarks — water is in my blood.

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We had a great time — and a big congratulations from Kansas City Photography to you both, Bret & Hannah!

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Top 10 Photoshoot Locations in KC

Hooray, you’ve booked the photoshoot! The next question: “Where do we go?”

We get asked this by photography clients a lot. So, here’s a list of our top 10, with an honorary mention — all with photos we personally took at these locations!

Here is our list for the St. Louis area (Kansas City Photography is in both locations)!

Honorary Mention: Loose Park 

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Yes, it’s gorgeous. But, it’s only honorary and not on the 10 countdown list because of how incredibly busy this place can get. It can be hard to get a shot without people in the background (and editing people out takes time). Plus, photographers everywhere.

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It’s not a hidden gem — and if you get caught shooting professionally in this area, and you haven’t paid their photographer’s fee, you get fined.

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10. Bass Pro Waterfall Park

Wait. Do a shoot at Bass Pro? Hear me out.

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This particular location has an outside park that includes waterfalls. Waterfalls, people! 

9. Parkville

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Yes, I just used an entire city as a photoshoot location. It has a population of around 5,500, and a whole lotta character. It boasts an adorable downtown area — not to mention this bridge!

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If you walk over the bridge, there’s a nice, open area with grass — and a  nice view of the Missouri River. There is a path you can follow along it, so you aren’t getting your shoes all muddy!

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There is also the “Hogwarts Castle,” which is actually Park University.

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8. National WWI Museum and Memorial

It’s a nice, open area with a killer view of the Kansas City skyline. Plus, you can explore some history while you’re there.

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But they will yell at you if you sit on the ledge like we did. We actually had no idea there were huge speakers for them to yell at you … until it was happening to us.

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Leaning is OK, though.

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And standing in front of it is all chill, too!

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7. Swope Park

This park has lion statues. And 1,805-acres. What’s not to love?

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Also, it’s Kansas City’s largest park. Glorious.

6. West Bottoms / Graffiti Walls

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It can be tricky to find, but when you go explore downtown KC, especially on the side roads by Restaurant Depot on 12th Street, you’ll find it. Colorful graffiti. Perfect for the urban setting. The senior pictures. The fun, funky group.

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Plus, the grafitti is ever-changing, so you’ll never get the same shot twice! It’s always so bright and colorful, and sometimes you can find fun little messages, like “feminine” above. On the flip side of that, you also have to watch out for not so nice words, too.

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5. Burr Oak Woods

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For the person who wants nature shots. This is also the perfect location for those fall photos — colored leaves and trees everywhere! Plus, they have great trails you can utilize after the shoot!

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4. Bingham-Waggoner Estate

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I usually suggest this one for my repeat clients. With these clients, we’ve usually already hit up the No. 1 spot (no peeking until you get there), and probably a couple others on this list.

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It’s a great change of pace. Plus, it has great scenery, a bridge, and a gorgeous estate that serves as a wonderful backdrop.

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This location is also dog-friendly! Their only requirement is that your pup has to be on a leash, and that you clean up any poo that may happen!

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3. Lake Jacomo

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The best place for water shots! On the way, they have several stop-offs with gorgeous water views. If you know where to go, there is also a great miniature waterfall area.

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If you drive further in the park, you’ll hit the yacht area — there’s a trail you can take back with gorgeous trees and tall grass.

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If you walk far enough, there’s a break in the trees and you can see the water in the background.

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There’s also the option of walking out onto the docks!

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2. Love Locks Bridge

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This hidden gem is a wonderful tribute to the love locks bridge in Paris. I love going here and seeing all of the different locks, looking at the dates, and the sweet engravings.

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If you walk past the bridge, there is beautiful tall grass, and even train tracks!

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1. Unity Village

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I can’t define my love enough for this place. A lot of people have never heard of it, and hearing them gasp at the sight hundreds of roses the first time they step foot onto the property is something I never get tired of hearing.

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Every breed of rose you thought you’d heard of, plus many more you probably can’t even pronounce (I know I can’t!).

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And let’s not forget those fountains! There are several throughout the property — including a huge one the size of a swimming pool in the middle.

img_5014img_0827 copy.jpgThe fountains are turned off once it gets chilly. But, even in the colder non-rose months, the architecture is fun to play with.

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And this is just the front. If you explore the grounds even farther, you will find the old stone buildings. This place is teeming with possibilities!

And as if it couldn’t get any better — this location is also dog friendly! It’s the same rules as Bingham: Leash required, clean up poo!

Don’t forget — our list of Top 10 photography locations in St. Louis is also available!

Please Note:Christine, Dawn, and Tatiana with Kansas City Photography took all of these photos! No stealsies!

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A Surprise Proposal

I got the call on a blustery cold day a week ago. I answered the phone in my usual fashion:

“This is Christine!”

“Uh, hi!” I heard on the other end.

Then, he got right into it.

“I’m planning on proposing to my girlfriend, and I want a photographer to be there to capture the moment. But, I don’t want her to know you’re there for us until after I am down on one knee.”

He found the perfect place with a skyline of downtown Kansas City at Kaw Park.

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Tyler’s girlfriend, Taelor, was blindfolded — and when she took off that blindfold, there he was, waiting on one knee on the marshy grass by the river.

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A kiss, a “yes!,” and a photoshoot. That’s how it’s done! Congrats, Tyler & Taelor!

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P.S.: He did good on the ring, too!

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