William and McKenna Surprise Proposal - NICE FRANCE PHOTOGRAPHER

This shoot will always have a special place in my heart! William contacted me to surprise his girlfriend McKenna in Nice France. For me, Nice is a hopelessly romantic place. The beautiful light, the gorgeous sunsets, the palm trees gently swaying in the breeze. I can’t get enough of it! Nice is extra special for me because that is where I met my husband. So naturally I am extra extra extra happy when couples contact me and they want to be photographed in Nice. It’s almost as if I share a special bond with people that have a strong romantic tie with Nice. It’s even more important when it’s a surprise proposal! 

I will never forget that William was a little nervous about the weather. It’s normal! We can control everything else but what Mother Nature decides on the day is not negotiable. The forecast said rain on the day but I urged William not to cancel the shoot! First off, rainy weather often makes for a great photoshoot. I like it when the ground glistens and the crowds vanish during a rain shoot. Umbrellas make for cozy and romantic photo shoot props. There is also another very important point. Often, rainy days clear up during the evening right before sunset. I don’t know why, but if you start to pay attention to rainy days, you will notice that this is very true. Why? I have no idea. Being a photographer has turned me into a faux-meteorologist however. Another very interesting point about rainy days? You always get THE BEST sunsets after rainy days! Why? Again, I have no clue but it’s true! Start paying attention to weather patterns and you will find this to be true. It’s really sad and always frustrating for me when couples start to freak out about clouds and rain. Often, the light is better in cloudy weather. I find that in Nice and on the Riviera people think only full on sunlight is the best conditions for photos. It’s not true! Strong sunlight causes harsh unflattering shadows. I have to explain this point over and over and often feel like a broken record. Normally people don’t believe me until after I show them a couple photos on my camera. Then they light up! Trust your photographer, pretty photos are for everyone’s benefit!

OK, off my soapbox and back to the surprise proposal in Nice. Luckily, William was super trusting and amazing and we went with our original plan. Even better, the rain stopped right before the shoot (as often happens before sunset). Even even better better, the crowds had vanished so we had Castle Hill in Nice all to ourselves, which made the photo shoot that much more special! 

Here are some pointers to pull off an amazing surprise proposal:

Tip 1: If the ground is wet, don’t go all the way down on one knee, you will have a wet mark on your knee for the rest of the shoot

Tip 2: Do dress up! These photos are forever and you want to make your grandma proud! Do NOT wear a graphic tee shirt. Don’t know how to tell your girlfriend to dress up without making it look obvious you are about to propose? Tell her you are taking her out for dinner at a fancy restaurant. Better yet, ACTUALLY take her out to dinner at a fancy restaurant! This is one day you are going to remember for the rest of your life.

Tip 3: Breath and take your time. No rush. She is probably going to know what is happening when your hands start trembling and you start reciting a poem. That’s OK, it doesn’t mean the moment is ruined. Take your time telling her how much you love her and how she has changed your life. 

Tip 4: Stay down on your knee for a bit. I need to get this special moment from a couple different angles, so stay down there and take your time. For you, it will feel like an eternity, but for me, the moment passes so quickly and I want to get the shot! 

Tip 5: Use me to photograph your surprise proposal! DUH!! =) 

Enjoy this photos from a beautiful Surprise proposal in Nice France! Also, if you want to know more about How McKenna and William got to this amazing point in their relationship, this photoshoot was published on How He Asked



The location! Atop the beautiful Castle Hill in Nice France. Note that the photos and the light is beautiful despite the fact that it is not a perfectly sunny day!

Isn’t this location just like a dream? Who wouldn’t like a surprise proposal overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean Sea?

It’s another yes for this Surprise Proposal on the French Riviera

I love this beautiful view over Nice France

So, you wanna get married?

The Flower Market in Nice France is an amazing place to take photos!

I love these palm trees on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice France

I love this soft light!

A glowing couple in glowing light!

The locations (click for more information):

Castle Hill in Nice 

The Promenades des Anglais

The Flower Market

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Nice France Photographer James Pouliot

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