Shooting a firefighter’s engagement proposal in Venice: love is on fire!

couple hugging during engagement photo service in Venice
Thomas proposed to Heather on San Giorgio Island after giving her a dozen of roses. I was asked to leave the roses on the ground before starting this engagement photo shooting.

A few months ago I was hired as a professional photographer by Thomas, a fireman from California who was planning his trip to Venice with his girlfriend, Heather. He wanted to take this chance to make a surprise engagement proposal to her and asked me to suggest a suitable place to “stage” it.

Continue reading “Shooting a firefighter’s engagement proposal in Venice: love is on fire!”


Engagement photo shooting usually implies a certain amount of surprise: the future bride is not informed about the future groom’s intention to propose. On the other hand, the photographer is usually well aware of it, as the future groom agreed with him or her about the time and place of the engagement shots.
Well, I recently experienced a different, curious situation: I was appointed a couple portrait in Venice by a young Russian couple. We were just completing the first half of our informal photo stroll when the young men told me that he wanted to propose that very day to the lady and asked for advice. I had to think a bit about it and then proposed to use a kind of trick.

We arrived by ferry at the picturesque island of San Giorgio and I took some pictures of the young couple with the Canal Grande and Piazza San Marco on the background . Then I pretended to have to answer an urgent call and left the couple alone. My camera had been set to shoot a video in the meanwhile.

And what did the camera catch? The two young people were hugging and exchanging sweet words when the man suddenly fell down on his knees and took a ring out of his pocket. The lady suddenly broke into tears and cried for a long time. He hugged her again, softly talked to her and, just to be sure that her reaction was due to surprise and joy, asked once again if she wanted to marry him. The lady eventually nodded without stopping crying, as you can see in these pictures.

I entered the stage and took the last few shots in that soft, romantic atmosphere of smiles and tears…

Well, in case you need an experienced photographer and a consultant for last-minute wedding proposals, just email me.

For further examples of engagement photography in Venice see my webiste, or read my ebook on photography settings in Venice.


It is definitely exciting to work as an engagement photographer (you can really “smell” the couple’s excitement and surprise) but it has its own rules: you need to be “born ready” and flexible.

I was delighted to be appointed by a couple from London to shoot the man’s proposal to the future bride in Venice. Needless to say, it had to take place and be shot at sunset, the most romantic hour in a Venetian day for a loving couple.

Well, as you might know, train delays are quite common in Italy, which caused me to be in place just half and hour before the agreed time (rather than 2 hours as I usually plan). I was  getting my cameras ready when I saw the couple arriving …Gosh, they were early! I said to myself “Don’t Panic!” but, in the twinkling of an eye, the guy fell down on his knees and took the ring out of his pocket.

I immediately  took my camera and clicked. Everything that really matters was in the picture: the excited man, the amazed lady, the ring, the sunset and the lagoon…done!

In the following shots, I could change perspective and focus on details….in a much more relaxed spirit!

Have a look at the results at

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