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  • Amanda Chesher

Planning the Perfect Niagara Falls Proposal

Niagara Falls is a natural marvel. It's also the honeymoon capital of the world. With these two ideas in mind, it isn't surprising how many proposal requests I get.

Being a photographer born and raised in Niagara Falls, and getting several proposal sessions a week, I wanted to give you some tips, tricks and ideas for planning a proposal session in Niagara falls.


Niagara Falls parkway photo locations
Niagara Parks Rose Gardens

HOW IT WORKS

There are two ways to go about a proposal sessions:


The first, your SO is aware there is a session. This takes away the pressure of 'tricking' them to a certain location, at a certain time and explains why you might be dressed up. These are booked the same way any other session might be. At some point during the session, the proposer would nod to me, signaling they are ready for their grand moment.


The second is to keep it a surprise. This is a little more difficult, but yields amazing results during the moment. We arrange everything outside of your partners knowledge and after the moment happens, I come forward, offer congratulations and we care on with celebratory engagement photos. In touristy areas of town, it is quite easy to me to

blend in. There are plenty of people to mix in with, and I can make myself busy with my camera as to appear like I'm just doing my thing. To make this one work, I do recommend scheduling around a meal time (preferably dinner as lighting is typically better), as to excuse why you are dressed so nicely (and its a great way to celebrate afterwards). The day of the session, we would also exchange, either through text or email (whichever is more discreet for you) what everyone is wearing. Since this is a tourist area, there is a good chance we have never meet before, and this make it easy to find each other in crowded areas without making it so obvious)

Niagara Falls parkway photo ops
Horseshoe Falls view

With both options, and especially if you are out of town, I have a list of popular areas I send you with pros and cons for each location and photo examples. This way you can best gage where to have your magical moment based on the mood, feel or look you are going for. Want the falls in the background? I've got suggestions. Looking for something more intimate? Don't worry! I know a place or two!


And of course so we BOTH know each other is ready, we give a simple nod to each other before the moment happens.


Niagara Parks
Niagara Botanical Gardens

WHEN IS A GOOD TIME

Sunsets or earlier in the day provide the best lighting for any photo session! Sunsets especially create a romantic glow. If you are planning for the summer months, this is also usually cooler times of days.


Plan around dinner time or meals. Its a good excuse as to way yourself and babe are all dressed up to walk around the falls area.


If you are planning a session down by the Falls, I would recommend avoid holiday weekends, such as Canada Day or Independence Day. Being a board town, there are lost of people traveling, causing long wait times at the bridge, tons of traffic and huge crowds.


I also don't recommend during the fireworks for a few reasons, in fact, I won't shoot during this time. Firstly, the crowds. While tourist and locals casually stroll the area, coming and going throughout the day, everyone gathers all at once in that area for fireworks. It's hard to find a quiet place, navigate the area and get out of the area afterwards due to the high volume of foot traffic. Furthermore, the settings to freeze fast moving streaks of light across a dark sky, are drastically different camera settings for capturing still people in a dark setting without creating motion blur or grain. They are opposite ends of the settings septum's. Shooting the fireworks from indoors observation desk, while quieter, also doesn't work as now we have to combat glare and reflections from the glass.


Niagara Falls photo locations
Niagara Oak Theatre Gardens


WHERE

As mentioned, if you are from out of town, I provide a list, an online magazine if you will, of places near and on the parkway, that are popular photo spots for out-of-towners. Together we can figure out where by the falls is the best for your photographic needs.


When it comes to which water fall, American always photographs nicer then horseshoe.

It's unique shape traps mist, hiding it. So days are better then others but there is no way to tell when scheduling in advance. And while it may be closer, it also means.... you're most likely going to get wet. And no one wants to be photographed during a life milestone with wet hair plastered to their face.


Niagara Falls portrait photographers
American Falls View

The best place for the American Falls is a spot called Ramblers rest. It's a stone, gazebo like structure beside our horn-blower boat entrance. It is easy to find within the park and is situated directly across from the American Falls, offering an amazing view! Bonus! There are also lots of binoculars situated near the fencing. Its a perfect opportunity for your SO to turn their backs while you get down on knee one and surprise them as they turn around.


The botanical gardens is another lovely spot that provides a quiet, more intimate setting, although it does not provide a view of the falls. The gardens are vast and make for a stunning backdrop regardless of the season.


Local wineries are also very popular! They are not as busy, provide a great reason to be dressed nicely, a quiet, intimate location with a beautiful backdrop and a place to celebrate afterwards.


OTHER TIPS


Niagara Falls Engagement photographer
Ravine winery

Be sure you know where you are going. While I provide a list of places, most of them are within the park, which means, they do not have an address you can google. I give pretty descriptions where to go but please do your research and figure out your parking or walking route to the location from your hotel or park entry point.


Be in communication with me or your photographer the day of the session. Please let us know of any time delays before your session as parking isn't free... even for us locals, and we may have other sessions. We also will need to know what you are wearing. Some clients send photo texts, others just descriptions.


A good place to hid the ring if the box is a little smaller is in your sock (unless the sock is thin). It hides it from budging in your pockets or from your person who might cuddle in for a romantic over look of the park and feeling it along your waist pocket.


For outfit ideas, check out my Pinterest. I have created inspiration boards for all different styles and seasons. If you are traveling or have dinner reservations, these ideas can be easily incorporated without giving away the surprise.


There are lots of other great, romantic ways to celebrate your proposal other then dinner. Niagara on the Lake is a short drive up the park way and is a quaint picturesque town with lots to do. They have plays and ghost tours. There are plenty of wineries you can enjoy a wine tasting at. And both Niagara Falls and Niagara on the lake offer horse and carriage rides.


And finally don't stress! In all my years photographing proposals, I have yet to have one say 'no'. Consider me your lucky charm!




Niagara Falls portrait photographers
Trius Winery


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